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Meet Aleksandra, our next hero of Women in IT series

Although IT is stereotypically perceived as men's domain, more and more women pursue their career paths in infotech. Meet exceptional women in DB Schenker IT Structures whose stories can be an inspiration to others. #WomenInIT  

Aleksandra Bernacka joined our company as head of the Solution Quality department 3 months ago. We are extremely glad to talk to her right now to get to know more about her professional life, and how did she like the first months in our company. Let's find out!

Hello Aleksandra, it is great to talk to you! At the beginning, please tell me what is your role and position at TSC Warsaw? 

I’m leading the Solution Quality team in Warsaw. My daily work is about supporting the team in implementing and maintaining high-quality testing standards in projects they take part in, enabling knowledge and best practice sharing as well as personal and professional development to build a strong team and to best answer our partners' needs.

Tell us something about your team, how many people are in it, what they do, and which projects do to work on? 

Currently, our team contains 18 quality experts: test managers, test analysts, and test automation engineers. They support projects such as StarEU, Compass, Lines, or IOT in designing and performing tests allowing us to cover all crucial functionalities and identify defects in delivered code, to make sure that the prepared solution is stable, of the highest quality, and fully answers agreed business requirements.

What is your educational background?

This may come as a surprise, but my education and professional career started as far from IT as possible. I studied sociology and majored in social communication and consultancy. As a retrospective, I think it hugely impacted my management path - both my natural character traits and my education help me to be an engaged, analytical and attentive leader whose main goal is to understand and manage the teams’ and partners' expectations and organize space for open communication, shared vision, and continuous development.

When and how did you start your professional career? What was your first job? 

I started my career in one of the biggest insurance companies on the Polish market, as a trainee in the HR department. It was a great start that allowed me to meet many employees and get a helicopter view of all key departments in the company. After one year I decided I wanted to be a little closer to the company’s main line of business and applied for a job in Project Management Office. It was 14 years ago and over the next years, I had roles such as PMO specialist, business analyst, and finally, I moved to test management.

What was the next challenge on your career path, where did you work before our company? 

I spent the last 7 years as Test Manager in one of the huge, global insurance companies where my role was to create the professional test team from scratch, work on IT Test best practices and cooperate with scrum masters, product owners and IT architects to implement test management processes across all IT functions and projects. It was a huge challenge but also an amazing lesson and self-development possibility. Seeing that people I recruited grow professionally and have a big impact on scrum teams’ everyday work, support each other and take care of assuring high-quality delivered solutions gave me tremendous satisfaction.

And how did your adventure with DB Schenker start? 

After 14 years in the Insurance field, I needed a change. I wanted to meet new people, take part in new projects and get to know new technologies and processes. I love learning different ways and structures to organize and improve everyday work – it gives my work a real purpose. The first three months at DB Schenker were like a rollercoaster ride! Meeting the team and other colleagues, understanding the company’s structure, sharing my own experiences in the QA field, and working on the next targets for our community gave me new energy. I was very pleasantly surprised with how open, friendly, and available everyone was – and still is! 😊

Is solution quality or testing a good area for females in IT? Are women good testers? 

Definitely! Solution quality is a great place to start an adventure in IT and understand first-hand the technology, and the tools, and get to know the people and their work specifics. IT gives so many possibilities and directions to develop further, it’s such a dynamic and challenging area and there is no way you’ll ever get bored. IT is also full of real experts in what they do, people with great knowledge and willing to share their experiences – you can learn so much even by observing their work, not to mention working closely with them on shared goals and tasks. I never even for a second had a thought I shouldn’t have started a career in IT. 

Can you tell me something about your hobbies, what do you do in your free time?

I like to joke that my 8-year-old son is the most complex but also the most fulfilling project I had the pleasure to participate in. Being his mum and accompanying him in experiencing the world around him is priceless to me and also gives me much needed perspective and balance. In my free time, I love to travel with my family, watch tennis tournaments and read. Bike rides and squash give me an excuse for my biggest guilty pleasure, which is sweets! Overall, I live by the rule that life is too short to eat bad cakes or not to eat them at all.

Thank you Ola, the last question. What would you say to young girls wanting to start their career in IT, in testing? 

Don’t let anyone tell you it’s not a place for you! If you are an open-minded, engaged, and analytical person with attention to detail and a willingness to learn from others and adapt to new ways of working, everything is possible! Give yourself time to learn, listen carefully to others, and always give 100% in what you do. This way you’ll see that with time, what once seemed difficult now is something natural and you’re ready for new challenges.

Aleksandra, thanks for sharing about your career journey. 
We wish you a lot of success in your professional role with us. Good luck!