Andreea Chirica, our Communications and Support Specialist

18 Jun 2020 5 min read
Andreea
in 5 things
Andreea.png
  • Favorite artist: Evanescence
  • Best book ever read: "Book of Imaginary Beings",  Jorge Luis Borges and Margarita Guerrero
  • Dream destination: A mountain-side river
  • Quote you live by: "There is nothing like looking, if you want to find something. You certainly usually find something, if you look, but it is not always quite the something you were after.”― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Hobbit
  • At the office or remote? Mostly remote, but with enough days at the office especially for team activities.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm Andreea Chirica, looking forward to turning 30 this year, and I'm currently helping people use XWiki to its full potential as part of the Support and Marketing Squads. I'm spreading the news, tips, and tricks about XWiki through articles, email campaigns, landing pages & graphical elements. In August 2020, I'll be a three years old XWikier. 

In my free time, I enjoy developing my photography skills, singing voice, discovering new cultures through traveling, baking, building nice digital things through HTML, CSS, and photo/video editing tools and, last but not least, playing with my mom's cat, Luna.

The journey to XWiki

What were you doing before XWiki? Did you change careers when joining our team?

Luna-and-Andreea.jpg

My first real connection to the professional world was through my teaching experience of foreign languages when I happily learned to dedicate myself to build safe and interactive learning environments for my pupils. As I started playing with graphic design and HTML since high school, I decided to end the teaching experience as I wanted to expand my technical knowledge in a different environment. I carried with me the values of doing one's best effort to give knowledge to those in need. I then worked at a company that manages pensions and benefits in the UK and US, part of the Marketing team, with the main focus on Digital Marketing, email campaigns, and templates, landing pages. I put my teaching skills into practice there as well, during the Induction and Brand training held together with a colleague.

When I joined XWiki, I was happy to take a role with multiple responsibilities: sharing with the world XWiki news and updates through digital marketing and graphic elements, but also keeping direct contact with leads and XWiki users. I was also happy to use the two languages I so sturdily learned throughout the years at a Philology class in high school and the University of Letters: English and French. In no time, I started to seek more and more technical tasks as I grew my knowledge about XWiki and technical abilities. Some time has passed, Iulia noticed my potential and I joined the Support Squad while keeping a more technical role in terms of my Marketing responsibilities. 

So, I would say that my career involved, since the beginnings, carrying on multiple hats and XWiki is definitely a place where you are given the freedom to flourish and contribute to multiple areas.

What is it like to be working in the Marketing and Support teams at XWiki?

A thrilling challenge. I have a schedule decided together with both Marketing and Support teams in order to set a good balance of priorities, and the team weekly catch up meetings or daily chat exchanges help with keeping everything in check. Also, from what I noticed, there are times where the lines between the XWiki teams are intertwined, and I get to help other teams as well.

I’m lucky to work with Andreea every day, both on supporting our customers and on spreading the word about XWiki. With her unique skill set that combines languages, communication, and technical skills, she’s a great fit in our matrix organization, where most of us get to wear multiple hats. One of Andreea’s great strengths is her deep empathy for our users. She translates that into improvement proposals, which make our products and services better. Her empathy is matched by her curiosity for constant learning and self-improvement. Most importantly, Andreea has great taste in music. emoticon_smile
- Silvia Macovei, Cloud Business Manager

Open Source impressions

Was Open Source something you had an interest in prior to XWiki?Andreea-her-photography-hobby.jpg

Yes, as I was checking out Open Source graphic design tools, but also how largely known projects, such as Mozilla, have an Open Source side.

What's the Open Source value you identify with most?

People matter. Collaboration matters. These mean a lot to me, as I grew up surrounded by the importance to value human connections and the contributions people bring to the world. 

Being an XWikier

What has kept you at XWiki so far?

The possibility to both expand and share my knowledge in various directions while becoming the best version of myself in a technical field.

If you ever wished for a job change, what made you decide to stay?

This did not occur to me, I'm unable to think of a scenario right now. emoticon_smile

What were the most drastic ways in which XWiki changed during the years you've been around?

I would tend to think of two perspectives: one would be related to the efforts put to bring improvements to the product, applications, and services, and the second would be related to the XWikiers.

I noticed how we work together in becoming better colleagues, better communicators.

Lessons learned

What would you say is the most valuable lesson you learned during your time at XWiki?

I learned that it's possible to focus on a technical field while still being open to see and try out the latest developments in other areas.

I am happy to have Andreea in our Support team. She has great communication skills, is a hardworking person, and always professional. We value her involvement in the team and willingness to help whenever needed. On top of that, her positive attitude makes it a real pleasure to work together.
 - Iulia Balan, Customer Support Team Leader

The XWiki experience

If you could describe XWiki's culture in one word, what would it be?

Collaboration.

team-FOSDEM-2020.jpg

Favorite memory of your years as part of XWiki?

The XWiki Seminars where we get to spend time with both Iasi and Paris office teams. It has always been a good time to learn from each other, get a closer look at current strategies, and plan for upcoming work.

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