As a woman with a knack for all things science, Olena Melnyk knows it can be overwhelming to decide on a career in STEM when you’re intrigued by all the different paths you could take. But as a Quality Assurance Engineer at Zwift, she hasn’t had to choose, since there’s always something new for her to dabble in across the five different teams she works with.
“The company is growing, so there are always new tasks and features we’re working on which require certain skill sets,” she shared. And as someone who is evolving along with it, the culture of learning at the company is essential to her career growth.
“It’s very important for me to learn new things,” she recently told us. After all, that’s what attracted her to Zwift. She notes that she “recognized there would be a lot of opportunity for [her] to grow.”
We recently spoke to Melnyk about the projects and programs she’s currently working on and her advice for women in engineering who want to take their career path to the next level. Check out what she had to say below.
How long have you been in your current role, and what were you doing previously?
I started at Zwift about four months ago as a QA Engineer in our ETL program (which stands for extract, transform and load). Prior to that I was working in the gaming industry in QA and automation testing.
How did you first hear about Zwift and what made you want to join?
I came across the job posting for Zwift online and instantly knew that I wanted to be a part of the company. I’m a true fan of the product and saw that the company was expanding. It’s very important for me to learn new things and with Zwift I recognized there would be a lot of opportunity for me to grow.
Outside of work, I’m a runner so the nature of the company also really excited me. I’ve also started getting into biking since starting here.
Describe what you do in one sentence.
I work to improve software quality and user experience by identifying and addressing bugs within the Zwift platform.
What projects or programs are you currently working on? What about this type of work most excites you?
I have a few different projects that I’m currently working on. I work with five different teams right now. One team I’m working with is the eCommerce team where we’re trying to improve user analytics. I also work with our email team on different communications which contain user data around their activities and virtual races.
I really like to see how my input can improve the customer experience. There’s always something new we’re working on. The company is growing so there are always new tasks and features we’re working on which require certain skill sets. It’s very interesting to see how the company is evolving and the new achievements we’re making.
What made you first want to work in the technology industry?
The technology industry is changing rapidly, so you have to learn a lot constantly in order to be successful. It’s very important for me to feel challenged to avoid burning out, so after working a few years in business development, I decided to pursue a career in technology. There is a ton of opportunity to grow your career and explore various career paths.
What is your favorite aspect of the culture at Zwift?
The people at Zwift are very professional, smart and friendly. We have this environment where you can feel free to make suggestions and feedback is encouraged. The culture here is very focused on fitness and support. We have employee wellness rides, yoga classes, race-fee reimbursement and the opportunity to run or bike on a daily basis. I’m actually going to be getting my bike from Zwift next week, which I’m so excited about.
Along with running and biking, what are some of your hobbies outside of work?
I love to travel, whether it’s for a marathon, or just for fun. I also enjoy snowboarding and spending time training my dog.
Who has been the most influential person in your career?
My husband, who also works in IT, has been very influential in my career. He’s been there to help me learn new skills and answer questions I’ve had.
What’s the most memorable piece of career advice you’ve received?
Don’t be afraid to try new things; there’s always an opportunity to learn.
What advice do you have for women in engineering who want to take their career path to the next level?
It can be very overwhelming when you first start a career in tech. You’ll want to identify what area you want to focus on. There are plenty of resources online where you can learn and research about the career path you're interested in. Sit down and think about what excites you and work towards that.
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