Cover Story: Ivan, BA Practice Lead
Cover Stories
6 September 2021
Cover Story: Ivan, BA Practice Lead
Cover Stories
6 September 2021

Here at Opinov8, Opinov8rs represent our culture. Cover Stories portray the richness within all of us, the differences that make us who we are. 

In this edition, we will talk with Ivan P., our BA Practice Lead. He tells us about his incredible work experiences, shared his top must-read books, and talked about amazing hobby that is much more than a hobby.

Get to know Ivan a little more through this Cover Story, and don’t miss the opportunity to join us and be part of this gr8 adventure too!

How did you become part of Opinov8’s team? What has your career path at Opinov8 been like? 

I arrived at Opinov8 after working for several years in the banking sector. I remember that someone wrote to me from our recruiting team on LinkedIn with an offer to come to the office and meet an impressive manager. 🧐

I do recall that I definitely did not plan to change my job at that moment. It turned out funny because she persuaded me to come. I don't even remember how she managed to do it! πŸ™ƒ But, I went to the office, where I met Viktor Y., Head of Delivery. We had a gr8 talk, and then literally, he sent me an offer on the same day. The offer seemed to be quite tempting. 🀝

It was an opportunity to work with a nice team and interesting projects. In a short time, I became part of a gr8 team of professionals. The willingness and excellence of all the Opinov8rs I met were surprising. They made me want to continue to grow and take root in this company. πŸ™‚

As to my career path at Opinov8, it started pretty quick. From my very first day, I immediately got down to work. I joined the company two years ago as a Business Analyst, and I was the first and the only Business Analyst on the team. I have been leading one big project, which I continue to lead to this day. Of course, during this time, there were many different changes. 

The main significant change was that our team had grown considerably, and now there are 6 Business Analysts on our project! Therefore, I became responsible for the entire ecosystem of our project and became a software Business Analyst, which includes 4 different streams

At the same time, I introduced various other projects that were no less important for the company. Since the beginning of this year, I have become BA Practice Lead. 😎

Ivan, BA Practice Lead

What does your typical workday look like at Opinov8?

Before quarantine times, I usually started working from 10 am until 7 pm. I try to stick to the same schedule with remote work unless I have some important meetings scheduled earlier, such as interviews with candidates. But in general, my schedule is standard, like that of most people. This mode is quite comfortable for me.

Of course, my calendar is quite busy, and it is not always possible to have lunch or just set aside a fixed time. My typical workday is spent between meetings with clients and correspondence with them, having some technical meetings and discussions with my team, supporting them during the day as needed. I also practice, and as I load, I devote 50% of my time to it and devote the rest 50% of my time to our project.

Last but not least, Opinov8 grows in a truly amazing way. So, I spend a lot of time on interviews with candidates. We had fewer than 30 people when I started, and now we have over 200 amazing Opinov8rs!

Some days are heavier than others, but what is never lacking is the fun and atmosphere of friendship. 

My team is very close-knit, and, no less important, everyone can work independently and help each other. We all work with passion and enjoy our workdays, which are full of opportunities. πŸ’™

What is the biggest challenge or most innovative project you and your teammates have had to face? 

If we speak within the current project framework, sometimes communication with the client is quite complex. The difficult thing is that many people inside the client's company are decision-makers, and they pull the "blanket" to their side.

Until a certain point, we did not have a single point of decision-making. Therefore, we had redundant communication on fairly simple issues. But, if the question was challenging, then this communication grew at times. πŸ˜• Now, this process has improved! We have one point of decision-making: we communicate with this point of contact, and then they communicate and resolve all controversial issues already inside their company. πŸ™ƒ

Also, one of the biggest challenges is when you work in a system that has been in production for more than 15 years, difficulties can appear with β€œlegacy” and with all the problems and issues that come up. Like the old code, basically, the people who wrote this code no longer work for the company. When you want to re-engineer or replace something using new technologies, you face the difficulties that no one knows how it works since there is no documentation. And if this is broken, it will entail many unpleasant problems. πŸ™„

But all the challenges you face always give you the opportunity to find the way to deliver a better service and go beyond what the client asks. Doing this allows you to develop your personal skills and provide learning opportunities. πŸ˜‰

Private jet travel πŸš€

Tell us about your background. How has your career developed before Opinov8?

Well, before joining Opinov8, I was working in various spheres. I have worked in the banking sector for a long time, specifically that with overdue debt. I was not a Business Analyst, but by the nature of my work, I had to identify requirements, write technical documentation, interact with developers, introduce some new solutions, or optimize existing ones. 

