“This course has a positive impact on my career.” Interview with a graduate of a pilot group of Technology Nation

brainbasketIn December 2015 BrainBasket Foundation has launched the pilot groups of Technology Nation project. Members of these groups have finished the education and have had the opportunity to use their knowledge in practice. We spoke with Svitlana, a graduate of one of the pilot groups of the project.

– What motivated you to go on the course «Technology Nation» on the basics of programming?

– I thought that it was the knowledge that will open the door to the world of IT and will provide an opportunity to find a job in the IT-company. Let’s just say it was such an inspiration, that is, to try myself in the industry, because I worked all my life in the technical sector – in Kyivstar, Beeline, Astelit. But IT is constantly growing, evolving, more and more business is going online. And I want to be in trend.

– What education do you have?

– Aeronautical University. Engineering education. Automation and computer-integrated technologies. This is an automated aircraft production. After university, I had a choice on which company to go to the practice – or on aircraft factory Antonov or Artem factory. At the same time I was offered a job in the “Kyivstar”. I chose “Kyivstar”, because it was a very dynamic and interesting. Actually my telecom career has started.

– Where have you worked ?

– In the technical department of the “Beeline” company and the Department of mobile network of Astelit. It was the port business. We engaged in budget planning, radio network planning, to build relationships with contractors, suppliers, led telecom projects providing telecom equipment of our sites, which are planned to expand the next fiscal year. It’s like a mix of the technical and financial parts.

– And now, where do you work?

– My current position is called a Business Development Manager for a company that produces software for backup and replication of virtual machines. (Backup-as-a-Service, Replication-as-a-Service, and Disaster Recovery-as-a-Service) or on a network repository locally (in the office), or off-site (office), or “in cloud” (ie , Amazon, Azure, IBM and other clouds, provided, for example, local providers). Backup virtual infrastructure data market. And in this market actually are my employers.

– What is the name of company?

– «Nakivo».

– What was the most interesting in the Technology Nation program?

– The fact that I have something began to turn out. Although it was difficult to understand how it works: GitHub, all these repositories, what it is and why it arranged this way? It was very interesting how material is presented in the online lectures Professor Mallan. I think the biggest his merit, is that he’ teaching so clearly, even for those who are not a native English speakers. The great advantage is that he speaks very clearly. Therefore, it is not difficult to understand 95-97% of the stated information.

– What are the challenges you’ve faced in the process of study within the program?

– I felt a lack of knowledge and experience in programming.

– Do you have time to fulfill the whole course?

– We have had students who during the day had a lot of free time. But there were those who worked full-time. Of course, the master the program is much more difficult in this mode. Moreover, in the absence of experience, of course, you need a lot of self-education. Besides the fact that at least 10-12 hours a week are used on the passage of the online material, we still find the time to read all the articles that are recommended in the CS50 group within Facebook. Therefore, for those who are loaded with work, it’s hard to learn all the material.

– What would you advise in this situation, when people simply can not keep up the program?

– Maybe we should start over again. Or, find at least one person who would have mastered the program at the same pace. For example, I am now going at a slower pace and explore the program from the beginning of my own. I can already see that programming as such, I most likely will not do, because I’m more interested in data analysis now.

– What was the most helpful in this program for you?

– Firstly, I had to upgrade the laptop. After the first class, I realized that we needed a laptop with good performance to perform homework accurately and efficiently. It’s like my recommendation. And yet, when my employer found out that I’m going through this course, he was very impressed. He started to ask about this course in detail. Since the company has been working in the area of backup of the virtual environment, I certainly do not have much experience with this, but some small part had been done, by me thanks to the knowledge obtained in the course of this program. This has added advantages in the interview. If I haven’t learned the course, I do not know if I would get the job. Because I develop and sell a product to Asia and Oceania market. It includes Australia, Japan, Korea, Singapore, New Zealand and several other countries. The product is technologically very complex. And without some technical background it is difficult to promote and sell. Well, I have had experience of these courses. This has given me the points and help the employer to make a choice in my favor.

– In your opinion, what stops people from coming to IT? Although this topic is now popular, many somehow more cautious approach to it.

– In my opinion, here plays a role stereotypes of thinking. That IT-pros should always be a graduate of KPI or Cybernetics faculty of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv, he is 23, has worked in five companies and other like this. And if you do not fit with this framework, it is not even dare to dream. It is also possible that those who want to go in  IT, no one who surrounded them could help them. If in Kyiv is still possible to do something about it at all, it’s difficult to do it in small towns. Furthermore, someone stop the first  failures. For example, do not get the homework. I was also nearly stopped. I was very upset. But still I was trying to come to the classes and learn the material. What more can stop people, is that they think,  that in the IT-companies  only coders are needed.

In fact, a lot of different specialists – marketing, testing, sales, market analysis in our company. And everyone here can find himself. Only need to look. And if people will have more information about it, they would be better guided in finding exactly their specialty and their role in the company. Personally, I like to analyze the data and want to develop in this direction. Someone might see what he could doing data visualization. Someone has good sales skills. And he can successfully present these skills. Unfortunately, we have not so much information as we wanted. Many people think that IT – it is necessarily a programmer, and if you are not a programmer, you should not try.

– Learning lessons online and  with the mentor by blended learning system, is that a plus or a minus?

– Definitely it’s a plus in the fact that when there is a group, you are still more are guided at any time. You’re going to have time to do their homework. This disciplines yourself. If we talk about the disadvantages, it can only be that not everyone fits a certain time after work. More may be that the American approach to education is different from ours. That is, you have to train yourself and come to class with ready-made answer. It is necessary to readjust.

– What are your the future plans? Will you educate on any additional courses?

– Yes, definitely I will continue to learn. Now I’m just choosing the right course. Will look more on design, data analysis and some other courses. As long as I continue work it’s every-day learning.

– What advice would you give those who want to get re-orientated in IT?

– The first and most important advice – do it. That is, if you want, you need to carry it out. This I know. So I got in my study group by chance. I use LinkedIn as one of the working tools. I am very active there. There was the information about the Technology nation, I sent the application. I can say that this step has a positive impact on my career. I received a notice that out of 600 candidates, I enrolled in this study group. As a result, I changed job and what I’m doing now, I really like. Therefore, use every opportunity that you are given, do not give up, try to find motivation. For someone, it is the salary for someone self-realization, self-development. The main thing – to put a goal and figure out what you need to achieve. Then everything will turn out.


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