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12 Reasons For Joining Innovecs

The global IT landscape is vibrant and dynamic. Myriads of tech companies are appearing in the arena and are delivering all kinds of digital solutions. At the same time, not every company has a community around it. From day one, Innovecs’ leadership set the objective of providing equal high-quality experiences to all stakeholders, clients, and employees.

For over a decade, the distinguishing feature of Innovecs has been its DNA and values — Innovate, Inspire, Care. The company’s culture revolves around these concepts, creating multiple opportunities for the self-development of our people — both professionally and personally. Driven by the belief, that only happy teammates promote creativity and innovation, Innovecs makes every effort to ensure the well-being of each Innovecser.

Today, we would like to share the key benefits of working at Innovecs. Here are the main reasons to join us.

1. Stable Growth and Career Opportunities

More than 850 Innovecsers have provided valuable digital transformation experiences to over 100 clients. Innovecs’ portfolio contains more than 60 successfully implemented projects, and the major criterion of our success is our clients coming back for more.

Over a decade, Innovecs has managed to achieve significant results, which are reflected in our corporate stats. At the moment, the company has team members on five continents, and our next soon-to-open location will be in Georgia. We are also opening new hubs in Poland, Colombia, and two more European countries soon.

“We as a company always start by building bonds of trust with our clients. Whatever the development stage is, we accompany them, guide them and think it is our duty to anticipate their questions and concerns. Innovecs is constantly raising its standards in terms of providing the best services possible. This is why we have a number of loyal clients that enjoy their experience and come for more. That loyalty reflects a crucial thing for us — we are valuable to them”, — Alex Lutskiy, Founder and CEO at Innovecs.

For the fifth time in a row, Innovecs is on the Inc. 5000 list, the list of fastest-growing private companies in America, and the Top Global Outsourcing companies. For the fourth time, Innovecs is recognized on The 2022 Global Outsourcing 100® list by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP®).

In 2021, Innovecs officially became the Platinum Partner of ISTQB (International Software Testing Qualifications Board), and also has achieved Amazon Web Services (AWS) Select Consulting Partner status in the AWS Partner Network (APN).

2. Reinvent Your Career with Us

What do we mean by ‘self-fulfillment’? From our point of view, this means having our ambitions met, whatever they are. Just as our people innovate the world, we as a company feel responsible for innovating them in the first place. All Innovecsers are united by a great desire to move forward and grow as personalities and pros. Our teammates can develop both horizontally and vertically, and transform from developers to Delivery Managers and VPs.

Apart from advancing a career, each Innovecser can reinvent it. That is, our educational programs, courses, tracks, and workshops allow for changing a project, role, or even domain.

“Innovecs is synonymous with growth and development. I am already working in the third position in this company. It’s cool that people without experience can try themselves in new roles, learn by doing and grow professionally. Courses and workshops are constantly held here, and this remains far from universal. A Promotion Plan is developed for each employee for six months, which lists the knowledge and skills you need to gain within this period. The bottom line is that I feel support from Innovecs, and it is invaluable for me”, — Olena Ratova, Project Coordinator at Innovecs.

3. Active Lifestyle

The uniqueness of our culture owes to the uniqueness of our people. Every Innovecser is a separate story that enriches our community. Upon coming to Innovecs, each of us brings a set of personal likings, beloved hobbies, activities, interests, and aspirations. We even bring our concerns and learn to deal with them thanks to professional attention. Innovecs fully accepts us the way we are.

Whatever the source of inspiration is, you can practice what you love — jogging, yoga, football, tennis; take part in challenges and competitions; receive gifts and acknowledgment, and share your achievements with your teammates.

Innovecsers define the variety of communities. Anyone can initiate a club, and become a leader of one.

“I was very happy with the availability of the yoga community and immediately joined it. It is good that you can attend classes without leaving the office. It is nice that there is an opportunity to do your favorite things — here it is encouraged and supported. As for the new activities, I joined the Mindfulness community, where we hold discussions and practice meditation”, — Oksana Hubchyk, QA Manual at Innovecs.

4. Well-being: We Are On Your Side

A global company has a global mindset. We are comprehensive in our approaches, whether it is services, products, or experiences. The same pertains to the concept of employees’ happiness. It is our belief that apart from professional success, a sound mind in a sound body has a huge impact on quality of life. To us, well-being encompasses the care of physical and mental health, confidence in financial and social stability, as well as a sense of security.

“If corporate culture encourages you to combine work with activities that inspire you, your well-being should not be a matter of concern. Another sign of “norm” is balance in all spheres of life. One area cannot develop in the absence of another. Otherwise, you start to feel out of balance. It is crucial to understand your limits and keep yourself balanced — relax, do hobbies and communicate. I must point out that the corporate culture of Innovecs’ well-being is an important component that is reflected in actions, not words”, — Olha Havlytska, Community Relations at InnoClub by Innovecs.

5. Flexible Workplace

We are global, but at the very same time, we go local in providing a comfortable working environment. Local and granular. It is common knowledge that working conditions can make or break creativity as well as support or damage our health. We all need what is best for us — attending offices and enjoying conversations; managing tasks and teams from the comfort of our homes in solitude, or juggling the two if necessary.

Our offices and hubs offer far more than just a well-equipped and stylish workspace, but a lifestyle space of self-development, mental and physical recreation, access to education, and hands-on experience. Innovecsers choosing to work remotely from any part of the world can and will enjoy a local benefits system and join us at online events, activities, celebrations, conferences, and systematic corporate meetings. Innovecsers are welcome to explore our Relocation Support Program and learn about how we can assist in this matter.

