Team Spotlight: Kostya Ostrovsky
The #LifeatTorq Team Spotlight is a Q&A series dedicated to the talented and generally kick-ass team that form the foundation of our growing company.
Today we are spotlighting Kostya Ostrovsky, a Software Architect at Torq based in our Tel Aviv office. Kostya is one of the first employees at Torq.
Why did you come to work at Torq? What makes you excited about working here?
Kostya: Initially, I met the founders at my previous role at CheckPoint, where I got a chance to work with both Leonid and Eldad. Then, a few years ago they approached me with an offer to join their first startup, called Luminate. I joined, and I thoroughly enjoyed working with them at Luminate. When Lumiate was acquired by Symantec (and Symantec was acquired by Broadcom) the founders decided to move on to their next venture.
It was absolutely clear to me that I wanted to continue working with them — no matter what product they chose to build; so I let Ofer know that I was on board. Then about a month later, I was officially reunited with the crew at Torq.
I strongly believe in the capabilities of our founders to build a successful business and I’m excited everyday by the larger team at Torq. They’re all about great vibes plus professionalism, and we all enjoy tackling the technology challenges associated with building a great user-centric SaaS product.
What’s the coolest thing you and your team are working on at Torq?
Kostya: We currently have many scaling and reliability challenges that I think are cool to work on. As a software architect, I work closely with the Product Team to make the end user experience smooth, reliable, and fast. The most recent thing I did along these lines was to investigate some sporadic slow load issues we experienced. All fixed now!
What advice can you offer to someone looking to take on a role like yours?
Kostya: I started as a backend developer and worked my way up. I think everyone should do what they love. I love to stay close to the technology and code, and I remain very hands-on. My advice is to never stop learning (by reading articles, books and watching lectures) and to surround yourself with talented and passionate people that will challenge you every day. People you can learn from that will not take everything for granted and are always ready for a round of (healthy) discussions/arguments.
I also recommend being choosy about the environment and culture. Work in a positive environment that helps you grow — one that makes you excited to wake up every morning. An environment packed with people that are equally excited as you are will push you forward and make you pumped about the product you are working on.
Ok, now for the fun part! Tell us a little about yourself When you log on in the morning, what do you do first?
I normally check Slack for new messages while drinking cappuccino.
What helps you focus?
Kostya: Working in open space (like we do at Torq) can be fun, but pretty challenging. When I need to focus I normally listen to electronic music on my headphones. If I need extra focus and to work without any interruptions I stay at home to work.
What are your hobbies outside of work?
I am an avid mountain biker. I ride bikes 3-4 times a week all over Israel — typically starting my rides pretty early (6:30AM at the trailhead) to make it in time to the office by 10:00-10:30AM.
As a coffee lover at Torq – how do you drink your coffee?
I love coffee and I’m super excited with the latest in-office coffee machine upgrade, and I also have a professional machine + grinder at home. I personally like milk based drinks — cappuccinos, mostly. 18 gr beans in, 36 gr drink out in 27 seconds + 65 degrees micro foamed milk on top with a rosetta drawing on top. I’m still working on my latte art skills!
How do you spend your weekends?
On Fridays, my wife and I will typically do a tour of our favorite foodie places. We’ll often have some breakfast at the Levinsky Market, drink good coffee at Cafelix or House of Coffee and finish with a tasty cake from Sweetbox. On Saturday mornings I normally ride in the morning and rest during the day which may involve any and all of the following: watching my favorite YouTubers; thinking of personal side projects; meeting friends; practicing latte art skills; or meeting with family.
What’s the best series you watched recently?
I don’t watch that many shows in a series. I’d rather just watch YouTube videos about mountain biking. I enjoy “Seth Bike Hacks” and “Harry Main”. The last Netflix series I enjoyed is “Startup”.