Sergejs Zubovs

JSC “CĒSU ALUS” Senior Programmer
Information Technology and Sociotechnical Systems Modelling

What influenced your decision to start studies at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences?

The choice of ViA was mainly due to geographical reasons. Since I was born and had lived my whole life in Valmiera, I also had a great desire to study and stay in my favourite city, and Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences offered to study engineering, which I had planned to connect my life with. Another factor, no less important, was the opportunity to study in the two-year college programme and then, optionally, to continue studies in the bachelor’s programme. This seemed very tempting since there was a lot of reflection and worry after the secondary school about whether the choice was right even though the goal was to study and work in the IT field. It felt like if I changed my mind after two years, I would at least have taken the first steps in higher education, and if all went well, I would be able to continue my bachelor’s studies. Looking back, I realize that the choice was right.

What do you think is important to consider when making the right decision about the sector to work in the future? To those who are planning to start their studies, what would you recommend to pay attention to?

It is very important to listen to yourself and understand if the industry is attractive and whether you are inclined to work in it - not because you need to, but really want to do it, every day, without being forced. In my case, I was lucky because I had the opportunity to work in the IT industry during the secondary school and see if I liked it. Definitely, I didn't plan on being a programmer in the secondary school. Fortunately, however, the basics of programming were taught in the college programme alongside various hardware and networking things. It opened my eyes, so to speak, and my heart whispered that this was the right direction for me to go. Therefore, the main recommendation would be, if possible, to participate in “Shadowing Days”, to try to work for a company and learn more about the industry. And if there is a desire to know more, then you should definitely try. No matter how cliché it sounds, but the choice of industry and job should be primarily based on what you like to do – then also the pay will be satisfactory and sufficient.

What is your evaluation of the chosen and acquired study programme? Which knowledge and skills have been the most valuable and useful to you?

We need to remember that any university, faculty or programme will include things that seem unnecessary, not interesting or silly. However, I generally evaluate Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences programmes as very good, and I have studied in three of them – college and bachelor’s programme in Information Technology and master's programme in Sociotechnical Systems Modelling. In the course of time, now in the professional life, sometimes it seems that the university could have provided more in-depth knowledge, but that is not the essence of education, the most important thing Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences has given - solid foundations and knowledge, the rest comes with experience.

How does your chosen study programme relate to your current occupation? What is your current job?

It corresponds 100%. I have chosen the right industry and the right university. The first - college education is probably a little less used because I don't work with networking equipment or directly with the hardware, but it was a very good first step in the IT industry that got me where I am now. I have not for a single moment regretted my choice.

What kind of people (character, passions, interests) do you think this study programme is suitable for?

We have been different, from very introverted, closed people to the very opposite. For each the particular things have been easier or more difficult. But at Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences, studying is a good balance to help shy, closed people learn how to speak in front of the audience (there have been many presentations and defence of various work, as well as oral exams), and more oblivious people are taught to master standardization and documentation. Most importantly, as I have said, there is a solid knowledge base that has allowed us to continue work in this industry or to choose another direction where I believe the knowledge gained has not been superfluous either.