“I very quickly found an apartment next to the office. I also had a week to rest, adapt, and work things out in the new place. So when I showed up for work, I was ready. Plus, I immediately found a company where I was very comfortable. Innovecs was also very helpful with the relocation: our Care department provided me with rental options that partly covered the cost of moving”, — Rostyslav Kylymchuk, Java Software Engineer at Innovecs.

6. Professional Growth

Experience with Innovecs might start even before a talented person is among our teammates. Thanks to our Juniorship programs by InnoCamp, we take newbies and turn them into specialists who then may want to join us. And after they do, the learning journey then continues with special training for hard and soft skills, English classes, enrollment in a global certification preparation program, mentorship program, and an individual development plan. And there will be more.

One of the crucial touchpoints with our people is 24/7 access to the learning process. We are always aware of the needs and ambitions of each Innovecser. We turn systematic feedback into new opportunities.

“When a new set of internships was launched, I became interested in turning into a mentor to share my skills and knowledge with someone. And I regard it not only as teaching but also as the development of my own skills. This will definitely come in handy if you want to build a career and develop leadership skills”, — Ihor Pavlenko, Software Engineer at Innovecs.

7. H2H Philosophy

The human2human approach is a broad concept that is reflected differently in various companies. At Innovecs, consideration for the talents we have is letting them speak and making sure their feedback turns into solutions. In order to create and generate out-of-the-box approaches, people demand inner freedom and a safe space to offer unique ideas that change the status quo.

Everyone in the company has freedom of self-expression. We have an open-door policy and systematic meetings, where Innovecs’ leaders share crucial corporate information so that all the team is on the same page in terms of the current state of affairs.

“The CEO of Innovecs is very open, he is constantly in touch with the company. You are always up-to-date with the latest news, and you know about clients. I always follow everything that happens. The atmosphere is open and transparent, and I am happy to be a part of it. I say out loud that I work at Innovecs because I’m proud of it”, — Andriy Bosak, the Technical Support Specialist at Innovecs.

8. Engineering Leadership Platform

Engineering Leadership promotes global digital transformation. This is why we have launched InnoHub, an Engineering Leadership Platform. Its core purpose is to empower collaborative growth and build a community of engineering leaders. We believe engineering leaders are not only those who lead the team but everyone who develops innovations through everyday tasks as an expert.

“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”, — Alina Shcherbyna, Head of Talent Marketing and Events at Innovecs.

9. Transparency Leadership

On a human note, we all tend to gravitate to people who are authentic, genuine, unmasked, and not afraid to be vulnerable. A leader is responsible for establishing a culture of trust, and being consistent in its maintenance. And if one succeeds in doing so, the mindset spreads across the organization and becomes the only way to go for everyone. Transparency leadership is the first step toward meaningful relationships with employees. And this is the fundamental principle Innovecs works and lives by.

“A leader’s transparency demands systematic accountability. Whether it’s financial presentation, our quarterly Q&A session, weekly call, or honest talk one-to-one during a coffee break — people need this stability and presence. A real presence when you genuinely care, but not just as a formality. On the other hand, every team member is not only welcome to provide their own feedback on numerous aspects of corporate life but it’s also guaranteed their voice is heard and taken into consideration. Thus, transparency leadership is an ongoing mindful dialogue and drives mutual value for both company and its people”, — Alex Lutskiy, Founder and CEO at Innovecs.

10. Corporate Culture Driven By Values

Business for business’ sake has no future. People always seek higher purposes and big ideas behind everything. Since day one, Innovecs has been nurturing an environment where like-minded talents can create together and enjoy the process in each other’s company. Our DNA is SPECIFIC: Innovecsers are Smart, Professional, Engaged, Collaborative, Innovative, Focused, Inspiring, and Caring.

Innovecs practices three core values, incorporated into the DNA: INNOVATE, INSPIRE, CARE. Innovecs represents a community-driven ecosystem, that is, our people can create and become leaders of some community or club by interest inside the company, and Innovecs will support them and invest in their passion.

“Being caring is first and foremost about creating an atmosphere. You can arrange it with the help of working and non-working team building. Caring is manifested in finding a thin and invisible boundary of social unity and trying to produce it in your team. The kickback of the team is very important because it is not a one-way street. Not only the manager must play his role in uniting the team, but also the employees themselves must collaborate with each other, determine the necessary conditions for the tasks, ask you questions, and more. It’s much cooler to see people solve these issues on their own because the team is evolving. You as a manager are needed for extraordinarily difficult tasks. It’s nice when a team is a whole, both in and out of work”, — Andriy Troianov, Delivery Manager at Innovecs.

11. A Lifestyle, More Than Just a Job

Innovecs focuses on each employee’s ambitions and aligns them with our business goals for mutual success. We consider work and leisure as equally important parts of life. Therefore, in addition to the necessary working conditions and continuous learning options, we take good care of the physical and mental health, recreation, and personal development of the team. Every single day at Innovecs brings something new to the lives of our teammates — knowledge, skills, insights, and meaningful connections.

“At Innovecs, you are not confined to a desk whatsoever. This is the place for your personal and professional development and to be around an awesome team. There are many opportunities for personal and professional evolution. This is your lifestyle. In the morning you train in the tennis community and then proceed to work. In addition to lunch, you have a workout again, and in the evening when the work is done you play table tennis with teammates. This is your active lifestyle. You are interested, you enjoy the day, you want more, and your work goals are fulfilled in the same rhythm as you do your hobby. Easy and effortless. You don’t force yourself to work; you like it”, — Olha Havlytska, Community Relations at InnoСlub by Innovecs.

12. Benefits and Perks

Innovecs operates on the basis of diversity, inclusiveness, development, and equal opportunities for everyone. Innovecsers can evolve professionally via the vibrant InnoCamp program. All teams can access individual development planning and career coaching, educational and professional certificate programs; join a Mentorship Program, and have lifetime access to training materials in our Learning Management System.