For some time, I worked in consulting, where I was engaged in a cryptocurrency exchange in the framework of consulting. Also worked in a technology startup related to aviation, mainly in unmanned aerial vehicle control. πŸ€©

And at one point, I found myself in IT. I can't say that I somehow aspired to get there. It just happened that way. I developed myself in different business fields. My experience gave me a smooth ramp-up in the industry, letting me lay the foundation of knowledge I needed to grow in my career. πŸš€

If you had to explain your job to a little kid or your granny, what would you say?

I would definitely not explain to a little kid, even more to my granny, what I do! I would definitely come up with anything, any other job, and talk about it, but not about my current one. πŸ˜‚ 

But when people ask me what I do, and I say that I am an Analyst, then immediately comes the counter-question:

What is an Analyst?

Then I answer that I take some data, and in this data look for a certain grain, and if this grain is conventionally repeated several times, I can already build some kind of logical chain. Based on analyzed data, I can build some system that will predict what and why is happening in this particular place at a given time. πŸ‘€ You know, as the legendary engineer, W. Edwards Deming said:

Without data, you are just another person with an opinion.

For instance, in science, you don’t want opinions, you want to look at the facts, which must be objective. Your opinion doesn’t count. Whether you like it or not, the Earth revolves around the Sun, and you know it by looking at the facts informed by repeated experiments.

But in any case, I will definitely not try to explain what exactly I am doing to a child or the granny. It will be my secret. πŸ™ƒ

Travel photo πŸ‘»

Do you have any tips for staying motivated? How do you deal when you are overwhelmed or underperforming?

I am one of those people who enjoy work very much. I can spend endless hours doing my things. I like my work because I do not have a processing activity but a project one. I like that everything changes every second. There is no routine around me, accordingly, work does not get boring. πŸ˜‰

The most passionate days are those that have more diverse tasks. 

One of the things I enjoy most about the way we work is people. It inspires and motivates me to see how all strive to do their best to achieve a common goal. I believe that being one is the basis of every good project. It is a value that allows us to share and acquire knowledge by empowering the entire team, generating excellent results, and growing with them. πŸ™Œ

Of course, there are times when I need to switch between tasks when I realize that I cannot concentrate and solve tasks quickly. Therefore, I can do another task or even do something else if I feel that the procrastination starts. πŸ˜… So then, I can read technical literature or watch YouTube professional tutorials about aviation and technologies, if time allows. πŸ˜„

Do you have a hidden talent or hobbies?

I do have a hobby, maybe it will not be a secret for someone, but I am into aviation. πŸ’₯ For me, aviation is more than a hobby. It’s difficult to explain where the concept of β€œhobby” crosses from being purely a pastime into something more. Once you touch it even lightly, it sucks you deeper and deeper. ✈️

I am a certified pilot, and I even have my own 2 planes! πŸ‘¨β€βœˆοΈ But, one of my planes is currently under repair, so I fly on leased ones. Of course, this does not happen as often as I would like. It depends on many factors, from weather conditions to free time slots for the plane and me. But still, I try to be professional and systematically maintain my skills at a high level. 😎

My training took almost one year, although you can learn to fly in just 48 hours! Since I am a relatively young pilot, little by little, I fly around Kyiv and adjacent areas within a radius of 150 km. But I have big plans for the future, I want to visit all airfields in Ukraine, and then I will move towards Europe, as there are slightly different requirements for a pilot. 

What are the top 3 destinations on your must-visit list?

I have an old dream to visit America and North and South. I haven't got there yet, but I have long been attracted by their aviation community, which is the best developed in the world. They have the infrastructure that allows you to rent a private jet if you have a pilot's license. So you can fly to all the places you like, and it will not cost as much money as in Ukraine. Also, they host some of the largest aviation festivals, which I have been planning to visit for a long time. πŸ₯°

If you could time travel, when would you go?

Oh, I would definitely be poisoned in the Middle Ages to make sure our story is true. Also, it would be interesting to meet with some historical person, but there are so many interesting people that it is so difficult for me to choose someone specific. 🧐

Which 3 books would you like to recommend to Opinov8rs?

More than recommending specific titles, I prefer to recommend just reading more. I love reading literature about characters and economics. I would recommend: 

  • Yuri German  β€” β€œThe Cause You Serve” 
  • Archibald Joseph Cronin  β€” β€œThe Citadel”
  • Friedrich Hayek β€” β€œThe Road to Serfdom”

If you could say only one phrase to people starting their professional path in tech, what would you say?

I would say that you need to start and do not think too much. Especially if you were invited to Opinov8 since this is the gr8 place to start! 😎


If you wanna join our super-cool Op8 BA Team, don’t hesitate to check our open positions or send your CV to careers@opinov8.com

Be curious and driven to explore new horizons and technology areas with us. Let’s innov8 together!

#BEBOLD #BEHUMAN

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