Just like in one big family, you have the youngsters who are still finding their way around, and the elders, keepers of family history and wisdom, protectors of tradition. Could we say that about Symphony Solutions? Absolutely! Some Symphonians are just now jumping on board, while others have stuck with the company since the early years and watched it grow and evolve into something new and exciting. We have talked to one of our “elders” Oksana Yaroshko, the Service delivery manager for the OMP project, and asked her to reveal to us the insights that she has gained in almost a decade with the company. 1. Oksana, you work at Symphony Solutions for 9 years already. What surprised you the most about your journey so far? People. I’m lucky to be surrounded by the best inspirers, teachers and friends. At the same time, I’m always impressed with how my colleagues grow, open up and find their own way in this journey. 2. Do you still remember your first day? Of course, I do! In the streets, it was one of the coldest winter days, but in the office, it was certainly one of the warmest! I remember how Oleksandr, our team lead at that time, introduced me to the team and showed me my working place – the best one in the office, as it seemed to me 🙂 3. When did you first decide that you wanted to be a developer? Was it a lightbulb moment? Back at university, I never considered becoming a developer. But when almost all my course mates jumped into the IT world, I decided that it’s time for me to try as well. By coincidence, at that time Symphony recruiter “found” me, and from that moment on I never doubted that I belong here. 4. You have started your career at the company as a software developer and now you’re leading the whole team as Service Delivery Manager. Was it something you intended from the beginning? What did you learn through that path? No, I didn’t have a plan to become a manager. I always liked the developer’s job, solving architectural riddles, building elegant solutions. At the same time, I was curious and quite courageous to gradually take over some more responsibilities, to help my team until a point when I felt personal responsibility for protecting my team and ensuring favorable environment for them. One of the things which I’ve learned is to be true to myself and people around me. 5. After being with Symphony Solutions for so long, can you tell how the company has changed since you joined? First of all, it expanded a lot – from only 50 people to the current size. The company became stronger, recognizable, more dynamic and modern. 6. What’s your favorite part of the job? What do you enjoy about your job as a developer the most? Favorite is the everyday-morning part. Saying “Hi” to everyone, sharing smiles, planning the day. Jokes apart, as a developer, I love the creation part. When your n lines of code (just letters and numbers, right?) create the magic of making a new feature work. 7. You’re a developer and team leader, which is a heap of responsibilities. What are your biggest motivators at work? As you might guess, it’s my team. Seeing people laughing, feeling that they are motivated and happy. It’s also reaching some common goals as the team and OMP company when our commitments work out and we see the result of our work. 8. We also know that you’re teaching at the Ivan Franko National University of Lviv. Do you share any of your work experiences with your students? What is their response? When I was a student myself, I always liked when our teachers, IT gurus, were sharing their experience, their not-written-live-knowledge. I try to bring the same to my students. However, as these are just first-year students, I think that scares them more than inspires. 9. After almost an entire decade with the company, you probably have so many stories to tell. What are some of your fondest Symphony Solutions memories of the past 9 years? At OMP project we have the luxury to go on business trips to Belgium. But what happened in Belgium stays in Belgium 🙂 10. To you, what are Symphony’s most meaningful traditions? Which one is your favorite? Do you have any special traditions in your team? I think, my most favorite tradition at Symphony is the Christmas party. This is a very special event, very bright and memorable. As for our team, we have a nice tradition of celebrating the birthdays, when the team prepares a present and the culprit of the holiday brings a cake (well, the cake part was in before-quarantine era). This is always fun, but sometimes not easy when there are 5 birthdays (and thus 5 cakes) in a row 🙂 11. What does your team mean to you? Would you agree with a saying that your team is like your second family? I think it’s not second – it is an extension to my family because my parents hear me talking so much about my team, that those 30 folks can take ‘Yaroshko’ as their second surname. Seriously, the team means a lot to me. They are my smile and my headache, my main motivation and pride. 12. “Find people who share your values, and you’ll conquer the world together,” said John Ratzenberger. What values are important to you in Symphony? (How do you experience those values here?) In my opinion, the key value is trust. When people can rely on each other, help and support each other. When they can share the feedback in an open and respectful way, find the way to grow and overcome difficulties. 13. Finding a balance helps you keep going and take on everyday challenges. How do you keep a work-life balance? I’m afraid, I’m not the one to provide a recipe for balance. It’s important to leave work at work and find time to focus on your family, friends and yourself. Luckily, I live close to the forest, so walking in the fresh air is one of the simplest things I can do to recharge my batteries. 14. Let’s talk inspiration! What are some podcasts, books, or movies you swear by? I find inspiration rather in travels – discovering cultures and people. But there is actually a very strong movie Karol. A Man Who Became Pope. It talks about love and hope in desperate times, it reveals some kind of light in the soul. 15. What are your hobbies? Besides teaching at university. I’m fond of the mountains – hiking in the Carpathians is one love. Then, come winter and it’s the skiing season! I like sports – doing and watching. Travels, photography, simple walks in nature with my dog and friends. 16. If you weren’t in IT, who would you become? Maybe, a journalist. Or a cartoon artist. Or a pastry cook. 17. Would you mind sharing with us your life motto or principles? I don’t have a specific motto. I just love life and love people. Want to learn the essence of Symphony Solutions that are Symphonians? Stay tuned and look out for more interviews in the near future! But, for now, get to know our Symphonian Oleg Chekan and read about his insights here.