About Me

Welcome, I am

Ilya Nevolin

A Lead Software Engineer, originally from Belgium but located wherever opportunity takes me in this world.


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Here I provide a unique glimpse into my work and life as an engineer, colleague, friend and human being.

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The INTJ personality type, according to the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator, is characterised by introversion, intuition, thinking, and judging preferences. INTJs are often visionary strategists, known for their analytical thinking, independent nature, and knack for devising innovative solutions to complex problems.


As a child of an immigrant, my childhood was not easy, but I found comfort in sports, martial arts and technology. My fascination with tech began early, as I enjoyed taking apart toys to understand them. When I first encountered computers and technology at the age of six, I knew I found my calling.


I was a smart kid, but lacked academic motivation until I turned 14. From then on, I excelled at school, consistently ranking at the top until I graduated from high school. Despite external pressure to pursue a career in accounting or IT, I aimed higher and went for industrial engineering at Ghent university.

Early career

For university I had to relocate and manage my own finances. Through some luck and hard work, I discovered avenues to earn income through freelance work, a year later I started developing and selling my own software licenses. Managing these responsibilities alongside my engineering studies was a significant sacrifice and challenge - but it was a blessing in disguise.

Exits and shovels

After graduating university I was figuring out what to do next. I managed to broker a small exit for my software business, and joined the crypto hype to build an analytics SaaS with AI/ML. Six months later I realised this business was not within my scope of interests, and found a buyer for the project, marking my 2nd exit.

entrepreneur to intrapreneur

Maybe I should get a job and learn new things? An unique opportunity presented itself at a Fortune 500 tech company, where I was put in charge of refactoring and improving complex scientific software. Helping companies build better software seemed like a great deal!

Covid & Codr

After a productive and rewarding time at Keysight, I was given the chance to move to the US office, but I wanted to change industry. Shortly after, COVID-19 hit and my job search led nowhere. So I started working on personal projects again, in particular an EdTech App to learn and improve coding skills. The app got +2k sign ups and +100k solved challenges, yet I'm still looking for a buyer.


I was offered to lead a spin-off project of a US based HealthTech. Spurwing was a Scheduling API as a Service, aimed at reducing the complexity of implementing custom scheduling solutions. Unfortunately we did not reach a product-market fit after six months.


The lockdown was a blessing in disguise for remote tech talent. Companies like Shell and BP were launching incubators and hiring top engineering talent worldwide. I was selected to join BP ventures program to architect and develop a new SaaS solution.


Around 2021 digital asset exchanges were coming under pressure to comply with banking regulations. This led to an opportunity for a new SWIFT-like business, where I joined as an early stage senior software engineer and rapidly progressed to lead one of the product engineering teams. We went from processing 0 to +$4bn/mo in less than two years, it was a great ride!


Inspired by the market dynamics of digital assets, which went from 0 to +$3tn in about a decade's time, I started researching challenges and solutions for industrial decarbonization. This led to co-founding an NGO where we are proposing an alternative market-based system for abating value chain emissions. Thanks to C3 I have learned a tremendous amount about industries, economics and regulations - connected with industry leaders, attended seminars and conferences.


Ghent University

I went from studying accounting & ICT in high-school straight to a university engineering program, which is quite unorthodox. It took a lot of hard work, effort and perseverance, but I was determined to succeed. I learned a lot of interesting subjects ranging from physics and advanced mathematics to material science and chemistry. I majored in applied computer science, my thesis was on low-level software security. I completed my master's Cum Laude, and received PhD opportunities in CyberSec and AI research, but I passed.


When it comes to technology and computers, I am partly self-taught. I was always ahead of the curve when it came to building software. Academia helped fill the theoretical gaps in my knowledge. And thanks to the internet and platforms such as YouTube and Google anyone can master a skill and make a career out of it. I find learning very important, and all it takes is just a bit of discipline.


I see programming languages as tools: bricks and shovels. They are tools for solving problems, each has their pros and cons. Under the hood they are mere CPU instructions. The art is in knowing which one to use and when, how to maintain, secure, organize & structure code, scale, optimize, orchestrate, debug and cut costs.


I have experienced different development processes, various perspectives and frameworks. There is no silver bullet, ultimately each team operates best by doing what works for them. Each team has its unique dynamics, thus processes should be agile themselves to maximise output and creativity.


Culture can either make or break a company. It's the one secret ingredient that cannot be bought. Creating that special bond among people, that allows them to feel important, safe and valued is the key to success. A happier team can outperform a more talented one.


Learning and growth comes from helping others grow. I've had many opportunities to mentor and help people in their studies, work and life. The best gift you can give is that of attention and knowledge.



Since I could walk I loved sports. At the age of 5 I started Taekwondo, which I loved and strived to be the best at, until I got my black belt at the age of 14. My interests then shifted towards parkour and acro, it was the new cool thing. So until the age of 18 I spent most of my free time running, jumping and learning tricks. These days I occasionally do workouts, go bouldering, hiking and skiing when possible.


I read a lot and have an interesting book collection. My favourite topics are biographies, philosophy, business, psychology and science. I love music and learned to play the piano a little bit, perhaps that's one I should focus on more.


Thank you.