What I love the most about sailing is when you go out and put up the sails, switch off the engine, and you can feel that magical moment. The beauty of sailing for me is catching that moment and sharing it with friends and family.

My name is Alex Mogoryan. At the moment, I’m working as a Junior Developer at Deloitte in their Tax IT department – I’m very happy to be there. I chose this job to do what I love: solving problems with creative solutions and being engaged in day-by-day tasks. Back in 1997, when I got my hands on a personal computer for the first time, I was fascinated and wondered how everything worked, so I started deleting files from system directory so it could be a little cleaner – of course, the next day, a technician came by to fix it. Seems that my curiosity never fades.

I’m currently living in Lisbon, Portugal, which is a wonderful place to be, My roots are in Siberia – I lived in a little town called Nizhnevartovsk, where the temperature there goes below 40° Celsius, but it’s not as cold as you can imagine. I left that place in 1999 because I refused to participate in the Chechénia war. I then spent 3 years in former Soviet Union countries. One day, a cousin of mine convinced me to come to Portugal and I’m glad he did.

Outside of work, one of many passions is sailing. Being born in Siberia, I never thought I would sail (the funny part is that people think I learned sailing in Siberia). One day, I will have my own boat to travel the world.

I first became interested in sailing when I tried to become a steward on a cruise ship – after two months of hard work, this did not make me happy, so I came back to Lisbon and got the job as a sailor. After a few months, I became the skipper, which was the time when I fell in love with the freedom of sailing.

I used to say that I’m a little spoiled because my first boat was 50 feet long. Besides the comfort of the area and the ease of manoeuvring, that was an amazing boat, even to go alone without another soul aboard – despite the size, I could dock it myself. But I don’t mind any boat bigger than 50 feet!

I worked as a Boat Skipper for a company called Lisbon by Sea. Back when I was working as a Segway tour guide, we were neighbours in the business location, so I become friends with the owners of Lisbon by Sea. After I was back from the cruise ships, I contacted them to ask if they were interested in having my skills aboard; I then took my local yacht-man license. Pedro passed me the knowledge of sailing, Monica was a great role model for giving tours, and Paulo gave me great support as skipper – that was the moment when I got to be a part of the team.

We were going out every day for three to five times a day; little trips were lasting for 2 hours. These trips gave me and my colleagues the experience of manoeuvring the boat for all kinds of situations. When we saw somebody struggling in the dock manoeuvring the boat, we understood the importance of going in and out many, many times. Every time we go out, we will get a new, different experience, so all of my favourite experiences consist of the many trips, many conversations with new people from all over the world, and the amazing sunsets in Lisbon.

My future goal with sailing is to visit my friend’s home in Azores Island – there, you would have a great engagement with the sea life, like dolphins and whales. You also know the expression that sailors use: “what’s better than buying a boat is having a friend who has a boat”. Well, I would not mind owning a 50-foot boat!

My experiences with sailing have been a benefit to my technological career. At work, we communicate a lot when programming; in sailing, we have to communicate as well in order to achieve the final result. Once in a storm, we had to dock the boat when there were 30 knots of wind and over 40 knots of wind gusts. I assumed the sailor that was helping me knew how to act in this situation – my mistake, as we failed the docking due to strong gusts and had to go out and regroup. The second time, it went very well. We must not forget that we program machines, but work with humans.

My advice to anyone interested in sailing is that you can go to a sailing school and learn techniques that will give you a big picture, and then apply them in practice. But what school is not teaching you is unpredictable situations, but everything will come with practice. So if you get a boat, I would suggest you find a sea wolf (an experienced sailor), buy him a beer, and ask him to teach you and give you some lessons. Believe me, that would be time and money well spent!

There is always more than tech – by sharing our passions, we can see the humanity in everything. In our team at work, we have people who love soccer and even go and play for competitions, as well as a guy who comes earlier so he can visit his yoga class every day. Sharing makes people discover that we can experience so many things, as distant or as close to tech. All is important – what we share is love and passion for what we do.

To look up more about Lisbon by Boat, be sure to check the following link: https://www.lisbonbyboat.com/. The owners are also offering a 10% discount promo if you purchase a ticket online using the code #AlexMogoryan. Don’t miss out!

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