After a decade of honing her skills at her previous company, Svetlana Lazareva was craving a new challenge and joined WiseTech as a Senior Software Engineer in 2021.
We spoke to Svetlana about her experiences since joining WiseTech, how our hybrid model helps her achieve balance in her life, particularly as a new parent, and why she's excited to find her place in the data science team and continue building on her knowledge and skills.
You were at your previous company for more than 10 years, why did you decide to join WiseTech?
A colleague I worked with at my last company actually left to join WiseTech about six years ago, and he kept telling me how great the company is and how interesting the work is. For years he was encouraging me to join, but I kept postponing it because I didn’t think I was ready or good enough.
In 2021, I was on maternity leave, and I had started thinking it might be the right time to look for a new job. Then about three months before my maternity leave ended, I got a LinkedIn message from WiseTech’s Talent team about a role, so I applied and got the job.
I can't remember all of my thoughts, but I remember my friend telling me that WiseTech is flexible. Even during the interview process, they told me I could start whenever suited me and they even offered for me to join part-time. But I decided to start full-time straight away because I knew I had the flexibility to work from home and this was really important to me, especially as a first-time parent.
What were your first impressions of WiseTech when you joined?
When I joined, I was happy because I realized I didn’t need experience in everything. If there’s something I don’t know, I can learn it here. They let me learn and they let me grow. I can't even express how important this is. You don't get stressed because you always have people to help you and who make you feel like you belong.
The flexibility is also very important to me. I don't think I would be able to work if it wasn't flexible. I would have to cut back on my work hours because I need to spend time with my son. I can spend time with him before and after he goes to childcare, which is amazing. If I had to commute every day, I don’t know how I would be able to balance everything.
How would you describe the culture at WiseTech?
WiseTech’s culture is great, and it's one of the things that attracted me here. People are very helpful, the mentoring program is great, and you can always ask questions.
When I was in the process of applying for WiseTech job, my friend explained to me a few things that he thought I needed to know as they may come as a shock. Among other things, he mentioned the review process, how everything is unit tested, the mentoring program and how you can ask anyone a question regarding pretty much anything you want. Well, I remember thinking that what he said sounds too good to be true. The review process means I always discuss my decisions with someone else and gain their insight. Mentoring means you can discuss your problems with someone even before the review process and you do not get lost.
Another important thing is you don't feel pressured to get things done quickly. You can take the time to do your work properly, which is beneficial in the long run because you will have fewer bugs. Sometimes a very small bug can take a long time to fix. So, if you take the time to do it well to start with, you can save a lot of time in the future.
The rotation program is another great part of our culture. It allows you to experience different teams and choose where you feel most comfortable.
Can you share a bit about your experience on the rotation program?
My first rotation was in the data science team, and this is actually my dream to work in this team. Then I moved into the international team where I learned about our main product, CargoWiseOne. This team is really good with their process of introduction of a new-comer to the product from inside-out. When I started in the team, I was given a list of instructions with some links that I was able to follow and set up the system relatively painlessly and quickly.
Then I moved into the architecture team where I'm working on improving how security is synchronized in the SQL database. This team expects you to be relatively independent, but you can always get help from very talented people there. They also get to deal with the most quirky problems.
Once I finish this rotation, I'm very excited to move back into the data science team. One reason is because when I moved to software, I didn't know of such a career as a data scientist. If I’d known. I would have become a data scientist to start with. I'm very excited to have this opportunity to move into this team. It doesn't mean that I’ll stay there forever, but that’s the beauty of working at WiseTech – you can choose where you want to go based on where you fit in.
Why do you think a senior software developer would consider moving to WiseTech?
WiseTech is a great place to join for many reasons. You can move to different teams whenever you want to. You get to work with amazing people. The pay is great, and the culture is exactly what you need to succeed. And the flexibility, you can choose whether you want to work from home or at the office, which is liberating.
You always get the opportunity to grow, which is very important to me. Knowing that you don’t need to know everything and that you have the ability to learn while here, while surrounded by talented people, is empowering.