4 steps from an economist to a custom development manager, or IT as a way to deal with boredom

My name is Lena, and my parents dreamed that I would become a great doctor, but it so happened that, having an economic education, for 4 years I have been working as the manager of the production of unique IT solutions. If you are interested in career stories (and also on the relevance of education, where to start and how interesting work can be in different areas of IT), then welcome under cat!

My career began in the distant Republic of Komi, where I returned after studying for an economist at the Polytechnic. I was engaged in the analysis of energy-saving bills at the Institute of Socio-Economic and Energy Problems of the North Komi Scientific Center of the Ural Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences: we proposed options for improving the law, wrote scientific articles, made presentations at conferences, and nothing changed after that. I became bored, and, realizing that the practical benefits of this already not the most exciting activity were approaching 0, I began to search for a new job.

So I got to one of the lowest levels in the largest IT company of Komi, “Information Technology Center”. I was involved in the compilation of ChTZ for automating business processes, analyzing legal acts and laws – in short, those tasks that can get boring very quickly. In order to add a little variety to my work, the management allowed me to test solutions created by my CTZ, educate users and communicate with functional customers. Then official letters, approvals, implementations were added, and over time I became the project manager.

We were engaged in the development of one of the most complex products aimed at automating the activities of municipal and state bodies and improving interaction with the population of the republic in need of state and municipal services. The work of the leader included the coordination of the project, meetings at all levels, solving issues with users, maintenance, product development. Over time, I had a proposal to transfer the development of solutions from a contract to the structure of the company. After we successfully hired personnel to a new team, I became the development manager. We were engaged in collecting requirements, rendering, compiling TK / ChTZ. When you build a continuous work process (development – optimization – solution implementation), the work becomes more productive: blaming another company is no longer possible, priorities change quickly, and everyone works to the maximum. Therefore, it took me a lot of time to work with staff and a set of interns. Now I knew how the product was created and what was needed for a successful solution, but I wanted to look for new ways of development.

Now I chose the company on the basis of how interesting and difficult it would be to work with the tasks: I was interested in dealing with the financial side of the project, forecasting labor costs and calculating actual data. Previously, I did not come across private customers, so this side of the project was unknown to me. So I got to several stages of the interview in Digital Design as the Head of the development department, where I was offered, among other things, these responsibilities. In a word, the stars agreed, the ticket to St. Petersburg was bought, the employees liked it, as well as the attitude to work. I realized that here people put their hearts into their work, are ready to take responsibility, look for innovative approaches and develop, which I also wanted! Well, yes, and, of course, the conditions)

It turned out that I got into a parallel universe, because all the processes are arranged differently, but the main difference is the work with an incomplete development cycle. I have a job site, and I do not manage fronts and testers. Everything is divided into sections: the scale of projects, technologies, processes, automation of internal activities, approach to projects. I got a job with a commercial component and in this regard I am engaged in analytics of the whole cycle: I forecast, monitor the plan fact and take into account experience for future projects. It’s cool to work with a large number of customers, participate in meetings, understand the needs and help solve business problems, while remaining in a family atmosphere of mutual assistance and joint development.

Project activity, of course, is very different from grocery, because the work here is less stable and predicted in intensity and load. A leader is first of all a person who thinks about loading people, where to find good specialists, how to form a “backbone” of a team, reduce the turnover, how many employees need to be outsourced and how many. Of course, in St. Petersburg there is a lot of competition for personnel in the IT field, and among employers the pain of parting with specialists is always present, but we try to provide opportunities for specialists to develop: you can attend courses and meetings, share cases, and provide quality training. Now, often even specialists who have left the company stay in touch with us, and we exchange experience.

In fact, the head of the line is the manager of the business line, where you are responsible for people, projects, the revenue that the company must bring and must effectively forecast the plan fact. It takes a lot of time to work out the financial component, work with the commercial management, which is engaged in promoting custom development and ensuring the work of our unit. Of course, a separate part of the work is the solution of problems that arose during the project.

In general, if someone wants to broaden their horizons or permanently get rid of existential longing, I can advise custom development as an area of ​​activity. We always use different technologies for maximum customization (from Java to .net) for different custom projects, we work with companies from completely different fields and with different cultures, requirements, etc., and we ourselves are versatile specialists and love to share experiences!

I came to the IT sphere by accident, but I can say that it’s nice to work where you create a product that is in demand, improving the customer’s life and making it more convenient, you can immerse yourself in different topics and arrange your project work in your own way. We do high-quality custom development, which relieves pain from the customer and simplifies the life of users. Of course, I am not a doctor, but, as you can see, in IT I try to fulfill the role of Aibolit =)

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