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Binary Studio 19.01.2014

3 years at Binary Studio: Alexandra’s Interview


Binary Studio Office Manager 2010 (2).jpgAlexandra - our Operations Manager celebrated 3 years at Binary Studio in January, so here's her interview on this occasion. Many more interviews with Binary Studio Team Members to follow =)

Let's start with a few simple questions: How are you? What have you done today?

Well, I’m great, I’ve had a great day, we have a prospect visiting us today, I also worked over the newsletter, disputed things with Kate a bit and helped Polina, well just the ordinary day.

Are you often interviewed? Ha-ha-ha, not really 🙂
What’s the project you are currently involved in?

Well, marketing! Though it couldn’t be called a project, a great number of projects actually. Today I was dumbfounded by my team who think we should start doing  Google hangouts well a kind of technical webinars, so now I am puzzled with how I give birth to it and what developer could be involved into this. But basically, for now I have 3 tasks – newsletter and two blog posts.

Do you remember your first day @ Binary Studio?

Yeah, I remember it very well. I was wearing black jeans, gray Uggs and a gray shirt. It was 10th of January, I had a state exam at University, don’t remember exactly which one. So I informed Artem I would only be available in the afternoon, by that time I was working at home during the first week, mostly using skype.  So Artem asked me to call him when I was finished with my exam, so I did. I thought he would ask me to go and pick up some printouts or a banner for our new office, but he said – well, come to Boghdana Khmelnitskogo 40, and we’ll see.

This sounded so obscure that I was expecting another consultation, we had a few before, Artem showed me redmine etc. Artem came and I finally had someone to instruct me, I'm not sure if I also met Dima on my first day. It was a long journey to the office; I got the location wrong that day and decided to walk, so I had to walk all the way down from University and it was snowing heavily. When I arrived half wet, I open the door and saw a huuuge room and soo many strange people and Artem was not there, I was scared. I had no clue it was actually my first work day, I thought I would just drop by the office to fulfill some task. Then somebody showed me my table, I was told to install software.  I had no idea how to do that! I’ve never installed anything in my life before that day. So I was sitting there trying not to look panicking installing skype, chrome and some other soft.

But I remember I couldn’t figure out for quite a while who he was, he came and left every now and then, but no one introduced us. I was quite puzzled – I was sitting at the front door and wondering who he was and why he was there. The person I got to know the first day was Kurilenko, you could hear him just when you enter the office, he was loud and funny just as he is now. I remember two people started talking to me and showing interest towards me a couple of days later, before that they were just looking at me – office manager, I was at that time. Then Dima came and with the time I was no longer alone on my team. I think I also started understanding developers’ world. Next I loved it. And I think they started liking my care for them.

Alexandra giving presents.JPG

Why did you come to work at Binary Studio?

For some strange reason I had a really strong wish to work here. I wasn’t really looking for a job at that time; I was going to interviews for year and a half while working as a teacher at the English school. In the beginning I was looking for a better position, and then I understood I had this fear during the interview, so I decided to attend as many interviews as I could to fight that fear, well a kind of psychological challenge. So I went to interviews every second week for various positions and industries, I didn’t really care, I had this kind of gambling feeling, sometimes I felt it was me who lead the interview (laughing). I fulfilled dozens of test tasks, watched out for different interview methods, I had a gut feeling I‘d better gain some confidence in interviews, because one day I’ll need it for the position I like. I refused all the others. That’s how I came to Binary Studio interview just to exercise 🙂 I liked the Job Opening text also – it was really funny it said the staff was mostly male + a smiley.I was impressed by the fact that I sent my CV and got a call from Artem just ten minutes later.At the interview I was asked some basic ordinary questions, they checked my English, next Artem stood up to explain what I would have to deal with. It was a hard task, but Artem was really inspired and he drew some directions on the white board including office, recruitment, events and help with sales. Before he stood up and started talking I thought he was some programmer or a secretary, because he behaved very simply - took my jacket and showed me the way to the room, asked me to sit down., well I didn’t think he was the business owner. To tell the truth I don’t know why I wanted to work here, I guess Artem made a great sales pitch for the Office Manager position (hahaha).  The salary for the position was two times lower (for the first couple of months) than the one I got at school, and I had to work 3 hours more a day, which is  60 hours a month, so no logics in my choice actually (hahaha). Just gut feeling I like it, I need to work there. Artem had me buy in.

What do you consider your accomplishments for these three years at Binary Studio?

Well, a good question, really, I forgot I had written that one.  Of course I consider Academy and Cherdak my accomplishments, oh no, skip that I think Kate is my accomplishment (Kate laughs). Not actually mine, but yeah, maybe to some extent. The first thing that came to my mind and the first thought is always the correct one – it’s my personal growth. Some tactics in communication with people, dealing with conflicts, management skills and planning, well all types of organizational processes - yeah I have disciplined myself. So now I teach everybody to discipline themselves and organize everything they do.

Name 5 things you like about your job.

1. The color of walls, I chose it myself (smiling). Soo, four more things I like, okay. 2. My boss I respect him a lot; 3. my team they are the best and 4. the fact that I can go and chat to someone and next I can sit at my PC, doing something quietly on my own. Well for me that’s a healthy balance of tasks that require communication and concentration, I think it would have been extremely difficult for me to have to talk and attend meetings all day long or the other way round  -  sit in front of my PC talking to no one all day. Well sometimes I have the days filled with meetings only or lonely PC work, but mostly it’s a healthy balance which I like a lot.

Binary Studio Team.jpg

And the fifth thing – I repeat it quite often I guess, - I like that fact that I can initiate and my initiatives will be considered, this is crucial for me.  Well now I guess it’s sometimes even the other way round, I start implementing things on my own even before they get approved (laughing) – I’m joking of course.  Recently I came to a conclusion that it’s even more important for me to start things than to improve and scale them up, yeah, I love initiating, giving birth to some projects, starting new things no one has done before -  that’s the most difficult and I like dealing with difficult things.

What do you think of when you think of Binary Studio?

Terrible question, let’s get rid of it. – No let’s paraphrase it – What do you associate our company with?

Well at this point -  our trip to Europe. This was the time I got the feeling of unity, you know - the feeling you get when you walk upfront and people behind your back are your team, your colleagues, your guys 🙂