Ilya Shabanov

I was born in a country that doesn’t exist anymore, the soviet union. Moved to Germany as a child and grew up mostly in Berlin. With a family scattered over 10 timezones, my lack of a home country has made me a nomad hungry for freedom and a sense of home.

My travels force me to do most of my work remotely, unless I am around wherever my clients are located. Preferably I  work with project budgets, rather than hourly rates, since this is more transparent for both of us.

Here is an obligatory CV of the last 15 years or so of my life.

since 2022
Aiming at starting a PhD in molecular and computational biology. While I was accepted in several universities across the US, the consulate couldn’t issue a visa in time and the plans are postponed by a year.

2021 – 2022
Worked with Dr. Ross Buchan at the University of Arizona to develop HARLEY a machine learning application. In June 2022 we published the results in a paper in Nature Scientific Reports.

since 2015
Freelance Web Development, Brand Design and artwork. Increasing focus on ReactJS development. 

2015 – 2016
Sabbatical and Yoga Teacher Training

2010 – 2015
CTO and Co-founder of NeuroNation, a brain training app and website, currently having more than 10 million users.

2006 – 2010
Teaching „Fundamentals of Computer Science“, „Fundamentals of Operating Systems“, „Computer Security“, „C for Beginners“, „Webservices“ to under-grads at the Technical University of Berlin.

2004 – 2010
Diploma (MSc equivalent) in computer science at the Technical University of Berlin. Major in machine learning. Graduated with distinction („cum laude“).

2001 – 2007
Freelancer at multimedia agencies Scim and Primy. Programming of websites, games and back-end in Java and Adobe Flash.

Creativity

/ˌkriːeɪˈtɪvəti/
the use of the imagination or original ideas, in the production of an artistic work.
Creativity

The creative force is the fuel in any process that seeks to beget something entirely new in this world. In my work I strive to culture aspects of creativity through original designs, original technical solutions and original approaches to building a customer relationship. Sometimes the question I ask you will baffle you and hopefully the answers we find will surprise you even more.   

Empathy

/ˈempəTHē/
the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.
Empathy

The most intangible aspect of my work is to understand my clients. Over the time I had many different clients, from a Car Mechanic in rural Texas, to freelancers in the creative field of Berlin, to high-tech companies and also big real estate agencies.

There is one aspect of these clients that binds brings it all together: All of them are humans!

Buiding a connection and a trust relationship is the first step, (pro-tip: Works well with romantic partnerships too!). This is also one of the most rewarding aspects of it, getting to know you. Because it is this ability that allows the best result, or how can you gift a person, without knowing them a little bit?

Curiosity

/ˌkjʊəriˈɒsəti/
A strong desire to know or learn something
Curiosity

Every client is different. Growing up in a 12 sqm apartment in post-soviet russia of the 90’s I knew little of real estate business, nor did I know anything about cars before a road trip let me stranded with a non-moving car on a Texas Junkyard in bitter cold winter for almost 2 weeks. Curiosity is what allows me to figure out what it is about your business that needs to be done, combined with the experience of years as the CTO of a brain training company, I see myself as someone who wants to study the big picture of your business, not just some technical or aesthetic aspect of your website. I won’t be snobbish about it though, just coding is kind of my thing too.

Diligence

/ˈdɪlɪdʒ(ə)ns/
careful and persistent work or effort.
Diligence

Technical skills require careful execution. If there is one thing I was imbued with by my upbringing is to always do the best possible work, or sometimes to the detriment of character, try to be the best. Diligence to me also means meeting deadlines, be available and approachable. Diligence is the sharpened knife to a chef’s kitchen.

Experience

/ɪkˈspɪəriəns/
the knowledge or skill acquired by action over a period of time, especially that gained in a particular profession by someone at work.
Experience

I have been working with Wordpress for many years now and with computers so much longer - Yada yada yada,  you will find this “X years in the field” pitch on every other developer website. I can tell you that I have been coding for a solid 20 years of my life, check out the portfolio or testimonials if you are interested in getting to know my technical background.

Experience to me means to an even higher degree finding answers to unanswered questions, to communicate with you and to understand your situation. Real understanding sparks excitement and triggers interdisciplinary connections on getting things done for your particular situation, a technical website is rather a means to an end for me. More than anything this is what I find pride in, to find a complete solution for you, rather than just being the provider of excellent Wordpress templates.

Magic

/ˈmædʒɪk/
the use of special powers to make things happen that would usually be impossible
Magic

Yes no technical exposition is complete without a sense of magic: A sense of making the impossible happen. More so magic is the transition from a vague idea to a tangible reality. When we speak for the first time it is this idea that you present and when we raise a toast to the completion of the project, it is the tangible reality you go out with. With magic I understand finding means to make your dream a reality, it encompasses a sense of completion. That is why I focus on making design, development and consulting, to be able to give a one-stop solution to the success of your endeavour.    

Expertise Quantified

My first lines of code I wrote as a 10 year old on our family’s almost antique computer. It was a BAT script that could start my favourite games at that time, like Commander Keen 4 or Prince of Persia. Then later as a teenager I started learning Java at 15 or so and by the age of 17 had my first paid job developing Macromedia Flash games. So overall I have about 20 years of coding experience and am natively fluent in talking to computers.

Even though I don’t fully believe in this metric, it is a common requirement for clients. A year can be so short or so long depending on one’s dedication and motivation. Here though you will find my experience quantified.

React JS (3+ years)

since 2019. My first big project was a Backend UI for an industrial router.

WordPress Themes & Plugins (7+ years)

since 2015. You can see a list of most recent projects in my portfolio.

Javascript/Typescript (14+ years)

since 2008. While these days I almost exclusively use Typescript, before 2015 I did most of my work in Actionscript.

Python (1+ years)

Recently I started using Python for machine learning applications. HARLEY is my only notable, but long (> 9months) project with it.

Design(6+ years)

since 2016. Most of my work is development, but every year I do at least a few design projects as well. Preferrably I work with Sketch, but know my way around Illustrator as well.

Frameworks

It is somewhat futile to keep this section up to date in todays fast moving world. But here are some keywords, if you are looking for something specific:
React, Gatsby, AnimeJS, Greensocks, Recoil, Scrollmagic, Foundation, Sass, Gulp, Webpack, Git, WordPress CLI, Axios, WPack.io