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Our People: Ilia's success story at Boardingware

Paul Organ

August 22, 2017

It’s coming up for a year that our youngest software engineer, Ilia, has been working at Boardingware. As we’re about to look for some new team members, I thought there was no better time to share his success so far. Today I sat down with Ilia to run through some quick questions on his experience at Boardingware for the past 12 months.Ilia, can you please introduce yourself?I’m Ilia Sidorenko, I’m 20 years old and I’m a software developer at Boardingware.What were you doing before starting at Boardingware?I was a student at AUT studying a Bachelor of Computer Science.Where did you first hear about Boardingware?I first heard of Boardingware at the Summer of Tech event in 2016. I met the co-CEO and CTO of the company, Kurt and Mario. My first impression was that they were clearly very passionate about what they were doing. Most of the other companies at the event sent their employees who seemed less enthusiastic. Boardingware stood out as a pretty easy-going company, and I definitely left the event with a good feeling about them.What was the interview process like?Great! Boardingware didn’t use the default summer of tech framework like the other companies did; they conducted a normal Q&A style interview which I enjoyed. It was a very relaxed interview which started off with technical questions that were geared towards assessing my understanding of web technologies before going through my portfolio.Mario, the CTO of the company then walked me through the product and how it all worked.How quickly did you find out if you had the job?Between the time of the interview and receiving my offer was 2 weeks, they moved quickly.Was there any hesitations to join Boardingware given that it was just a small startup at the time?Not really. I got the sense that the company was succeeding and there didn’t seem to be any evidence of a crisis or panic that you would expect from a less stable environment. I was impressed by how well formed, passionate and cooperative the team was so that’s what sold it for me.Where else did you receive offers from?I only applied at Boardingware and Air New Zealand. Air NZ offered me a position as well.What made you decide to go with Boardingware?Air New Zealand was the bigger name and more prestigious so naturally the compensation was slightly higher but the work at Boardingware was too compelling. I knew I could make a much bigger impact by working on a smaller team as well as grow professionally. Moreover the challenges that the company faced seemed to be more exciting and valuable to the organisation.What are some of the projects you have worked on at Boardingware so far?Quite a few! Here are the most notable ones I worked on in the past 12 months.

  • Internal customer platform: new functionality to increase the security of the platform and improve the team’s workflow
  • Infrastructure Maintenance: improving the development experience and making deployments less error-prone
  • Core user flow changes: extending how Boardingware’s core leave process works across multiple apps
  • Single Sign On: enabling Boardingware to work better with common schools’ login systems.
  • Rewriting Front-End: completely reimagining how boardingware looks and feels and enabling our UI for further improvement

A startup can require longer hours than a more established company. Has this been the case at Boardingware and how have you found managing it?That is true with startups and it’s something that not everyone is up for. But if you’re looking to achieve anything at a big company you’re expected to do overtime as well, and if not, you’ll face career stagnation there. When I ask people who work at bigger companies, they tell me that they’re still doing huge shifts around crunch time and project deadlines. Funnily enough, I find that Boardingware seems to value a work life balance more than these bigger companies.How has the work at Boardingware improved your understanding of software development?It has helped me learn a lot about working in a true ‘product team’. I’ve learn to really understand what parts of the product to develop in order to deliver the highest value for our clients and in turn creating more value for the company. On top of that, the technical challenges we face has pushed me to hone my proficiency in skills right across the whole tech stack.Towards the end of your Summer of Tech internship, you decided to join Boardingware full time. What drove that decision?The team was too awesome for me to pass on the opportunity. I knew I would continue to have an impact on something that will only continue to grow even faster.What would you say to other people considering a job at Boardingware?There’s nothing to consider, just apply if you want the chance to work with a great team.What has been the highlight of working at Boardingware?The release of our latest web app was tremendous. As well as working in a tight knit team - that’s something I look forward to every day.How do you think your work at Boardingware will help with the future development of your career?It’s a great start which opens up many career opportunities. I can remain here and carve a great career with Boardingware and if I am to leave one day I know that lots of companies value startup employees because they know we’re the type of people who get stuff done.To find out more about working at Boardingware. Go to

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Paul Organ

There are two important things that keep me enthused at work - Using creativity to solve complex problems and working with good people.

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