With the help of the InnoClub initiative, all Innovecs’ people across the globe can maintain their mental and physical health, and draw inspiration from our communities. Whether it is running, mindfulness and meditation practices, online gym and yoga, or other activities — everyone can find something special.

Regardless of the offices’ location, all of them are united by the universal benefits system. Each Innovecser — either office-based or remote — is provided with equal motivation frameworks and incentives. Everyone is provided with private healthcare insurance, team-building activities, social events, and occasional gifts to celebrate Innovecs lifestyle.

“​​Despite the remote mode, I do not feel separated from the team or company. I constantly receive invitations to corporate parties. Not so long ago there was a rebranding of the project I’m working on. Two hours before the presentation, a courier delivered a parcel containing four small cocktails and a branded glass. Distances are washed away by such lovely initiatives”, — Ihor Kanivets, Advanced DevOps at Innovecs.

These are the main reasons to consider Innovecs as a new stage in your life. And there is one more reason to join us — we are fun, passionate, and voracious. If you feel you belong with us, check the available roles and brighten Innovecs with your presence:

June 16, 2022
Motivation and Headway in Testing. Innovate in QA Meet-up Summary
We live in a dynamic world that is changing rapidly and sometimes radically. That affects people, performance, and motivation. A coronavirus pandemic, transition to remote work, and war in Ukraine have negatively impacted many people and their careers. Some feel burned out and do not know how to evolve in their profession. Tetiana Rudenko, a QA Manual at Innovecs, faced demotivation for the first time in November 2021, and her teammates felt exactly the same. She started looking for a way to get her motivation back. As a result, she managed to inspire herself as well as her teammates. How? She shared her experience of motivating people, and her colleague, Arnika Hryszko, a Software Tester, shared tips on advancing the profession during Innovate in QA Online Meet-up. We have prepared a brief summary of the event covering the key points. There are two types of motivation: intrinsic and extrinsic. The first one is something that sits inside and encourages you to get some feelings (for example, enjoyment, passion, fun, autonomy, self-fulfillment, etc.) Extrinsic or external motivation is about something that comes from outside (pay raise, recognition, perks, bonuses, punishment, benefits, etc.). Intrinsic motivation stimulates people to do complex and creative tasks, according to experts. Tetiana managed to find approaches for intrinsic motivation and inspiration for the team and focused on gamification. It helps the manager find a leader and motivate the team, bringing to work more fun, says Tetiana Rudenko. According to a Talent LMS survey, 89% of employees state gamification makes them feel more productive and happier at work. But different techniques fit different teams. Therefore, Tetiana suggests analyzing your process and colleagues using a human-focused gamification design framework called Octalysis. It lays out the eight core drives for human motivation: Meaning (a need or an urge to be a part of something bigger than yourself. When you add it to a game element, people believe that their actions have a purpose). Accomplishment (people are driven by a sense of growth towards a goal and accomplishment). Creativity (when a team member is engaged in a creative process and repeatedly figures things out and tries different combinations. When you add something to your game element that evokes the will to choose own direction, that gives people more energy). Ownership (if you add something that people will own, like virtual currency or some points, they are more likely to participate or contribute). Social influence (it incorporates all the social elements driving people including mentorship, acceptance, social responses, and companionship. You must include interaction between people, as they should learn from one another, and teach each other). Scarcity (this human drive is often used in marketing to show limited goods or services. If you add it to your work, it can act the same: if something is limited, people want it more). Unpredictability & Curiosity (it is a harmless drive of wanting to know what will happen next. If you do not know what is going to happen, your brain is engaged, and you think about it often. That is why we are so eager to finish a book or a movie). Avoidance (it is about avoiding pain or some negative consequences. If you stress that nothing negative will happen, people will be more engaged due to feeling safe). You can evaluate each drive and include those which will suit your team the best. Afterward, you can assess the results and enhance your game elements. Also, Tetiana shared some gamification techniques to use while working with your QA remote team for making a process more enjoyable: Create your own software if possible (Amazon and Microsoft use it for their employees). Gamify daily meetings. For example, let each team member answer non-tech questions before committing. For example, you can ask: “What would you do when you get $1M?” Prize draw. You can do it on every retrospective, for example. Write team members’ names in one column and a list of prizes in another. The randomizer matches the person’s name with a reward. It can be a cup of coffee, lunch, a day off, etc. Organize a competition. It might be an amazing game element, especially for competitive team members. Create a challenge. For example, if you find out that one of the main demotivators of your remote team is the lack of physical activity, you can suggest teammates set up a minimum number of daily steps for each of them. To start a working day, each teammate will have to show an activity report during a daily meeting. It will help unite and motivate your team. After the issue of motivation is sorted out, you and your team are willing to work. What typical mistakes do you have to avoid on the path to being a good tester and a pro in your field? Arnika Hryszko, a Software Tester with 15 years of experience in QA, has prepared some information regarding the topic. And here is her list of don’ts as a tester: Following a script. Imagine a detective arriving at a crime scene with a script, strictly following it, and ignoring the circumstances. Is it possible to solve the mysterious crime? Hardly. Being a good tester is exploration. You cannot use only one guide or way because it will not give you loads of answers. There are different test data, configurations, systems, etc. Use them as well. Treating requirements as ultimate truth. To have a comprehensive picture and do your best as a tester, you should ask questions, and seek other solutions. Try to find out whether everything is okay, do so-called static testing, and review the requirements. Maybe you will find that something is missed or wrong. Use your experience, brain, and more sources, such as other people, proofs of concepts, and exciting applications. All these things should be your oracle, apart from the requirements. Lack of peer reviews. Let us imagine that you wrote a book, and no one reads, proofreads it, or edits it before printing. How many mistakes will there be? There will definitely be some typos, and some crucial elements might be absent. And the same thing is with your test scripts. Someone should review them in the first place instead of pointing at your mistakes later. It is about learning and seeing another person’s perspective. It goes without saying that you can write a brilliant