Three years ago, Anastasiia Krekoten made a radical shift. An international economist, she attended Beetroot Academy courses for refugees from Donbas and received her first job offer on the second week after graduation. Nastya is a WordPress developer at Beetroot now.
She talks about the power of multitasking, her inspiring Project Unit experience and how to get back to work with an infant in your arms.
The Project Unit is an internal Beetroot team that works primarily with WordPress, PHP, and JS frameworks.
All of a sudden, a WP developer
I never thought that I would be a WordPress developer. But here I am! This feeling, when you create something from scratch, is incredible. You eventually turn a set of characters into a properly working site. It’s a kind of magic!
In my profession, every day is a new challenge: you must to be a fast learner here! And the easiest way to learn is to practice. Fortunately, at Beetroot I have both practice and support: there is always someone to help you out, advise or assist. On a colleague’s recommendation, I am reading Fullstack React. The Complete Book on ReactJS and Friends – a useful book for my new project on React.js.
Project Unit — no “big boss”, no pressure
Generally, in Beetroot’s Project Unit there is no concept of “subordinates and superiors.” Developers are responsible for the result and are free to manage their working hours at their will. This is very convenient: instead of having a “big boss” who’s in charge of everything you have a stable and friendly relationship in the team.
Of course, we do have a Team Lead. He may wonder if we need help, ask for updates on a project as a whole, but he will never ever put pressure on us or baselessly criticize us The only thing greater than that is direct communication with the client. That helps us avoid Chinese whispers a lot.
WP for USA, Kuwait and Sweden
We had a pretty good relationship with clients from different countries. And I never faced any stereotypical problems that are usually attributed to foreigners. But, I admit, some cultural specifics did exist.
For example, we had a real project-shifter from Kuwait. As you probably know, Arabic writing, unlike ours, is inverted – from right to left. While working on the website, I had to ensure that everything in both the Arabic and English language versions worked properly and that all translations were correctly uploaded. This task was a tough one, and at one point I caught myself trying to read a book backwards
In addition, the clients in Kuwait were tempted to put three dots at the end of each message. And what in the world would that mean? Americans, on the contrary, used another form of nonverbal expression and often wrote messages in capitals. Only with the Swedes did I not have any inconveniences – we found a common language from the very moment the conversation started.
It’s been hard to go and hard to come back
I have a little son now. Throughout the pregnancy I felt so comfortable at work and absolutely did not wanted any breaks. I worked till the last day. Literally! I did take maternity leave… and after three days welcomed my firstborn.
I really wanted to come back to work ASAP, but oh, how little I knew about working while taking care of this little gentlemen! Especially with no relatives anywhere around to help out. A colleague of mine managed to get back to work three months after giving birth – once a week she even worked from the office in order not to lose the skills and socialize. I was able to start working remotely only after my son was six months old. Fortunately, my client easily agreed to my “special” working conditions.
On my return, for the first two weeks I tried to refresh my memory and find some rhythm. It’s hard to get on track after such a long break. I felt stiff. Now I work from home at a 75% load: when my son is sleeping or playing, if possible, I can work for an hour or two. When he’s awake or needs attention – I’m there for him. I’ve spoken to my Team Lead and client and we decided to give it a try. So far, everything is going great.
I had the experience of simultaneous work on several different sites before. Perhaps that’s how I’ve learned to efficiently switch between tasks. I know that for some people, working from home or multitasking is not an option, but for me it works just fine. I can concentrate on a task and be productive even if it’s only for an hour. I can get into the flow.
We have an article about that phenomenon of “flow”. Click here to give it a quick look!
My experience proved that “impossible“ is just a word! You need a strong will to start something new without fear of change and complexities. Yes, at the very beginning of the journey, it may seem too hard. Try not to give up; ask for support if things are getting tough. Maybe you are on the very turning point?
Everyone who dares to leave their comfort zone has been where you are now. For you, the choice is to overcome the challenges and push yourself further to the exciting Unknown. Or go back to your roots. I chose the first. And I have never regretted it: now I have a great job that gives me a lot of positive vibes and also friends who are just as passionate about their profession as I am.