PickTrace is proud to be a team of diverse backgrounds, skill sets, and interests. Each week we highlight members of our team to learn about what makes them, and PickTrace, unique.

Get to know Staff Software Engineer, Vlad Mokshin!

  • Grew Up In: A small Russian city called Togliatti
  • Currently Lives In: Santa Monica, CA
  • Star Sign: Aquarius
  • Favorite Color: Vivid Blue
  • Favorite Animal: Dogs- especially big dogs
  • Mountains or Oceans: Mountains
  • Sweet or savory snacks: Neither, I prefer salty, like pickles
When you were a child, what was your favorite activity?
  • When I was very young I lived in a very small village in Eastern Russia, so my only activity was exploring outside. We would catch fish in the river using just our hands or stones. It was difficult but possible. The river was so clean that we could drink from it.
  • My parents were dairy farmers – we had two cows, a black one and a white one. The white cow was called chamomile – she was the most beautiful cow in the village. She was very cute but also the most lazy. She never wanted to go to the field she preferred to sleep.
You didn’t start your professional career as an engineer – what are some other interesting jobs you’ve had?
  • My very first job was as a cleaner / garbage collector – I did this for several months before I switched to being a secretary and then a realtor
  • I worked as a realtor for 5 years, but I never liked it. I enjoyed web design as a hobby and would re-make the agency website every year as new technology came out. Ironically, when I moved to St. Petersburg for my first engineering job, I was scammed by bad realtors who took my money and never called me back.
  • I started learning IT when I was in university. I joined a club for people who liked Tolkien novels and I made a website for them as my first web design ‘job’
You’ve been with PickTrace for four years, what’s a favorite memory from your time here?
  • Many – it’s difficult to choose – one of the biggest is getting dinner in Glendale with my coworker and family
  • After being in Monterey just recently, (PickTrace founder) Harrison showed us Big Sur national park and it was stunning. I’m so grateful to him for organizing that trip. It was one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever seen in my life. The city of Monterey is also very beautiful
  • Touching snow in California – it was a wonderful feeling. Being by the snow makes me more confident. I can’t imagine my life without snow at all
What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?
  • My hobby is learning how to create computer games. I’m learning unreal engine technology – like how to make 3D. Recently I earned how to make water’s surface in games and it’s exciting to see it
  • This year I am learning without making and next year I’ll start making games. I’ve been dreaming about making a good RPG. 
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received – or do you have a mantra you live by?
  • My life creed is ‘if you don’t know what to do, just do something’  Don’t wait or try to overthink because when you overthink it kills your ability to do anything. Sometimes you just need to do it – even if you do it wrong.
If you were a fruit or vegetable what would you be and why?
  • Tomato- Just a big red tomato. For no reason other than that I just like tomatoes. I think they’re very complicated because people consider them both a vegetable and a fruit. They are pretty healthy and tasty and also I just can’t imagine my life without tomatoes.
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