test case with all the possibilities. However, maybe there is something more or someone else has a different perspective or has used a similar application and might help to review whether everything is fine with the thing you produce. Locking oneself in one’s “silo”. Imagine building a house. Brickwork, windows, and roof are done by different professionals with no or little care for each other’s work. Will the individual elements fit together? Very much unlikely. As a tester, you should work with developers, managers, and architects. You all have the same aim. Relying on assumptions instead of facts. If something is missing, unclear or you are unsure about something, you should discuss it. That is why you have daily meetings, and planning — to be on the same page about what we do. Ignoring the need of having business knowledge. You cannot work properly without knowing a domain. It is essential to dive into an area you work in, to know its jargon, insights, and goals. To sum up, there is no magic pill that will make you a pro and help to motivate you and your team. It is hard work and a combination of numerous factors. However, it is achievable, especially with tips from our experts and your passion for the work you do.
#Article #QA & Testing #Software Development
June 02, 2022
Vlad Kopanko: the path from Engagement Manager to VP Delivery Account Management
The desire to constantly move forward and overcome any challenges is what unites all Innovecsers. We talked to Vlad Kopanko, VP Delivery Account Management, about starting a career at Innovecs, responsibilities then and now, and learned what qualities helped him achieve his goal.   — You used to work as an Engagement Manager. What were your responsibilities then? — In essence, an Engagement Manager is an account manager for a client within a delivery organization. For the most part, this is true for service organizations. Key responsibilities include assisting the client in achieving maximum results in their projects, products, IT innovations, or strategies via the provision of internal services of the provider company. The Engagement Manager also provides support in solving current or anticipated strategic problems. This includes, in particular, the planning of future projects and their implementation. Simply put, my job was to eliminate all kinds of “pain” for the client, form commercial and technical proposals together with the internal team, manage various contracts and transfer them to the Delivery Manager for further implementation. For me, the main thing in the profession of Engagement Manager is to build good business relationships with clients. — Today, you are VP. How have your responsibilities changed with your new position? — You are given more responsibilities, and as a result, demands, expectations, and accountability also grow. If you are an Engagement or Delivery Manager who seeks to lead a business or manage a vertical — whether delivery or operations — the result of your activities is achieving measurable goals. They are not empirical — we are talking about cost optimization, margins, and constant planned and projected growth. Good performance in your current position means that you can handle your responsibilities at a high level in less time. Achieving certain results, having a portfolio of projects or accounts, and constant growth as a specialist are the reasons to take the next logical step: becoming a department leader. The vertical within the service organization is a business within a business with all the relevant features. If in the previous position you could influence the processes or adjust them at any time, in the current job it will not work due to the lack of time. That is, the workloads are incomparable. Controlling everything yourself will be impossible, in this case, one should consider other managerial features and skills, such as delegation, team selection; establishing processes with people who are not subordinate to you but affect the outcome of your work. — How do you establish seamless interaction between different departments? What do you need for this? — Everything is simple and complicated at the same time. It seems that you just need to be able to communicate. Yet, due to our human nature, we do not use this tool the way we should. As a manager, you must have a clear communication culture that changes through the generations. One of the main tasks of the manager is to correctly form a communication strategy both internally (with subordinates, teams, and cross-functional departments) and externally (with clients). Many times I have been convinced of the following: misunderstanding inevitably leads to sabotage or complete loss of interest. To prevent this, there must be proper transparent communication. We need to get people interested, show what we do and why we do it, as well as shed light on all the benefits. It is crucial to remember that the teammates you work with are as smart and erudite as you are. In some cases, they may be superior. There will be no possibility to hide something or throw your duties on them. Regardless of the role and title, honesty with everyone is a key aspect of a leadership position. I would also like to note the correct setting of expectations. No one will guess what you want. Guessing is always subjective. The inability to clearly communicate own views to a subordinate leads to the wrong results at the wrong time. Judging from my experience, the manager is to blame in 90% of cases. The same applies to distrust in communication. — What managerial techniques and/or methodologies do you use in your work? — We all use Agile, and a SMART management tool. Personally, I like the Eisenhower matrix, and I started using it a long time ago intuitively — assessing tasks based on their urgency and importance. — What is your overall impression of Innovecs’ corporate culture? — Corporate culture is an ongoing process. It grows and develops. I have been working at Innovecs for seven years and I have something to compare with. During this period, the company has made a significant leap in this direction. Over the years, the company’s management has come to the need for transparent communication, where all employees are on the same page. I believe that Innovecs’ corporate culture is at a fairly high level. It is good that you can always give honest feedback and then see the improvement of any process. This is probably the reflection of transparent communication within the company. Healthy interaction and open dialogue help to make a difference together and achieve the set goals. — What do you like most about a managerial position? In other words, what is the most attractive part about VP Delivery? — In my opinion, the main “product” of a manager or a leader is managerial decisions. It is good if they are effective and bear fruit. I like setting interesting ambitious goals and then seeing outcomes. Here is an example. If you look at Elon Musk as a leader, he is constantly achieving his goals. His tweets about buying Twitter and statements about Coca-Cola can be viewed as fun. However, I will not be surprised if he will do everything he says at the end of the day. There is no reason to doubt his words. Such leaders cannot fail to inspire. Apathy, difficulties, feelings of fatigue — no one is safe from these things. But when you have such personalities and their achievements in front of your eyes, you understand that your challenges are not that critical, but are in fact quite solvable. — What advice would you give to an engineer who wants to go up the career ladder? What hard and soft skills does one need to develop? — I have an example of how a person who worked in the field of logistics after a while became a Solution Architect at