Earlier this year an old friend of mine, Ilya Vorobiev who worked in my team at Microsoft a decade ago, reached out to me with an invitation to join the team he works for, Yandex Mail, at Yandex.

Till this day, I’ve never worked for completely Russian companies before, and the idea of joining Yandex was quite intriguing. Sadly, Ilya Segalovich, one of the original founders of the company, died a few years before, and it was clear that the company was going through a major reorganization. To bring some new engineering leadership blood Yandex brought some senior talent from Microsoft’s Bing organization, including Mikhail Parakhin and Andrey Proskurin.

It felt like not only I’d get a chance to experience working with some old talent, but also to get some sort of return to Microsoft, my alma mater, as it was clear that some of the approaches to product development would definitely be brought to Yandex, too.

After some hesitation I’ve agreed to go through the hiring process. Fortunately, my experience of working on Zet Universe with its knowledge graphs and context processing pipelines was a perfect fit for my new role. I had a chance to talk to quite smart folks including two engineering leaders of Yandex.Mail, Denis Kutukov and Dmitry Alexandrov, in addition to my new manager, Alexey Shelkovin and even Andrey Proskurin himself!

Happy to say that this week I’ve joined Yandex. My new role is Senior Product Manager, I’ll be working on new intelligent mail processing platform, and I can’t wait to get started!

Originally published at http://contextresearcher.wordpress.com on July 25, 2017.