Interview with Khrystyna Sika, Android Software Engineer at WebCreek
In the digital world of technology, there’s a strong masculine predominance. I therefore set out to do some research from the female perspective inside WebCreek. At the start of last week, I got in contact with Khrystyna Sika, a female software developer that lives in the city of Lviv, Ukraine (also known as Leópolis), with an 8-hour time difference from Mexico City. I wanted to learn more about her experience with Android Development Ukraine. I tried to interview Krystyna on Monday the 17th, but she messaged me that it was a national holiday celebrating the Pentecost. I thus learned that she is a member of the Greek Ukrainian Catholic Church–followed likewise by millions of people in the world, and under the same umbrella of the Catholic, Apostolic, and Roman religions that many of us follow in Latin America.
The next day, Miss Sika gave me a few minutes of her time before sleeping, to chat about her life, likes, interests, and roles with our Texan employer. I invite you to check out her answers in another interview of this special series, letting you know just how WebCreek “connects the dots.”
Rafa: Tell me a bit about yourself.
Khrystyna Sika: I’m from Ukraine. I studied for a Master’s in Applied Mathematics at Uzhhorod National University. After studying, I moved to Lviv and started working from here.
Rafa: When I interviewed Jason Bott, CEO of WebCreek, he told me about the great academic and educational standards in Ukraine. Are you in agreement with this? Do you think your university is top quality?
Khrystyna Sika: Do you mean, if my university is good or not? If it’s one of the most renowned?
Khrystyna Sika: Mm, perhaps. You know, maybe not in Ukraine, and even less if we compare it with Berkeley or Tomsk (Polytechnic University). And it’s not a super well-known university, but it has a wide breadth of knowledge and teaching on the topic of mathematics. I can tell you that many of the algorithms and the basic knowledge that I use daily in my work, I learned in my university. Oh, yes.
Rafa: You’re now in Lviv, were you born there?
Khrystyna Sika: No, I was born about 100 km from here, not in the city. You see, Ukraine is divided in regions, and I was born in the region of Lviv, a little bit outside of the metropolis.
Rafa: This question is particularly important because I think it must have been a big change– living outside the city, moving, and now working in a software company. What was that experience like? Did you ever imagine yourself working in this field?
Khrystyna: Well, look, I have always traveled– not to change my job, but just my living place. That has been interesting to me. I know that I can achieve my goals and gain experience; that’s why I think that coming to live in Lviv in a positive thing.
Rafa: What is your position in the company? What is your job?
Khrystyna: Yes yes, I’m an Android developer Ukraine. I make smartphone apps (laughs). Some of the apps that I’ve made are: Teleportal, Chkkr, Realpad…I can’t tell you more because of the NDA (confidentiality agreement). Oh, another one and that’s it: Papareless. I’ve been working for WebCreek for about 6 months.
Rafa: In your LinkedIn profile, I found a photo of something that you call, “Smart Toy”…
Khrystyna: Yes (excited).
Rafa: …can you tell me a little about it?
Khrystyna: Yes, this is my hobby. They are felt toys that I made a few years ago. Actually, it was my pastime when I was a student. Sometimes, I made so many that I gave them away to my friends, relatives– from me to them.
Rafa: And as I understand from a picture on social media, you’re also interested in plants?
Khrystyna: No, honestly, not much. Well, just a few, but I have to use my translator…yes, I like one… I have to translate this word to English, I don’t know it (uses her laptop).
Rafa: Sure, no worries, take your time…
Khrystyna: Oh, cactus!
(Laughs and says:)
Khrystyna: Yes, my favorite plant is the cactus. I have a number of them, some here in this apartment that I rent in Lviv; but I have a ton in my parents’ house. But not other plants, because I can get busy and forget to water them for a week. And for a plant, that’s not good; on the other hand, a cactus doesn’t have any problems.
Rafa: At least paper, made from trees, is a plant product that requires less maintenance. Tell me, do you have an interest in books?
Khrystyna: Ah, I am a fan of reading. I try to read at least one book per month. I take advantage of mornings, since the time zone is different in the United States. So, I can work in the evenings and do other things during the day. I can also read a few pages when I’m on the bus or train. Yes, it’s another of my hobbies.
Rafa: Are you interested in any particular theme or author?
Khrystyna: Right now I’m reading Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand. You know, it’s a very philosophical book, about people that work hard to achieve their goals and help others, and they carry the weight of everything on their own backs…
Rafa: And speaking of effort and working hard: tell me, how did you start working at WebCreek?
Khrystyna: How? Hmmm, it happened when I was in Poland, working for another company with my boyfriend. And I realized that I didn’t want to be there; I love my city and I love my country, Ukraine. So I decided to return. And just then, two weeks later, Jason sent me an email asking if I wanted to work with his company. And I said yes.
Rafa: Haha, okay. And do you have future plans? Do you want to stay in WebCreek? What are you thinking?
Khrystyna: Well, regarding professional plans, yes, I have a few. I want to continue gaining skills and designing new products for the company. In a few years, I would like to be technical project manager, in addition to continuing as a developer. I think that it’s also a great job, to create products and make them better and better.
Rafa: Seems perfect to me. Listen, to wrap it up, as you know, this interview will be published on LinkedIn and our blog, with the intention of getting to know the talent (like yourself) inside WebCreek. Do you have a final message for those who will be reading this interview?
Khrystyna: Like a phrase or sentence?
Rafa: Yeah, sure, if you want.
Khrystyna: Well, sure, I have one. It’s: “Those who seek, find.” I’ve always believed that.
I thanked Khrystyna for her time and willingness to do this interview, and I closed the video session to start writing. I chose a few photos from her instagram and came across something else: a phrase from a post in February of this year, which provided me with a key:
“Having been rocked by music, I was physically exhausted in the festivals. But my mind was rested. Music inspires me when I work, when I rest, when I think about the future…And what is most exciting to me is that I discovered it myself.”
In this moment, I felt that I really began to understand Khrystyna’s essence. I felt that, without a doubt, technology allows us to get to know others from a distance, and likewise project our own interests towards other minds that perhaps don’t even speak our language. This, also, is to “connect the dots.”