Was About to Enter the Conservatory but Ended Up Being a Successful Developer
How a musician died in me, but the owner of a software development agency was reborn
The story of Anatolii Landyshev, CTO & Co-Founder of Visartech Inc., a software product development agency with a focus on smart backend development and interactive WebGL solutions.
When I was a child while watching a TV concert I liked to knock on the table as if I was playing the piano. My fascination with sounds, rhythms, and specific movements was beyond all parents’ expectations. They’ve tried to cultivate my talent and bought me lots of toy musical instruments.
On a Path to Conservatory
At some point, I enrolled in music school. Imagine my feelings on those first days. You know, just like a “dream come true”. However, my mother has decided a guitar would be a more practical choice, so instead of mastering the so-desired piano lessons, I’ve started learning chords on a guitar. And that wasn’t all so romantic as I thought before.
My music teacher was a pretty tough person. Screaming at me, striking my hands with a ruler, and much more seemed to be a normal way of disciplining. No matter how hard I tried, there was always something wrong. It was a path full of bitter tears. After the first year, I was even going to quit. However, I got over it somehow. Probably, I just became stronger after all.
There’s one more thing I was deeply touched by — the teacher cared!
Although her methods were not as romantic and supportive as anyone could imagine, all the lessons have been taught for sure. You had no other choice. Around two hours of everyday practice was my experience for a few years in a row. There was a strong motivation, you know!
A Thing Has Changed Everything…
One day when I was in a kids’ summer camp, she called me and asked whether I wanted to go to Paris and try out my talent in a music contest. The girls, who usually took part in such events, came to some other fest. Without hesitation, I immediately left the camp and devoted the whole summer to the contest preparations.
Well, that was all for a reason! The audience at the music contest was amazed by my performance. Being a little kid of 11, I could play pretty well.
After that, I became my teacher’s favorite student which led me to perform in numerous contests and events for a few years. It happened up until she passed away. Instead, I got a younger teacher, one of her past students, who were not as enthusiastic about my talent.
One truly deserving thing we have managed to do together was to take part in the international contest. Our desire was to get some real achievement in honor of my first music teacher. As a result, I took third place as a solo performer and the 2nd place in tandem.
During my preparations for this contest, I was honored to get assistance from a professor at a conservatoire. Many people believe that I will enroll in a conservatory and study there under the guidance of this teacher. I wanted it too, very badly!
However, my parents had another opinion…
The Turning Point
They thought that an engineering field was much more promising at that time.
I liked computers. Back in school, I was good at math. Even before I had my first computer, there were lots of books about them: how to choose, install and operate them. So I knew the PC fundamentals and was well aware of what many corresponding terms like operating systems, processors, etc. mean. They were not a big deal to me.
So I’ve decided to give it a try. Especially taking into account that this sphere has also magnetized me. As well as many others, to be true.
Indeed, the engineering direction seemed more prospective. There was not a single day that made me regret choosing the new path.
In fact, at first, I saw an opportunity to enter a University where a lot of rockers came from.
Yeah, that’s right, I wanted to combine my passion with a promising career!
Remarkably, entering the engineering faculty, my music activities continued. Since freshman year together with my group mates, we’ve found a rock band. Interestingly, at some point, we discovered that one of our teachers also liked playing on a keyboard. So we have invited him into our band. We were practicing a lot, however, just once had a real performance on the campus.
After a while, I’ve realized that I wish to play in a more professional music band. So I have decided to leave the rock group. Instead, there was an audition for a Latino band that played flamenco at corporate parties and in restaurants. At that time, my arm was broken, however, I managed somehow to get through that audition and join the team.
Besides just music experience, in my student years, I have started working as a programmer in a software development company. It was a precious moment of my life when I could somehow combine three activities at the same time: university studies, an engineering job, and music performances. Honestly, I was really proud of myself when I realized that all of them not only brought pleasure but supported me financially.
The Founder Path
Music has accompanied me even after graduation. I handily balanced between a band and an engineering job. However, the more results I saw in software development, the more fascinated I was with the opportunities that technologies uncover in many spheres. Thereafter, engineering sidelined my passion for music.
Since student years, more experienced groupmates showed impressive laboratory results, be it small games, pixel-perfect graphic designs or so many other things. It all has motivated me and my friends to deepen more in the technology world. At times, we have gathered together on weekends imagining our future startups. That was a whole new world of infinite possibilities.
There were four of us who wanted to make a change and do something meaningful. Someone dreamed about his own company and eventually founded it. All the others were so into it that they quit their jobs and started working for him. However, certain conditions were not satisfactory for us. So within a while, I and my current business partner have decided to found our own company that after several rebrandings and modifications have become as it is now — Visartech Inc.
Along the way, we had to learn a lot, educate ourselves using accessible materials. At first, the main clients came from freelance platforms. Our staff mostly consisted of our groupmates. This way there was a friendly atmosphere in the company. We were more like a family. And it was almost impossible to fire anyone.
Our main focus was to simply do the quality work. As time passed, we gradually added and improved processes, thought-through business aspects.
Do I Regret My Choice?
Everything is beautiful in a developer’s job. Flexible schedule, remote opportunities, specific IT culture, ample possibilities for creativity to solve business challenges, and endless prospects to improve and modify the world around us for the better.
On the other hand, music is beautiful in itself.
However, there are certain limitations. Touring is an essential part of a musician’s job. In youth this kind of living is cool. Holidays are always filled with joy, activities, and lots of communication. But eventually, when it comes to your family, such a way of living possesses tough choices.
Besides, rehearsals are often boring. The most favorite part about rehearsals is the possibility to perform improvisations on what’s most interesting for musicians. However, the group leader should still bounce the process to prepare for the concert.
That’s where the most vital thing happens. It’s the energy exchange with the audience. That’s exactly what drives musicians to move forward and do the best they can.
Music is an integral part of my life and it will always be this way. When I am with my family or my friends, the guitar is my beloved companion.
The best thing about being in the position of a music rockstar is the energy exchange with the audience. You are supercharged when your fans like what you play and they return the energy back to you.
What I’ve ultimately realized is that you can do the same in any sphere. When you do something for someone. If you create the WOW effect with the quality of your work, the energy will get back to you.
When I am a software engineer, I like to create solutions that make the clients and their customers feel WOW. Then the energy returns. Probably, that’s what professionalism is.
P.S. When the coronavirus pandemic invaded our lives, I bought electronic drums. At times it helps me to release extra negative energy without harm to people around me.
Try that, I bet you’ll like it!