Yuri Niyazov

VP of Engineering @ Academia.edu
United States of America 5.0 (4 reviews) Active this week Usually responds in a day or two


$100 / month

The most popular way to get mentored, let's work towards your goals!

4 calls per month (30min/call)

Unlimited Q&A via chat

Expect responses in 3-4 days

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Hi everyone. My name is Yuri, and I am currently the Vice President of Engineering at Academia.edu. I've been with the company for almost 10 years now. I joined as a regular Software Engineer back in 2013, and have since then done almost every job there is to do in Engineering: I was a Full-Stack Product engineer, an SRE, the SRE team lead, the Director of Infrastructure and a Senior Director of Engineering. My previous boss, the founding CTO of Academia.edu, retired in 2021, and I was promoted to VP.

I have been mentoring for over a decade at this point, both within my organization and externally. About 18 months ago I decided to formalize my external mentoring activities, develop a web presence and start charging modest fees.

At this point I have had a 25-year career. Here’s a sample of the very wide variety things that I’ve done before ending up at my current employer and becoming successful:

- I was an independent software vendor during the late 1990s
- I worked at a big financial firm (Goldman Sachs) during the early-mid 2000’s.
- I co-founded a startup and we were accepted into YCombinator in 2008. We didn’t attend and instead disbanded.
- I was fired from a fairly well-known tech company in 2009.
- I ran a small software consultancy between 2009 and 2015.

I've seen enough to be a good mentor, and I have a lot of experiences to share.

Here's a testimonial from one of my previous mentees from another platform:
"I've had the privilege of being mentored by Yuri over the past year as I've gone through a career transition from a technical lead role to an engineering director in a startup. I have been able to go to Yuri for advice on many broad topics such as roadmap planning, team management, communication, hiring and more. Yuri is able to curate his guidance in a way that is actionable, within the context and resources I have, which has directly and positively impacted my growth into my new role. I look forward to our continued conversations!

- Stephen Dresselhaus-Marais"

What you can expect from me during our mentoring relationship:

- actionable advice

- reading recommendations

- data-driven approaches

- homework

What I don't do: endless navel-gazing.

On the personal side of things: I am originally from the ex-Soviet Union, from Tashkent, Uzbekistan. I came to the United States in 1993, when I was 12, with my folks. We moved to New York City, which is where I went to high school (Stuyvesant), college (NYU), and had my first few jobs. I moved to the SF Bay Area in 2010. I lived in Berkeley for a long time, and in 2021 I bought a house in Concord, CA, where I live with my wife and two kids, ages 7 and 5.

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What mentees say



5 out of 5 stars

Standard Plan · 
6 months

Over the past 6+ months Yuri has helped me transition from a solo dev to the CTO of a small start-up.Yuri has the rare combination of connecting the technical aspects with the business's needs and the stakeholders' psychological needs. Beyond just getting the code written, Yuri is good at getting higher-level results.What Yuri is also great at is listening and understanding what my situation is, and then using his experience to pattern match of what distinctions I need to make that I'm not making to overcome the situation.And whenever I am stuck with a technical architecture question, Yuri is great at asking the right questions and then simplifying down whatever design I started with into something better.Super versatile.



5 out of 5 stars

Standard Plan · 
3 months

I highly recommend Yuri as a mentor for anyone who seeking guidance in setting and achieving their goals while maintaining a structured schedule. Yuri has been instrumental in assisting me with defining clear objectives and developing actionable plans to reach them. Yuri not only provides valuable insights and advice but also ensures accountability by regularly checking in to monitor progress and offer support. With Yuri guidance, I have been able to stay focused, motivated, and on track to accomplish my goals. Yuri dedication to my success and willingness to provide guidance and encouragement make Yuri an invaluable mentor.



5 out of 5 stars

Standard Plan · 
2 months

Yuri is the best engineering mentor you could have. That sums up my experience. When I first had my session with him, I was truly lost in my 3-year-old engineering career. The very first day was an eye-opener, and the next few sessions enabled me to throttle forward toward purpose and clarity. I would like to thank Yuri for being authentic, to the point and having an insatiable flair to help those seeking help.

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