#TechABreak with Denys, Quality Assurance Engineering Manager

It’s time to #TechABreak with Denys Pavlenko, acting Engineering Manager for our Quality Assurance team! We sat down with Denys to get insight into life as an Engineering Manager at Personio, including what his day-to-day looks like, the most impactful challenge he’s faced recently, and his favorite part of the job.

Are you an engineer looking for a new opportunity? That’s great, because we’re hiring! You can check out our open roles here. But for now, sit back, relax, and take a look behind the curtain of engineering at Personio.

Showing off our COVID work from home initiative!

What does your typical day look like?

My day starts with a team stand-up, one where we actually stand to help ensure we’re efficient and stay on topic! These usually include some warm-up questions to check in and support each other through the pandemic before aligning on the day’s work. The rest of my morning is typically a mix of focus time for strategic planning and projects, and meetings about daily work.

After lunch (where I try to get in a workout – summer is almost here, after all!) I often have an interview or two as we continue to build our team. I also have one-on-ones with my direct reports to chat about their tasks and provide any direction, feedback, and praise. Then it’s back to taking care of business before the end of the day!

Working with teammates in the Munich office.

What is one challenge you’ve faced recently?

I recently supported one of my team members in returning to Munich from eight months in full lockdown in India. The challenges that come with managing people are certainly more unique than managing software and code! But they’re also so rewarding. That’s why these types of challenges really inspire me, because it can have a huge impact on somebody’s life and performance.

(Arun made it to Munich safe and sound! Read more about his story here.)

Can you tell us more about the engineering mentorship program you’re a part of?

Last year I joined The Mentoring Club, a pro-bono community of professionals who donate their time and expertise to help mentor people through career challenges. In the 10 sessions I’ve taken part in, most mentees have asked for career advice or wanted to know more about quality engineering challenges I’ve faced. It’s my job to listen carefully, ask questions, and then provide as much guidance and direction as I can. So far it’s been a great experience!

Denys gives a presentation.

What are some of your favorite books, podcasts, or quotes?

📖 “Leading Quality: How Great Leaders Deliver High Quality Software & Accelerate Growth” by Ronald Cummings-John and Owais Peer

📖 “Building Microservices” by Sam Newman

🗣 “You build it, you run it.” – Werner Vogels, Amazon CTO

This quote from Vogels back in 2006 changed the way software companies worked, bridging the divide between the development and operations teams. Before, developers would build a product and then hand it off to the operations side, never to see (or think of) it again. But what I love about the “You build it, you run it” model is that it brings developers into the day-to-day use of the solutions they’re building, creating a feedback loop that greatly improves quality.

What do you look for when hiring an engineer?

When looking for engineers to add to our team, I always keep in mind the quote from Simon Sinek: “You don’t hire for skills, you hire for attitude. You can always teach skills.” I’m more interested in a person who is a team player, emotionally intelligent, and self-motivated than someone with only technical skills.

We also take our six core values very seriously at Personio: #CustomerEmpathy, #Ownership, #Transparency, #Teamspirit, #SocialResponsibility, and #Fun. A major element of our hiring selection is how a person’s values align with ours.

Why did you pick Personio?

During my interview process I felt like I was already part of the Personio family, and part of a team driven by impact. This role also gave me an opportunity to build up a quality assurance function from scratch while working closely with the CTO – a very exciting prospect!

Team dinner in the pre-COVID times!

We’re looking for driven, humble, intelligent engineers who want to build solutions at Europe’s most valuable HR software company. If that sounds like you, head on over to our careers page and apply today!

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