Continuing with our monthly series of stories of exceptional talent, we spoke to Herman Komashko, a Digital Engineer from Uzbekistan. In 2018 he was approved for the Tech Nation (Tier 1) Visa and now lives and works in London. Herman told us why he chose to come to the UK and what he’s been working on over the past year and a half.
For me, the United Kingdom has always been a land full of possibilities and resources that would help me to unleash my potential. Since moving to London, looking for business partners or investors and employees has never been easier. There is always someone extremely talented out there seeking the next challenge.
The UK tech network is the biggest asset, and it’s fascinating what kind of people you can run into (whether it’s at a conference venue or in a pub). The freedom to work and move within the UK provided by the Tech Nation Visa is what allows us to experiment and understand where we can contribute the most.
Although one should always seek to move forward without requiring public recognition or praise, almost everyone, at least once, will want to hear the words “we are proud of you”; whether it be from parents, friends or teachers, it’s something that will push you forward.
Receiving endorsement from Tech Nation is a public recognition that tells you “your work has a positive impact, keep it up”, and at that very moment, every particle of your brain starts working faster.
During my time in the UK, I have worked on a Big Data project for Deutsche Bank UK responsible for regulatory data processing; a fantastic experience that allowed me to look deep under the hood of a large financial engine.
Last year, I accepted an offer from the BBC and was honoured to join the team responsible for the development of BBC Sounds, one of the top strategic products of this national media treasure. I was a huge fan of BBC shows and radio programmes for a very long time, and being a part of a digital revolution inside one of the most authentic media companies in the UK is a bit like being a little boy in Disneyland.
Last but not least, I’ve re-bootstrapped one of the projects inside my company as a completely separate Ecommerce data-analysis startup. In just four months, I’ve managed to find an outstanding CTO who is currently working with me on the core of the product, and a COO who is a capital fundraiser with more than 20 years’ experience and an average year-to-year raise of around £20m for various startups and organisations. Finally, I found a technology advisor who is not only a well-known industry expert in data processing systems, but also a fellow alumni of the UK Exceptional Talent Visa.
This is only a fraction of what the United Kingdom business ecosystem can let you do over just a year and a half of being here. It gives you all the required resources and opens doors to international houses. As long as you know what you are doing, it’s tough not to succeed.
Besides seeking out business endeavours and technology breakthroughs, I am always in search of something to support my work-life balance and in the UK you can find everything from am-dram clubs to hiking groups.
If you are thinking of applying for the Tech Nation Visa, don’t be afraid to reach out to the Tech Nation Alumni. We are always desperately waiting for more talent to come and join us here. The Alumni hold monthly drinks where you can join us to chat over a pint, and some of our members have started Tech Nation clubs that meet up for hikes and other social activities.
Once you have your visa, there are Facebook and Slack groups to join and we have just launched an official Tech Nation Forum portal where you will be able to find all sorts of information that will make your relocation experience as smooth as possible. It will help you with everything you need, from where to look for a job, to how to open a bank account.
Words of wisdom
Beyond the visa process though, my advice to anyone looking to build a career in tech, would be that times of high pressure can genuinely lead to the discovery of profound possibilities. When the clock is ticking, and you know that it either means victory or defeat, only then can you discover who you are. If you can overcome your fears and let yourself lead forward, you will do great deeds. Stay hungry, stay under pressure and only then can you grow.