#Zoolatechgirls: Vira Kononova, QA Lead
Vira has been working in Zoolatech for two years already. Today, she is a team leader of QA engineers. Besides, she likes to exchange ideas and thoughts, roller skates together with her daughter on Sundays and adores cooking. Some time ago, she was engaged in advertising.
How did you start working in IT?
By accident. I worked in production company. But the work involved overtime and the shooting process could last 24-48 hours. At one point, I realized that I wanted to have more time for myself. When I left the production business, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Then I met one of my friends and in conversation, he mentioned a person who was offered to work as a QA engineer. I didn’t know anything about such position, but found myself very interested in getting all the possible information about quality assurance and after investigation understood that I could cope with it. I started reading specialized books and enrolled in courses. I felt that sort of work suited me a lot. I was doing well in many things but testing in particular is what I enjoy.
I like the testing process. I find it very fulfilling when detecting an issue, as our team’s work is to get and keep the product on the highest level of quality.
I like being the one who improves any aspect of the project and feel that I do something important and contribute to a common cause.
How many girls are there in your team?
Currently, our team is five QA engineers, three girls including me. We are looking for another professional to join our team and from time to time discuss who it would be. We get more CVs from men. Nevertheless, we are always happy when women apply for any position. Above all, we do select a candidate based on skills only. What we pay our attention to is that people can do their job well. All other details can be solved by reaching an agreement.
What would you advise the girl who wants to work in IT?
Don’t be afraid of anything, don’t worry, and keep on learning and developing your skills. When people think they’ve reached a certain level, they stop moving further.
Never stop growing and believe that everything is possible.
If any of the technologies you use were invented by you, what would they be?
I enjoy working with Charles tool. Not only it allows to significantly speed up the development process, but it is also an extremely useful tool for testing. Besides that, I like a lot the app developers policy — even if you don’t buy a license, you still have access to all product features. The usage time is limited, the program turns off automatically every thirty minutes, but you can restart it immediately. This slows things down a bit, but you can always purchase a fully-fledged product. We do have a license, but this accessibility impresses me.
You’ve recently suggested picking up plastic bottles in the office and recycling them in an environmentally-friendly way. How is your initiative going?
Recent great news is that the business center has decided on installing cans for recycling in addition to the existing bins for separate garbage collection. We will sort the garbage within the office. It all started when I started to collect used plastic bottles into a big bag. One of my colleagues noticed it and decided to join me. Then we found a recycling reception point one block from the office and started taking bottles there. We earn up to seven hryvnias, enough for a can of pepsi. I am happy that my colleagues naturally adopted the idea. I notice they become more friendly to the environment and fabric bags keep replacing the plastic ones.
Who inspired you?
In terms of work, I draw inspiration from our Chief People Officer, Inna. We don’t interact that much, but I feel that she’s taking care of me. Roma, one of the co-Founders, also inspires me. He’s very sincere. I like the way he thinks and lives, as well as his willingness to talk and hear people out. Also I have a friend Aleksandr in the company. He’s always there to help.
As for my personal life, I gain much inspiration from my daughter Nadia. She’s eight. Sometimes I watch her sitting on the couch, swinging her leg and eating something, and I think: wow, she’s so beautiful. This is pure love. My parents and two elder sisters inspire and support me a lot.
When do you inspire yourself?
When I manage to resolve an issue nobody could resolve before. I feel very content when I find a simple answer to a difficult question. I like to participate in meetings and exchange thoughts with colleagues. I am always happy if my suggestions are useful and worth implementation.
What are the three best ways to destress?
I look after my health and try not to stress too much. (Laughing) For instance, I’m running every morning to relax and abstract from everything. After running I have my head clear from any thoughts. I also like to roller-blade. My daughter has finally learned how to roller-skate and we go to the rollerskating rink together every Sunday. Among other things, I like to spend time alone or writing poems. Today, I write lyrics more than poems and give away them to bands I know. I really enjoy doing that.
I think when you’re looking for a way to unwind, you should do what you love rather than what you need, as if you don’t feel that you are doing anything at all. Everybody relaxes differently, but what’s equally important for all of us is to get a lot of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine and feel as happy as possible. Everyone should find an activity they would enjoy. For myself, I also love doing laundry and cooking, I can cook for a party of 30 people.