R&I project time like long job interview for current position

Danylo Kukanova
Danylo Kukanov works remotely most days, but every so often he checks into the office of his employ-er, Soil Optix, in Tavistock, Ont.

Danylo Kukanov graduated from the Computer Programmer program in 2021, earning the Dean’s Award from NC’s School of Media for his efforts.  While working with the Agriculture & Environmental Technologies Innovation Centre (now the Horticultural & Environmental Sciences Innovation Centre), Danylo worked on projects for Soil Optix, a company that was so impressed with his student work, that they hired him after graduation. 

Tell us about where you work and your position/title:

I work for SoilOptix Inc. as software developer and junior data scientist.

Describe your role and what you like about it:

Currently I am responsible for developing scientific applications for soil analysis. In other words, I translate scientific language to computer language.

How has your experience with Research & Innovation helped prepare you for your current role?

While working at R&I we worked on soil analysis tasks, statistics and web development. This experience later was used as a base for my future employment.

A memorable applied research project during your time at R&I?

While working for R&I I implemented soil analysis tasks using statistics and Python libraries. It opened the world of data science for me.

What led you to Niagara College in the first place?

Since getting my BSc in Ukraine in System Engineering [from Kharkiv Polytechnic Institute], I wanted to further expand my knowledge in electronics and software. Niagara College looked like a good option to learn software development.

Most memorable experience at NC?

My most memorable experience at Niagara College was tutoring other students. I like learning and I was glad to share my experience with others. It was my first experience teaching.

Is there a particular mentor at either R&I or a faculty member who influenced you? 

There are a couple former members who boosted my skills and helped me gain a lot of experience. They are Sarah Lepp and Mike Duncan. I do appreciate their efforts.

What advice would you impart to current research students or future alumni?

Always look for new knowledge about your field of study, even if it is not covered by your curriculum. For instance, if you are working as a web developer, be sure you learn modern design patterns (like gang of four), SOLID principles etc. As far as I know they are not mentioned during your studies, but they are must-have knowledge for your future career.

After being in the workforce, what have you learned?

Primarily how to work in a team.

Proudest achievement since graduating?

Worked with Convolution Neural Networks during one of our work projects.

What are you passionate about at the moment?

I really want to dive deeper into data science.  During my work I realized how interesting this field of study can be.

Interests outside of work?

When I’m not working, I usually play the guitar and care for my little garden. In future I plan to start again playing with electronics and make my own microelectronic projects.

If you could have a billboard message seen by many, what would it say?

The more you learn, the more bizarre the world looks.