Microsoft. That is, someone who was not previously engaged in technology and engineering, was able to make a dramatic turn in her career and reach certain heights. Back in the day, you had to have a wide range of knowledge in many areas to be an expert. Today’s world is differentiated, and you just need to be a good specialist in a certain niche. In other words, you do not have to write code to be an architect. All the top-notch experts in the tech field have business-oriented soft skills to some extent. Again, I emphasize the importance of communication skills as a paramount characteristic. The technological component obviously plays a significant role. The availability of information, training, experts, and courses is so great that with certain investments, you can acquire this body of knowledge in a very short time. It all depends on you personally. — What courses and certifications should one take to grow as an engineering leader? — Certifications are vital, they systematize knowledge and work approaches. When setting a high bar, a certificate is simply necessary. This is indirect, and sometimes a direct confirmation of your knowledge and skills — other than your own words, the market validates them as well. Again, I know the cases where the availability of a large number of certificates bordered on fairly average results in practice. Today there are many cloud certifications that may be of interest to future professionals. I would like to highlight QA and cybersecurity certifications. As for managerial certifications, the list is pretty long ranging from PMI to Agile methodology and other frameworks. It all depends on the specific position and plans for the further development of one’s career.   Did you like Vlad’s story? Do you want to start or change your career path with Innovecs? Find out about the possibilities here.
May 31, 2022
Unity As a Weapon Against Evil: How Volunteering Helps Resist Russia's Enemy Attack (Part 2)
We carry on telling stories about our Innovecsers — brave, passionate, empathetic and unbreakable. Anastasiia Chaikovska, Internal Communications Specialist at Innovecs, is now locally in Venice but also does a lot for Ukraine at a distance. She became a part of an initiative group in support of Ukraine that joined protests against Russia’s invasion. As a communications specialist, Anastasiia is particularly active in preparing and translating content for Italians about the war in Ukraine. She collaborates with local media and gives interviews and comments. “I do not feel much support for Ukraine in the region where I study, so I am making efforts to cover the situation as much as possible and inform the Italians. Some are protesting with vague slogans for peace and for whom it does not matter who will be the first to lay down their arms. It is a relief that the situation in Bologna is different — there are many Italians who care about Ukraine and their hearts are with us”, — says Nastya. To fill the Italian-language information space with objective facts about Ukraine, she prepared a translation of the captives’ press conference and distributed it via the YouTube channel, wrote letters to NGOs, drawing attention to the violence in Kherson, and did everything possible for Ukraine to be heard and discussed in the Italian press. Nastya joined the initiative of her friend, a native of Crimea, who negotiated with Italian stores to collect humanitarian aid for Ukrainians. She also formed a database of charitable foundations and organizations to which foreigners could transfer funds to support Ukraine. “My job is to coordinate and help people find the information they need. I have to be constantly in touch and prepared for communication. During the war, when people are confused and do not understand who can guide and moderate, the work of a communications specialist is very important, — says Nastya. — Awareness of this responsibility and one’s duty to others motivates us to be as focused as possible and not give up even in difficult situations. And this help is the least I can do now”.
May 18, 2022
Unity As a Weapon Against Evil: How Volunteering Helps Resist Russia's Enemy Attack (Part 1)
Innovecs is a global company, we have two large offices in Ukraine located in Kyiv and Mykolayiv. On February 24, Ukrainians woke up to a new reality — a hostile Russian invasion shattered the plans and quiet lives of 45 million people. Instead of getting confused, the Ukrainians united in the name of victory. President Zelenskiy is now compared to King David of Israel, who skillfully dealt with the huge and ugly Goliath. A small country on a map is fighting a huge Russian army. National collective responsibility has been a powerful blow in response to Russia’s legend of a weak and divided Ukraine. Here everyone is either a soldier or a volunteer. Each of us has our own battlefront. Someone hospitably opens the door to migrants, makes dumplings for soldiers in the defense, someone donates to the army, and seeks options to buy bulletproof vests and medical kits for the Armed Forces of Ukraine. Someone performs DDoS attacks on Russian sites and is waging an active war on the information front. Some advise and provide psychological assistance, some treat and organize humanitarian convoys free of charge. Innovecs, like hundreds of others, has joined the financial support of the army. We also organized additional fundraising for each team member who wanted to donate money to support the army. Of course, Innovecsers help not only with funding, but also volunteer. Today we will share some stories of our team members who chose their “battlefront” during the war with Russia.
April 28, 2022
Three questions to the CEO: Interview with Alex Lutskiy
Alex Lutskiy is the Founder and CEO of Innovecs, a global software development company. Under his management within 10 years, Innovecs has developed from a small office and a team of three people into an award-winning digital transformation tech company with over 800 software engineers. Within Innovecs, Alex has launched InnoCamp, an educational initiative for tech specialists, and InnoHub, a multimedia venue for educational events in the business and tech spheres. With over 15 years of experience working throughout the Americas and Europe, Alex brings strong technical and business qualifications with an impressive track record of hands-on experience in strategic planning, business unit development, project and product management, and system engineering strategies. Being open as always, Alex kindly accepted our invitation for a brief three-question talk. Our interests were mainly centered on leadership: preferred approaches in business management as well as insights on unparalleled client experience. — What is your definition of transparency leadership? How do you implement it in daily practice? — The word ‘transparency’ is pretty much self-explanatory. For me, transparency means openness, honesty, and easy communication. We all have people in our lives who perfectly reflect this concept. Ask yourself a question: how exactly do you feel while being around ‘your’ people? You feel safe and free. And it is not about physical safety as if something is life-threatening. We feel safe while being ourselves, speaking our minds, and being truthful and direct. Therefore, transparency is about mutual respect and freedom. I believe it is a certain lifestyle. Now let’s project transparency onto business management and entire corporate life. Over the years of growing our teams and expertise, Innovecs has always stuck to the people-first philosophy. We don’t just hire an employee — we welcome on board a talented and unique personality. The performance of each teammate depends on the extent of inner freedom and happiness we as a