Inside Ople – Pavel Bourdykine
At Ople, we want users to experience the benefits of AI and leave the data science specifics to us. Our platform continues to make ubiquitous AI a reality and would not be possible without our world-class team of machine learning experts, data scientists, and engineers. Leading our engineering excellence is Pavel Bourdykine, Ople’s VP of Engineering. An expert software engineer with experience spanning multiple industries, Pavel leads our platform’s technological development and plays a key role in making Ople an automated solution-maker for any business.
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
I was born in Voronezh, Russia and moved to southwestern Ontario, Canada when I was 13. I would say I first got into software development in my teen years and my parents are both hardware engineers, so I always had an inclination for math, physics, and engineering.
I went to the University of Western Ontario for both my undergrad in computer science and math as well as my master's in computer science. After that, I spent a few years in academia doing research and pursuing my Ph.D., but along the way, I decided I wanted to go ahead and start getting experience in the industry.
I worked in a variety of domains as a software engineer for about 10 years now. I started with embedded software development for the automotive industry, then shifted to health IT and different web-based software and service solutions in the medical industry.
What led you to Ople?
I was actually looking to move out of the healthcare sector and was kind of in between AI and cybersecurity in terms of the next steps. AI and data science have always interested me, so when the opportunity at Ople came about, I took it.
It has been a really interesting shift for me because there’s a real difference in maturity between healthcare and AI. Healthcare is established and has rigorous standards and fewer gray areas. Whereas, AI is still growing and people are still not fully aware of all the problems they could solve using AI. As an engineer, it’s really cool that AI and its possible applications are a less-defined industry because there’s room for a lot more innovation.
Could you describe your role as VP of Engineering?
I oversee a lot of the engineering efforts and wear quite a few hats on a day-to-day basis. I drive the engineering execution and assist with the technical direction of the company. I have a strong software engineering background and have designed and worked with a lot of systems. Therefore, in combination with the engineering team’s efforts, I have a lot of technical influence on what we’re doing. In addition, I smooth out the process of our software delivery and handle the external engineering engagements.
What is the best part of your job?
I come from a software engineering background, so the technical aspect for sure. Literally any time I get to dig deeper into technical issues.
Who or what motivates you?
During my undergraduate years, I took a class on foundations and organization of programming languages taught by Stephen M. Watt, who is now the Dean of Mathematics at the University of Waterloo. I later did an internship with his research group and then he was my master's supervisor and later, my Ph.D. advisor. He has been a huge motivation and inspiration of mine. Just an incredibly smart and influential guy who I’m still in contact with.
What do you like to do for fun?
Soccer for sure, and just general fitness. I go to the gym around 4 times a week and really prioritize health and wellness.
Favorite TV show?
I really like Scandanavian rock and metal. Some of my favorite bands are In Flames, Kalmah, Dark Tranquility and Insomnium.
Honestly, I eat pretty much everything and am super simple as long as it’s healthy.
"We live on an island surrounded by a sea of ignorance. As our island of knowledge grows, so does the shore of our ignorance" - John Archibald Wheeler
What does this quote mean to you?
I find it relevant to personal development and continuing education, as well as the AI space and its applications. The more we learn about AI and ML and discover new ways to utilize technology, the more unknowns, ethical questions, and unpredictable changes in everyday life we will be faced with.