Employee profiles

Introducing Software Engineer Max Malov

Posted by Pixafy Team


Max Malov joined Pixafy in January of 2012 as a software engineer, bringing with him a wealth of development knowledge. His insights and extensive experience working on Magento development projects and custom WordPress development earned him a Rewards and Recognition honor last August. He’s also our resident photographer! Regular visitors to our site have already encountered his photos of staff members, Pixafy events, our amazing view, and office fun!

We recently chatted with Max about development, Pixafy life, NYC, and more:

Q: Where are you originally from? Do you still have family there? Do you have any siblings? If so, what do they do? Any significant/insignificant others?

I was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia and grew up in Ternopil, a city in the Ukraine with a population of 300k people. But I still dream of visiting Saint Petersburg, the cultural capital of Russia.

Q: How did you get into programming?

When I was in university, I fell in love. One day, I decided to surprise her. We were sending a lot of messages, letters and SMS to each other, so I decided to make a webpage to house all of this information. The solution came very quickly. I read a book about HTML, a few articles about JavaScript, and got started! It was an HTML-page based on tables, using a lot of CSS filters and JavaScript for security purposes, where the password was hard-coded into js-variable. 🙂 It was so much fun, and she liked it! But at that time, I asked myself a question: is the storing of passwords in js-variables really secure?

Later on, my friends in development encouraged me to try web development, too. I installed Apache with PHP and MySQL. Its took me a few days to configure it correctly. I typed echo(“Hello world!”) and refreshed my browser page. That was one of the best moments in my life. And that’s the story of how I started programming.

Q: Any mentors/other people who’ve been particularly instrumental in your direction to date?

Mentors? Yes.
In a previous life, they’re my friends in the Ukraine. And their best recommendation at the time? “Google it.” Thank you!
In today’s life, Pixafy is my mentor. 🙂

Q: What is your favorite language to program in?


Q: What was the toughest programming challenge you’ve faced to date?

Payment systems are always difficult.
Working on Pixafy’s own advanced modules for Magento have been challenging but rewarding, too.

Q: What’s your favorite part about being a software engineer?

One moment, I’m sitting there debugging, and the next, Project Manager Eric comes to me and says, “We need a new module…” It’s exciting because I know I’m about to create something that has never existed before! Or maybe it already exists, but I get to work on creating an even more awesome version. Chances are, the module will be challenging to develop, but the end product will interact with other parts of a system, which is pretty exciting!

Q: How did you discover Pixafy?

In 2011, I worked in a restaurant and freelanced a little bit. I worked 7 days a week, 8-14 hours a day. It was my first year in the USA. Crazy year! I had been to interviews with web development companies and they talked to me for 10-15 minutes and then told me, “Because of your bad English, we can’t give you a job.” One day, I called my friend in the Ukraine and he gave me the phone number of his brother in Connecticut, who gave me the phone number of a recruiter in New York. The recruiter told me, “We have one web developer position for a company but you need to write an 8 hour test…” That was Pixafy! Pixafy looked past my English language knowledge level at the time, and was the first company who tested my programming skills!

Q: What was your first impression of Pixafy?

A team of people who love their job!

Q: What do you hope to accomplish at Pixafy?

The better question is, what do I hope Pixafy can accomplish. We can accomplish a lot if we continue to do what we’re doing. We have a great team and leader.

Q: What’s your favorite part about New York City?

Activity. This city never sleeps. If you are lazy, this world is not for you.
Opportunities. If there’s nothing to do, you can always find something.

This city is very photogenic.

Q: What kind of music do you listen to?

I was into Backstreet Boys and Spice Girls from 6 years old until 10 years old. I was into Prodigy from 10 until 13. I was into Biohazard and Sepultura from 13 to 20. I tried to find what music I really liked from 20 to 25. And now, I just enjoy any music that has soul or personality. Current favorite styles are jazz (Benny Greb, Galactic) and dubstep (Noisia, Black Sun Empire).

Q: Any unusual hobbies that we should know about?

Photography, driving, traveling, motorcycles, drums (last two are more dreams then hobbies).

Q: If you won the proverbial lottery, what would you do with your windfall?

I am 90% sure people lie when answering this question, because there’s a very big difference between imaginary money in your pocket and real money in your pocket. I do not want to lie. Let me win first. 🙂

Q: What’s something that no one at Pixafy knows about you (until now)?

Every minute I spend working for our clients brings us all closer to reaching our goals. I’m going to go with, “There’s no time for secrets at work!” Let’s talk secrets after work in some bar in Bay Ridge with nice jazz after a few drinks. 🙂

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