company can provide. Any culture of transparency and trust starts with the company’s leader who sets the tone. At this point, your employees expect from you consistency in practicing what you preach. A leader’s transparency demands systematic accountability. Whether it’s financial presentation, our quarterly Q&A session, weekly call, or honest talk one-to-one during a coffee break — people need this stability and presence. A real presence when you genuinely care, but not just as a formality. On the other hand, every team member is not only welcome to provide their own feedback on numerous aspects of corporate life but it’s also guaranteed their voice is heard and taken into consideration. Thus, transparency leadership is an ongoing mindful dialogue and drives mutual value for both company and its people. — In your opinion, how important is it to create added value for your clients through digital solutions and help them transform — Creating an added value is not just important — it is what we are here for. The world is evolving at a breakneck pace, and various external circumstances or disruptions sometimes channel this evolution into unexpected directions. What is a business to do? It is essential to be flexible and viable whatever the challenge is. Whether we are talking about healthtech, fintech, logistics, or retail — organizations of all kinds require digital solutions they can rely on. Digital transformation is for some a huge milestone that is quite intimidating. In order to drive this value, we as a services provider need to approach this partnership comprehensively. We as a company always start by building bonds of trust with our clients. Whatever the development stage is, we accompany them, guide them and think it is our duty to anticipate their questions and concerns. Innovecs is constantly raising its standards in terms of providing the best services possible — every Innovecser has access to various courses, workshops, lectures, and certifications. This is why we have a number of loyal clients that enjoy their experience and come for more. That loyalty reflects a crucial thing for us — we are valuable to them. — At the moment you are engaged in communication with clients and therefore watch over the service quality and sales process. Does it mean you as a leader have to be deeply involved in all aspects of business? — Business success is deeply rooted in everyone’s engagement in the working process, shouldn’t I be the first in that line? In order for a company to cut through the noise and own a niche, the first thing for its leader to do is to be genuinely interested in the business. In other words, you have to love what you do, there is simply no other way. I started my path as a software engineer way back in the 1990s, then grew into a manager striving for seniority. Years went by, and I developed into an entrepreneur, an advisor, and a leader of a vibrant and strong community. Today, I am deeply involved in sales, or to be more precise — I represent us and see with my own eyes client’s feedback on us. Which is much more insightful than learning it from reports. It is the only true reflection of my efforts as a captain of my crew. Over about 30 years of my life, I changed roles and gained experience from various points. I obtained information first-hand. Therefore, there is a clear idea of how things should go, and what the real state of affairs is. It is a perfect chance to see whether there is a gap between our values, principles, and execution and whether we live in line with our principles. It is vital that a leader has the will, ability, and knowledge to walk in the shoes of the company’s employees. Leadership is not about building a framework and then letting it go. It is about 24/7 involvement and knowing business inside out.
April 28, 2022
Insights about InnoClub, the well-being of Innovecsers, and the mutual influence between hobbies and success at work
Choose a lifestyle, not a job. The company’s corporate culture encourages a balanced life and helps to develop beyond the mere profession. That is why the InnoClub community was created and is successfully operating, gradually expanding and uniting 12 communities of interest. Their participants, leaders, and coordinator of the platform are active people, who are passionate about their favorite cause, really care, and are ready to drive others. More detail about InnоClub, features of each community, and the importance of keeping the “balance wheel” in life in an interview with Olha Havlytska, Community Relations Coordinator at InnoClub by Innovecs. — Olya, you work for the company as a Community Relations Coordinator. I know that for you it is not only a job but also a lifestyle. Tell us more about your role: what are your responsibilities and how does it all intertwine with your hobby? — I have been running for about 4 years now. And it’s not just a tick in my calendar. This is my lifestyle, the same daily need as brushing my teeth in the morning. Running helps me not only to keep fit and feel good but also to achieve my goals. You set yourself the goal of running a half marathon, and a neural connection is formed in your subconscious that you will achieve goals not only in sports but also in work, for instance, complete the project, a difficult task, bring the case to an end. That is, sport affects not only your well-being but also your progress at work. One day my friend Anastasiia Chaikovska (Innovecs Internal Communication Specialist and running community leader) invited me for a run with the company. I joined several times. And later they opened my dream position — Community Relations Coordinator — and I was offered to join not only jogging :). I like to communicate with people, encourage them, and help them develop. This has always been interesting for me, and I decided to give it a try. From day one, I immersed myself in the world of communities to navigate the needs and characteristics of everyone and understand how to organize their work best to keep people interested. My task is to help and support community leaders in holding meetings, training, meet-ups, and organizing challenges and activities. I work on InnoClub’s growth strategy, order branded merch, solve infrastructure issues, and help build community members. Every once in a while I come up with ideas about challenges and competitions. — In the IT industry, a lot is said about the well-being of employees, which largely depends on the corporate culture of the company. In your opinion, what do we mean by saying that a company cares about well-being? — As long as everything is fine with the well-being corporate framework, employees will never complain of emotional burnout. It is easy to fall into this state if life becomes a routine — sleep, a trip to work, and a way back home. So even the work that you once enjoyed, ceases to please because it doesn’t make sense anymore. The burnout process looks as follows: first, we literally get high from our favorite work and do our best, and then there comes a moment when we want to work overtime and go beyond ourselves. However, this condition is a precursor of future burnout. To avoid it, you need to spice up your life and not just focus on work processes, but add a little hobby and communication. I agree that other than employees, employers themselves are responsible for well-being too. And it’s great when companies motivate their employees not only to improve their performance and grow professionally but also to develop personally. Everyone has something in life that inspires and refills resources whether it is dancing, running, reading books, drawing, traveling, etc. If corporate culture encourages you to combine work with activities that inspire you, your well-being