Nikita Petrenko, our Technical Support Engineer

22 Jun 2023 5 min read

Time flies and it's been almost a year since Nikita has become an XWikier. Without letting nostalgia get in our way, we thought it would be a good opportunity to sit down with him for a moment and have a look at how his first year with XWiki turned out.

Nikita is a Technical Support Engineer in our Support Team and he is the one keeping our users happy by assisting them with their technical issues. During his first year with XWiki, Nikita has embarked on a learning journey both professionally and personally. 

As his mentor pointed out,

His persistent endeavor to grasp Romanian is a nod to his dedication to deeply understanding the local culture and forging stronger bonds with colleagues. Yet, while Nikita's progress is impressive, he understands and respects the ongoing nature of learning. His blend of diligence, personal development, and cultural integration fosters a vibrant workplace atmosphere that promotes collective learning and growth.

Nikita
in 5 things
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  • Favorite artist: It's quite difficult for me to name a single favorite artist. That's why I've saved a Spotify playlist with my favorite songs.
  • Best book ever read: "Nine Princes in Amber", by Roger Zelazny
  • Dream destination: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • Quote you live by: "The only easy day was yesterday"
  • At the office or remote? At the office for the panoramic view.

Tell us about yourself.

Hi there, my name is Nikita. I'm from Ukraine and I'm 28 years old. I have been a Support Developer Engineer at XWiki since last July. Despite having a full-time job, I also have other priorities and responsibilities that hold equal importance in my life.

The journey to XWiki

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

I am a third-year Sumy State University research student in the Department of Electronics, General and Applied Physics. The research field is Applied Physics and Nanomaterials. In 2021, I won a scholarship from Erasmus+ for three months as a research trainee in Slovakia, and I completed this academic mobility program in April. Furthermore, I started looking at the possibility of continuing my internship at other universities or getting a job.

While simultaneously applying for numerous job opportunities in several European countries, I came across a post on Facebook indicating that Romanian companies had job vacancies. I decided to apply to some of these positions and was surprised to receive an invitation to an interview with XWiki. Following the interviews here, I was offered a job.

That's how I began to work in Romania as a Technical Support Engineer, starting in July 2022. Although I have to work, I continue monitoring new programs and events for Ukrainian research in Europe. I have not abandoned research and I believe I can collect practical results in the form of scientific publications that will help me complete my final thesis.

What is it like to be working in the Support Team at XWiki?

Working in the Support Team at XWiki is an experience that goes beyond the communication channels. It involves understanding the process from the other side of the support channel and respecting the people engaged in support. It also involves seeing the requirements and requests of users and being responsible for solving their various problems, be it simple questions or complicated requests for a specific code or script that meets the users' needs. Above all, it's about the experience of interacting with people, both clients and colleagues.

I enjoy assisting our users in resolving their issues, and receiving honest appreciation is incredibly satisfying. And, of course, being part of a friendly team adds to the positive experience of working in the Support Team at XWiki.

According to his mentor,

Nikita is an engaging professional, always keen on embracing new challenges. His proclivity for identifying core issues and outlining complex problems makes him an essential asset in our problem-solving efforts. There are instances when his swift analytical skills lead him to discover solutions even before he finishes articulating the problem. This, while occasionally perplexing, is a testament to his quick thinking and certainly adds a touch of amusement to our discussions.

Open Source impressions

Was Open Source something you had an interest in prior to XWiki?

Most definitely! The ability to access and customize source code is the most intriguing aspect. For instance, I knew Spyder, an open-source scientific environment for Python, which is a component of Anaconda distribution. It provides a comprehensive set of tools for data science and machine learning. I prefer using this in my research, thanks to Jupyter Notebook. Since I know the name of the plugin, I can find it in the GitHub repository. Also, I was already familiar with the transparency that comes with open source: identifying bugs, suggesting improvements, and contributing to open code. Finally, I knew that any open-source software is free. There's no need to purchase a license.

What's the open-source value you identify with most?

Openness, through the presence of a community of users and developers who improve the product, with whom you can communicate via the forum or the Matrix Element chat.

Being an XWikier

How was the integration process at XWiki for you?

I found the integration to be surprisingly effortless and straightforward. One of the main advantages was the supportive environment provided by XWiki as a company. This allowed me to familiarize myself with my colleagues quickly and set clear lines of communication for any challenging or ambiguous questions.

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Nikita with a part of the team during last year's seminar

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

During the last year, XWiki has grown both in terms of new developments and new members. Most recently, the Paid Apps team has launched XWiki Task Manager (Pro), an app that will bring task management to the next level. Generally speaking, I noticed expansion and development in all areas.

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

Even though XWiki is an open-source product and everybody already has access to its major structure and code, there may still be situations where I am surprised by what XWiki can do in terms of behavior and functionality.

What has kept you at XWiki so far?

Working surroundings and friendly team.

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

Wikiwonder 🤩

Favorite memory up until now at XWiki

Unquestionably, it's the monthly Team Activity and the Fun Game Time. These events are memorable because they showcase the expertise in organizing the games and every participant's unique thinking and creativity. It was fascinating to witness how each individual brought their perspective and vision to make these activities enjoyable and engaging for everyone. You never know what will happen during the next activity.

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Nikita enjoying a fun activity event with the team from Iași, in May 2023

                    

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