Olesia Kochergina , Technical Lead – Applications
Playing educational video games from age seven opened the gateway to the world of information technology for Olesia Kochergina, Harvest’s Technical Lead – Applications. While Olesia’s fondness of gaming has waned over the years – being too fixated on dissecting how they’re built to enjoy them – her love of tech has grown since joining Harvest where she has the development team of her dreams and mentors who challenge and inspire her daily.
Joined Harvest: March 2019
Qualifications: Bachelor of Science and Computer Science and Games Technology from Murdoch University, Perth.
What are your responsibilities at Harvest?
I lead the development of mobile and desktop applications, which involves technical leadership, team management, software development and design. My role also includes writing and maintaining software standards and procedures for our development teams.
How many are there in the innovation team?
There are about 21 of us in the innovation team and 12 of us are developers.
What led you to join this team?
When I started I only had one year of experience and was looking for something challenging enough to keep me interested. I quickly realised this was the right company as there’s always so much innovation happening. Personally, I’ve learned about so many different concepts, including data compression, remote control, CI/CD, and UI/UX.
CI/CD – what’s that?
It stands for Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment, which is a set of practices and tools to assist with automating areas of development and improve team productivity to enable delivery of reliable software to customers faster.
And for the uninitiated, can you explain UI/UX?
UI is User Interface, so that’s pretty much what you see within an application, all the different buttons, colours and fonts are part of the UI. On the other hand, UX is about the User Experience and how you interact with elements within an application.
What do you love about your job?
There is a lot I love about my job. To start with, the people are the main reason I like being here. Everyone is friendly and always ready to help. We have a positive work culture that fosters innovation. Since 2019, I’ve managed to work on a wide variety of cutting-edge projects, which is why I’m so energised and inspired in my job – there’s always something new to learn.
Is there a particular piece of technology or a project that you are currently working on?
Currently, I’m working on an improved version of Nodestream™ for Windows, applying the UI design to the application and adjusting UX based on internal and external feedback.
Have you been involved in code-name “NS2”?
At this stage, I mainly work on the Nodestream™ technology. Once “NS2” goes to a beta stage and we start integrating it with the existing ecosystem, then I will become more involved. My responsibility will be implementing the business logic for existing applications to tie in with the new infrastructure. “NS2” will provide the front-end as well as the backend cloud service.
What got you into technology? Were you always into it?
From age seven, I was really into video games and at some point, I thought it would be really fulfilling to develop them. When I was older, I did a programming class which motivated me to learn C# by reading books and online content. Later, I pursued a degree in computer science in Dubai. Then because Murdoch University in Perth offered a games technology course, I decided it was an opportunity to experience game development firsthand and move to Perth.
How does the gaming framework inform your work at Harvest?
One of the key aspects about game development is its complexity and involvement of multiple scientific domains. The gaming framework has helped me with learning how to break down complex problems into manageable tasks and applying knowledge from physics and trigonometry to solve everyday software development challenges at Harvest.
Have you got a particular highlight since you’ve been working at Harvest?
Growing the company and witnessing it evolve is something I’ve enjoyed. Harvest is growing, our technology is growing, and the number of customers is also growing. It’s exhilarating to see the progress we’ve made so far.
And what’s coming up in your area of business for Harvest?
My team’s focus remains on new technology we can embed into everyday things. Once the product suite is complete, the next phase is migration to “NS2” and utilising cloud services to improve the existing offering. To get to the next milestone our applications will receive a new unified look and feel. We are also getting close to a minimum viable product (MVP) of the iOS application. I’m sure all our iOS customers can’t wait to see this ready – as an iPhone-user, I’m included.
Do you have good mentors at Harvest?
Definitely. Our Chief Innovation & Technology Officer (CTO) Jaron has been my mentor since I started in 2019. I have so many good things to say about Jaron and his influence. The way his mind works is remarkable. He always brings so many ideas to the table that we can explore. The people above me believe in innovation, which allows us to investigate new development concepts and frameworks, different Artificial Intelligence (AI), techniques, and various algorithms to improve our products. As a team, we are comfortable exploring the unknown.
What do you do when you’re not working?
I enjoy playing board games, being amongst nature, attending music events, and visiting museums.
Do you play computer games now?
No. I stopped playing computer games when I was studying at university because I couldn’t stop analysing the mechanics of the games. I’d spend my time trying to understand how they did one feature or another, so the joy of playing games vanished. But I am grateful that it opened doors for my professional development.
Harvest enables remote operations to work smarter and safer. Is there a remote location somewhere in the world that you would like to visit?
My goal is to visit New Zealand because the nature and landscape looks unbelievable, particularly in the South Island.
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