should not be a matter of concern. Another sign of “norm” is balance in all spheres of life. One area cannot develop in the absence of another. Otherwise, you start to feel out of balance. It is crucial to understand your limits and keep yourself balanced — relax, do hobbies and communicate. I must point out that the corporate culture of Innovecs’ well-being is an important component that is reflected in actions, not words. — And how exactly does the company take care of well-being? Are there any unique offers? — In addition to HR projects and various activities, the company operates based on InnoClub — a large community that brings together more than 10 communities of interests and hobbies of employees. Some of them have up to 30 people, and others number from 70 to 100 participants such as the investment community. People meet, discuss favorite topics and get together for different hobbies. Every employee can join any community that inspires, get acquainted and train with other teams, develop not only professionally, but also improve in their hobbies. The number of communities is growing every year. Every Innovecser can become both a member and a leader of the community. Most often, the community is headed by the person who submitted the idea to create it or the most active participant. Currently, InnoClub has about 12 communities: running, fitness, chess, mindfulness, classical yoga and fly-yoga, football, table tennis, classical tennis, esports, active sports and extreme recreation, public speaking, and the investment community Inno2X. Of course, this list will expand. — And how did it all start? How did the idea to create InnoClub come about? Which community was the first and who initiated the development? — I joined the company when the launch of the InnoClub community was being prepared. Even before my arrival, there were already running, investment, tennis, and table tennis communities. The table tennis community was the first. This is quite a gamble, you get engaged really quickly. Until a few years ago, employees gathered at the company’s old office for lunch to play and relax. Once upon a time, one of the most proactive participants — Dmytro Kryvenko, Advanced Software Architect (Solution), invited Innovecsers to compete with teams from other IT companies. Unfortunately, winning was pretty far from us, but from the moment of that attempt, the participants wanted to pursue their hobby on a more serious level. Later, they hired a coach, exchanged knowledge, and after a while, they were able to play at a decent level not only with other IT companies but also to compete with professional athletes. Last year, our participants went to the local Table Tennis Championship. The running community started to develop particularly when Anastasiia Chaikovska, an Internal Communication Specialist at Innovecs, became the leader. She involved a trainer, encouraged participants to run, set goals, and shared their results. Everyone gathered for a morning ‘SunRiseRun with company’ jogs, did plogging in the nearest forest, and collected garbage. The investment community emerged with the arrival of Oleksandr Zhminko, Business Development Representative at Innovecs, who held meetings and lectures on effective investing and financial literacy. This is exactly what happens in every community. Active people inspire others with their enthusiasm, and a community is formed around them. — Today, there are about 12 communities of interest under the InnoClub umbrella. Tell us about the most active of them. What have you already implemented and what are your plans for the future? — Because all of the 12 communities are created at different times, each is at its own stage of development. Some are in the process of growth, others are in a particularly active phase. The most active communities often organize challenges, and competitions and participate in various external projects. For example, the running community organized a Running Challenge in the summer with the specific goal for participants to run 50 km/month. Also, everyone gathered together at SunRiseRun — morning jogs and breakfast together. They also organized plogging in the forest. As a special encouragement to run in the cold season the running community organized a challenge, increasing the distance to 60 km/month. Oleksandr Zagrebelnyi, our coach and part-time QA Manual, encouraged participants to perform exercises to strengthen the musculoskeletal system every week. Of course, people shared their successes on social media and discussed the benefits of such marathons. And the most diligent runners received prizes. Last year, we revived the fitness community, where you can train with both a personal trainer and a group. Strength, functional training, and stretching are available both offline and online. In the future, we plan to hold a wellness challenge on a healthy lifestyle because fitness is the ability to maintain balance in both training and functional nutrition. Many people join the yoga community, which operates in two formats — classical yoga and fly yoga, which not only strengthens the musculoskeletal system but also improves the digestive system. Classical yoga classes are held online. The leader of the community is our classical yoga trainer Kateryna Chaika, who works in the company as a Talent Sourcing Specialist. We invite an external trainer to fly yoga classes. Participants also take part in challenges to perform certain types of asanas and then share their achievements in chats and social networks. The mindfulness community is also gaining momentum. It is a place where employees can get available information on psychology, share experiences, gain skills of psychological care for themselves and others, and learn to prevent stress and burnout. The leader of the community is also our employee Diana Nahirna, who has a degree in psychology and works as a Technical Writer at Innovecs. At the weekly discussion meetings, participants discuss topics of self-realization and awareness, learning and self-development, romantic and family relationships, sports psychology, and life challenges in general. An 8-week meditation course was held in the winter, where participants learned to enjoy life here and now. Sports communities include table tennis and classic tennis units. Fans of classic tennis were divided into two groups: beginners and a more professional team. The leader of the community is Olga Prykhno, Chief Operational Officer at Innovecs. An external coach was involved to teach table tennis. Our participants have honed their skills so much that they win prizes in the championships. Classes usually take place in the morning. You play some tennis, and then during the day, you are determined to win. Last year, a football community was launched for football fans, led by Artem Voronin, Junior Designer (Motion), and coached by our former employee. Another sports community that competes with professional players is the Ice Hockey community, whose leaders are Alex Lutskiy, CEO of Innovecs, and Volodymyr Lutskiy, IT Procurement Manager. We also have an esports community for playing Counter-Strike under the leadership of Maxym Prykhno, a Technical Support Specialist in the company. Later we will talk more about the important projects they have implemented over the past six months. The community of active recreation and extreme sports unites people who are into travel, hiking, and extreme sports. In the fall we went to the mountains and rode motorcycles. There are many more interesting trips ahead, and that is a whole other story. The investment community is one of the first and largest in the Innovecs, where the meet-ups with representatives of investment funds and various consulting companies are held. Anyone