Engineering Leadership Development Platform: InnoHub and the Tech Community
InnoHub has been a critical part of the Innovecs innovation ecosystem for several years. The company is evolving and undergoing transformation, and the concept of InnoHub is also changing.
Today, InnoHub is not just an online location, but a global platform that can be joined from anywhere in the world, says Alina Shcherbyna, Head of Talent Marketing and Events at Innovecs.
In an interview, she explained how and for whom InnoHub forms the Engineering Community, spoke about the values, plans, and ambitions of the platform.
— Alina, you recently became InnoHub’s curator. What made you interested in the project and why did you decide to develop your career at Innovecs?
— Indeed, this decision did not come out of the blue, and the position was shaped during cooperation with the company.
For the past three years, I have been working on the creation and development of the Wtech IT community. My first close contact with the IT market occurred from within — from people rather than companies. This is essential because it forms a perception of the internal specifics of enterprises and the market, a pool of “insider” information.
Add to that marketing and event experience. By education, I am a marketer, and recently I have been building a network in the IT environment. So, at first, the position of Head of Talent Marketing was just the perfect combination of marketing and my love for people, their cohesion, learning, and development.
A separate area of Talent Marketing is new to the company. Accordingly, I can develop a strategy independently, propose and implement my own ideas. Innovecs does not have a rigid hierarchy, long chains of approval.
Upon finding out about the open position for an event manager at InnoHub, I realized that it was possible to effectively combine the two areas. Events have always been in my life, and multitasking is my strength.
This is the origin of the Head of Talent Marketing and Events position at Innovecs. I gladly embraced it, given the understanding of the project’s prospects. And I was right: the startup-like atmosphere of internal entrepreneurship and rapid growth provide great opportunities for the team.
— What is most interesting for you in this role?
— I think it’s reformatting. For me, InnoHub is not standard four walls, stage, and cabin with equipment. First of all, it is a place where people can get together, share experiences and knowledge, attend awesome events, enjoy networking with the best speakers.
During the quarantine period, it became clear: you can attend any event and meet people both offline and online. The event industry will never be the same again. The events will take place mostly in a hybrid format. It is necessary to assimilate into the new reality and drive even more opportunities than it was in pre-covid times. It’s time to change the positioning of our platform as well!
— Why do IT companies continue to spend big budgets on events? Does this make sense?
— Events for the sake of events are a thing of the past. The sense is no longer in the physical installation of the location, or the invitation of guests. It is a tool for the development of the employer brand, business, uniting professionals, and networking. State-of-the-art events can only exist in conjunction with global business solutions!
— What are the challenges facing the platform team?
— Today we can say that InnoHub is a platform for the development of Engineering Leadership. Our main goal is to expand our capabilities and build a community of technical leaders.
InnoHub consists of three components. First, it is a community of passionate engineers who want to initiate technological change and interact as equals. Community members evolve and develop their projects, teams, and skills. Second, InnoHub is a source of inspiration, where meaningful content is broadcast through events and networking. Third, InnoHub is an online space, a platform for meetings, training, and association of engineers from around the globe. Tech magic happens when these three elements merge.
— Who are you developing InnoHub for?
— For us, engineering leaders are leaders not by position, but by their inner content. All experts who create innovations, advanced products, and implement digital transformation. A real synergy of minds and talents of the tech industry.
I stress that InnoHub is being nurtured not only for the internal team but more for representatives of other companies, and related industries. We are open to collaborations with projects that are close to us in terms of values.
Globally, I see the development of the platform in two target audiences. The first is engineering leaders: various technical meetings, events, lectures, educational activities of our InnoCamp space. We will also organize open events within the InnoClub, which comprises more than 10 communities of interest, including finance, fitness, yoga, tennis, football, chess, mindfulness. The second is business leaders for the IT market: training and networking of recruiters, innovation conferences, development of women leaders in tech and beyond.
— You have worked with the women’s community in IT for quite a while. How things are with this area, and how does it intersect with the development of InnoHub?
— Experience and networking are not going anywhere. They focus on women’s issues in the tech area — real stories and cases. Of course, I want to share this with a new audience. The first step was to host a Women’s Leadership in Tech meet-up, the date of which was postponed.
There are plans to create a women’s community within Innovecs. There is no need to replicate what we have already done at Wtech, but there is a great desire to introduce more and more women to the vibrant community in Ukraine, with strong role models; demonstrate the importance of creating a safe environment for the development of women in the tech industry.
— Question with an asterisk: where will InnoHub be in 5 years, how do you imagine the development of the platform?
— Until a few years ago, we all had personal and business plans and prospects, but outer circumstances do severely affect them. Nowadays it is very difficult to make long-term plans.
I can tell for sure: InnoHub must develop as an Engineering Leadership Platform, constantly maintain its relevance, meet market needs and carry the values and knowledge needed by the business and IT professionals here and now. Consequently, the platform’s concept is flexible enough to always meet expectations.
— What is a marker of success for you? When can we say, “We made it”?
— My work on the InnoHub platform began with the formation of an annual strategy, KPIs, and goals.
Overall, I have two markers of “measuring” success: quantitative (KPI) and qualitative, when the positioning developed within the company will be broadcast by the market. When the IT community feels and remembers, and responds to what we have done.