Who we are

Hello. We are Vladimir and Mary, and we want to introduce ourselves.

Vladimir Filonov

I was 6 years old when I first met a computer. It was a monochromic cassette-based desktop my father brought to replace his typewriter. It was the early 90th, and most of my friend’s families got cars for the same price. This has defined my life. By the age of 25, I had commercial experience in C/C++, JavaScript, PHP, and Python. I worked with distributed and high-loaded projects. At 27, I decided to run my own outsourcing company. It started as a company of 3 people and grew up to 20 engineers with offices in Moscow and Prague in 4 years. I had the CTO role, built the team, applied SDLC processes, communicated with clients to create requirements, etc. After 6 years, I started to see some weaknesses and gaps in my management knowledge. This stopped me from getting to the next level, so I decided to step back. I took a role in a US-based company to obtain some practical knowledge of corporate-style management. Simultaneously I’ve started an overall educational process around IT management (which led me to graduation from the “Leading People and Teams” specialization of the University of Michigan). Now I’m working as Director of Engineering US company “Takeoff Technologies.”

My full CV: https://filonov.dev
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/vladimirfilonov/

In addition to my professional career, since 2012, I’ve been actively participating in different IT communities - making speeches, leading activities, and even co-founding. Here are the most significant examples:

Learn Python Courses Co-founder - 10-weeks introductory Python course with the project-based flow. Graduated more than 1500 students in 5 years

MoscowPython Community Evangelist - Country-wide programming community that includes more than fifteen thousand active participants at the moment

Moscow Python Conf - Co-founder, regular speaker

Piter Py Conference - Organizer in 2014-2016

Mary Filonova

I’m the Head Of the Development Department in a cloud provider.

So when I was a baby, my mother saw a dream that I was a violinist. This is how I spend almost 20 years of my life. :) I’ve done musical school, college, and conservatory, and at the end of this way, I understood that it was not my thing. I decided to have one more degree because it was almost impossible to find a non-musical job in my formal profession. I became an air transportation specialist and focused on preparations for my exams. This is how I spent the next 3 years of my life.

Later I had a child and went on parental leave. After almost a year, I understood that my job would not provide a lot of possibilities for growth, and I started to think about changing that profession. This is how my IT story begins :)

While learning Python (this is my first language), for the first time in my life, I had an experience that time could stop if you do things you wanna do. This is how I understand that I finally found myself.

Since then, I have passed a long way of pain and happiness, success and failures, gender-based harassment, and kind support.

My full CV: https://filonova.dev/resume/
Linked: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mary-filonova-b70521185/

As I already mentioned, I’m the Head Of the Development Department in a cloud provider now. But I still remember how hard and painful it was, and I want to help other juniors (especially women) to pass through this way.

Learn Python Courses Mentor and Material Author - 10-weeks introductory python course with the project-based flow. Graduated more than 1500 students in 5 years

Moscow Python Conf - Speaker, Activist

What we are doing in Georgia

Our family has had a history in Georgia for three generations, so we think our relocation here was predefined. The Russian invasion of Ukraine was the last drop. After arriving here, we’ve choose Batumi as a city for living. And since we arrived here for a long time (we hope forever), integration is required. And we decided to continue IT community activities.

We believe that IT is an important area and can become a significant part of the local economy. But the country needs a lot of developers, QAs, DevOps, and other IT professionals. That’s why our primary target audience is local junior/middle developers, students, high schooler, etc. Of course, we know that there are already a couple of IT communities in Georgia, but our experience shows that it’s never a lot =)

That’s why we decided to start IT Club Georgia.

Website: https://it-club.ge

Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/itclub.ge

LinkedIn Group: https://www.linkedin.com/groups/12642199/

Our personal life motto: to get great results, you need to set even greater goals. So, we decided that our goal for this community would be to make Georgia one of the key IT hubs in Europe.

IT Club is a non-profit community. Most of the events will be free for all. Some, maybe, will have some price, but only to cover costs.

We have a pretty long list of planned activities, but we will start in small steps. Currently, we are talking about making some meetups for beginners. We will prepare presentations for interesting topics and try to invite local speakers.

The next step will be podcast, then - courses, and a mentorship program.

And we see much more ahead =)

Initiatives

But why?

This is quite a common question. Why do we invest our free time and family budget in such activities? What’s the catch?

There is no catch. Giving back to the community makes our life meaningful, happier, and more valuable. It’s impossible to earn all the money, and it does not make sense. Both of us passed through a complicated way, but now we have everything we wanted and think it’s the perfect time to share.

Of course, we are open to any suggestions and advice and ready to provide help to the local community even out of described boundaries.

Both of us have significant experience and skills in teaching, mentoring, coaching, motivation, and hard skills in different programming languages and related technologies and methodologies.

We will be happy for any kind of collaboration and advice. Let’s change the world together!

Our best regards, Mary & Vladimir