interested in how to increase funds and invest effectively can join the community. In the future, we plan to host a large conference with the participation of market leaders. The chess community is currently being rebuilt. We plan to hold classes online, involve a coach, and host chess competitions and tournaments. Public Speaking community, where you can hone public speaking and presentation skills, as well as get rid of barriers to communication and public speaking. Among the leaders of the community are our colleagues Tetiana Rudenko and Danil Brovko. The idea is to meet in informal places for classes such as cafes or museums. The core of the community are people who like to participate in conferences and are active in the public sphere. We plan to invite a professional trainer speaking, who would also help participants in the development of a personal brand. — How do you encourage people to become community leaders? Do they agree easily? — Often active people do not expect encouragement. They are so passionate that they strive to share their passion for hobbies with teammates. So they find me, tell me about their initiative, share their knowledge, and we start a community. Leaders are those who are ready to drive others, motivate, and be pleased with the results of their colleagues. The company, of course, encourages, for its part, to provide the organizational infrastructure for the implementation of initiatives. As a community coordinator, I love that each of us can make an invaluable contribution to the development of teammates. — And how do you manage to keep the enthusiasm of the participants? Isn’t community activity declining? — We support the activity of each community, taking into account the development factors that are common to any community: the presence of a leader, interesting activity, regular meetings, commitment to community traditions (challenges, championships, sharing our jogging screens, photos after training, sharing impressions), joint chats, branded merch, and slogan. People become motivated when they see the results of their regular training. Oftentimes, some things seem impossible to us, but when we achieve them, we realize that we do not know the limits of our capabilities. The participants of the November 60 km challenge admitted that they could barely run even 2 km before that. But the training paid off. So when people see their progression, nothing can be more motivating to move forward. For our part, we support and create new traditions that push people to action. We encourage people to share their results on social networks, and corporate chats and we reward the most active participants. — Are the communities open only to employees of the company or also to external participants? — Most of our communities are open to all IT professionals, both from Innovecs and other IT companies. In addition, you can become not only a participant but also a coach. There are some restrictions to participation in the tennis and e-sports communities, as there is a certain membership limit. External IT specialists can also join the activities in the community. But to receive additional benefits and privileges, you need to join Innovecs. — Does remote work somehow affect community involvement? — For people who are passionate about their work and profession, it can be difficult to switch to another activity during the working day. Since most of our communities are remote-friendly, employees don’t have to go to the gym to train or to a chess club to play chess. You open the laptop, turn on Teams and play chess with your companion. Fancy some training? You quickly put on a sports uniform, join online training, then take a shower and continue working. Participating in the InnoClub community serves as a switch. We always keep a record of our meetings, and a teammate who is out of the office regularly or on this particular day can practice to a record at any time. The remote format allows you to be flexible and adapt to each employee. — The company has several offices and plans to open hubs in different countries. Is there the same level of access to the community for workers from these countries? — Wherever an employee is — in Australia, Poland, Romania, Colombia, or elsewhere — everyone has the same level of access. We provide this by adapting the language of instructions, communication channels, and time features to regional needs. Indeed, we plan to diversify communication channels that will attract people from other countries. That is, in the running community, in addition to Telegram, we will use other channels of communication, for example, the Strava application. Also, fitness classes are conducted in English and in local languages for our local communities at the offices. Even time zones are not an obstacle, as most can view the record. There will be no restrictions. In any country, people can join the meeting, communicate, and share their experiences. — And how can I apply to participate in the community? — Innovecsers can find all information about the community on our corporate portal Lifeboard — here you can register via the link, view missed workouts online, and learn about certain life hacks to perform complex exercises, such as yoga. IT professionals from other companies can apply to participate in the community on the InnoClub page. Also, information about each community with the ability to register will soon appear on the career website. — From observing different communities, do you think there is a relationship between hobbies and productivity that everyone is talking about? — Certain neural connections are constantly being formed in our brain. If we are accustomed to actively pursuing a hobby, our success there is also projected to our work. Life must be balanced and developed evenly in all spheres. Think of the “balance wheel”, which has a place for family, friends, work, health, self-development, and recreation. If the development of one area reaches 10 points and the other just 3 points, then this is an uneven distribution. Psychologists say that the more even each of the areas of the “balance wheel”, the happier a person is. To my mind, the company creates a work environment where employees feel happy and balanced. After all, in addition to professional development, they have the opportunity to evolve in other areas. By taking part in communities, you can communicate, make friends, take care of your health and grow personally. — InnoClub’s slogan goes like this: Choose a lifestyle, not a job. How would you briefly describe this style? — At Innovecs, you are not confined to a desk whatsoever. This is the place for your personal and professional development and being around an awesome team. There are many opportunities for personal and professional evolution. This is your lifestyle. In the morning you train in the tennis community and then proceed to work. In addition to lunch, you have a workout again, and in the evening when the work is done you play table tennis with teammates. This is your active lifestyle. You are interested, you enjoy the day, you want more, and your work goals are fulfilled in the same rhythm as you do your hobby. Easy and effortless. You don’t force yourself to work, you like it. The company promotes and encourages this. If you are really into running, do not give up this habit. At Innovecs you can find like-minded people, make friends and continue to grow career-wise. Some Innovecsers joke that we have a sports camp because there are always some events — training, challenges, competitions, and championships. No Innovecser does not take part in any community, and all this happens within the working environment. We encourage everyone to choose their community and enjoy life at Innovecs.