Starting 6 years ago as a Tester in a Mobile Project in Moldova, Olga is now the Head of Testing in Bogotá. Besides being a passionate professional leading a growing team in Colombia and a fiery Salsa dancer, Olga is an active supporter of the Testing Discipline, aiming to replicate in Bogotá the success of other Endava locations around the world. Let’s meet and get to know her.
How did you start in Endava?
I started at Endava thinking I will learn Automation and will be happily working somewhere in a corner. Gradually the complexity of the responsibilities I took over increased. As soon as I realised that my area of interest focuses on optimisation, I joined the Agile Champions Group (drivers for best practices implementations), performing training sessions and helping improve the delivery in the projects I was part of.
Over a year ago I was offered the fascinating opportunity of becoming part of a team that would set-up the first Delivery Unit of Endava on the Latin America market. This major challenge in my career took me to the next level. I have never led a discipline before and I was not even aware of what I didn´t know. I turned one of Endava’s core Principles into my mantra – Leading by Example. Through replicating what I learned from the team I was part of at home in Chisinau, I was able to make the first steps towards setting up and developing the Testing Discipline in Colombia.
What do you think makes Endava the right place for you?
What makes Endava special for me is the organisational culture, which empowers people to do more than they think they are able to, combined with a great work atmosphere that relies on mutual support. Over the years, I realised that being part of a strong and empowered team who are enjoying their work can change your habits, strengthen your confidence and motivate you to aim for bigger challenges.
My latest challenge in Bogotá consists in being part of my team’s development. During my first half year in this new role I received a lot of help both from Chisinau’s Head of Testing and the Group Head of Testing. They helped me with advice on setting up practices and training sessions and offered me valuable interview tips. This ensured the fastest way to learn and adapt to the new, exciting environment.
How would your colleagues describe you in a sentence?
Supportive, open to share knowledge at any given moment and constantly challenging the ones I am coaching.
Leaving work aside, what do you enjoy doing?
My grandmother used to say I started to dance before I started to speak. I discovered my passion for dancing when I was only 6. As any sport, it helps release the accumulated stress and recharges my batteries. But from my perspective, there is much more to this. As coordination and the ability to learn increased with every new dancing style I learned, at some point I realised I started catching up much easier on anything else I was interested in. The artistic part of it helps me grow the ability to express myself and boosts my confidence. The social part of it strengthens the ability to connect with people, empowers me to show openness and to inspire trust.
When I arrived in Colombia I was not yet part of any Salsa school. Going through this experience made me soon realise how important dancing is for me. Nowadays I am part of a Salsa Casino School in Bogotá, where I practice Casino – a Cuban version of salsa. I also attend local competitions and I am glad to be one of the first members of the Salsa Casino Group in our office in Bogotá.
What would be your advice if you were starting work at Endava today?
Don't be afraid to dream. We tend to limit ourselves by saying ‘I can't do it; I am not good enough for that’. Set up unreachable career goals, don't be afraid to say them out loud and to strive towards them - you will be surprised how much support and opportunities will arise if you stop being afraid of failure. Even if you fail - fail fast, learn from it, and adjust the road to your goal - but never give up.