I'm leading a full-stack team of engineers at Acrolinx. After finishing Slavic studies at the State Moscow University, and working for some time as a language teacher and translator, I discovered a passion for engineering, and successfully accomplished studies of Computing Science and Business Administration at the University for Applied Sciences in Berlin. During my studies, along with working as front-end developer, I enjoyed helping my fellow students. After finishing the studies and starting to work full-time, I was onboarding and mentoring junior developers, and after some time was entrusted to lead and grow one of the engineering teams. I'm happy to help the people who are starting their career in tech, or changing from the technical expert to the managerial path to understand their own motivation, overcome the fears connected to a major career shift, and build a plan of actions, in order to achieve the desired result.

My Mentoring Topics

  • Starting career in tech
  • Starting a leadership role
  • Leading specialists with wider hands-on knowledge than myself
  • Diversity in the team
  • Agile team issues
4.March 2024

Great final session, I really appreciated how you broke down the mock interview questions into what they are really asking and how one could approach them. Thanks for all your help Praskovia!

22.January 2024

Praskovia was helpful and generous sharing her experiences, knowledge, and advice. She ran a well organized meeting, and offered to schedule follow up sessions with specific agendas to help me meet my goals.

The Culture Map - Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business
Erin Meyer

Key Facts and Insights from "The Culture Map - Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business" Understanding cultural differences is crucial for successful business communication and negotiation in the global marketplace. The book presents eight dimensions to map and understand cultural differences: Communication, Evaluating, Persuading, Leading, Deciding, Trusting, Disagreeing, and Scheduling. Each culture falls on a scale within these eight dimensions, which helps in comparing and contrasting different cultures. Communication styles vary greatly between cultures, and misunderstandings can easily occur if these differences are not recognized. Concepts of leadership and decision-making differ greatly among cultures, which can impact how businesses operate and negotiate internationally. The concepts of trust and disagreement also vary significantly across cultures. Understanding these differences can help build stronger, more effective international business relationships. The book includes real-world examples and case studies to illustrate the concepts discussed, making it a practical guide for business professionals. Erin Meyer's Culture Map provides a framework for understanding and navigating cultural differences in a global business context. Cultural intelligence is a vital skill for any business professional operating in a multicultural environment. The book emphasizes the importance of flexibility, adaptability, and open-mindedness in understanding and respecting cultural differences. "The Culture Map" is not only about understanding others but also about understanding oneself’s cultural biases and preferences. Detailed Summary and Analysis "Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business" by Erin Meyer is a comprehensive guide for anyone navigating the complex world of international business communication. The book presents a novel approach to understanding cultural differences, introducing an eight-dimension model that provides a structured way to compare and contrast different cultures. The dimensions – Communicating, Evaluating, Persuading, Leading, Deciding, Trusting, Disagreeing, and Scheduling – act as a map to navigate cultural complexities. In the dimension of Communication, Meyer explains that cultures can be categorized as low-context (where good communication is precise, simple, and clear) or high-context (where good communication is sophisticated, nuanced, and layered). This distinction is particularly crucial as misunderstandings can easily occur if individuals from different cultures do not recognize these differences. Moving on to Evaluating, the book discusses how different cultures give feedback. Some cultures are more direct, others are indirect. Misunderstandings can arise if feedback is interpreted through one's cultural lens without considering these differences. The dimensions of Leading and Deciding are intertwined, as they both deal with hierarchies and decision-making processes. In some cultures, leadership is equated with hierarchical status, while in others, it is more linked to expertise and competence. Similarly, decision-making can either be top-down or consensus-driven, depending on the culture. Trusting and Disagreeing are two more dimensions that vary significantly across cultures. In some cultures, trust is built through business relationships, while in others, it is established through personal relationships. The way cultures handle disagreement can also be very different, with some favoring a confrontational approach and others preferring to avoid open conflict. The final dimension, Scheduling, deals with how different cultures perceive time and deadlines. Some cultures view time as linear and rigid, while others see it as flexible and fluid. The book carefully balances theory with real-world examples and case studies, making it an insightful and practical guide for business professionals. The author emphasizes the importance of flexibility, adaptability, and open-mindedness in understanding and respecting cultural differences. The book encourages readers not only to understand and appreciate others' cultural biases and preferences, but also to recognize and understand their own. In conclusion, "The Culture Map" provides valuable insights and tools to navigate the cultural complexities that characterize today's global business environment. It emphasizes the importance of cultural intelligence as a vital skill for any business professional operating in a multicultural environment. This book is a must-read for anyone seeking to communicate, negotiate, and do business effectively in the international arena.

Team Topologies - Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow
Matthew Skelton, Manuel Pais

Key Insights from the Book: Four Fundamental Team Topologies: The book introduces four types of team structures: Stream-aligned, Enabling, Complicated-Subsystem, and Platform teams. These structures play a crucial role in improving software delivery performance. Interaction Modes: The book outlines three modes of interaction: Collaboration, X-as-a-Service, and Facilitating. These modes help to create clear and efficient communication pathways between different teams. Cognitive Load: The authors discuss the concept of cognitive load and its impact on team performance and productivity. They emphasize the need to consider cognitive load while designing team structures. Fracture Plane: The book introduces the concept of a fracture plane – a logical boundary that separates different areas of the system. This concept helps to organize teams around the system's natural boundaries. Team-first Approach: The authors suggest a team-first approach where the team topology is designed first, and then the work is assigned. This approach ensures that the team’s structure aligns with the overall business strategy. Evolutionary Change: The book discusses the importance of evolutionary change in the team structure, explaining that teams should evolve as the system grows and changes. Team APIs: The authors introduce the concept of Team APIs, a set of expectations and agreements that guide how teams interact with each other. This concept promotes consistency and efficiency in team interactions. In-depth Summary and Analysis: "Team Topologies - Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow" by Matthew Skelton and Manuel Pais is a revolutionary book that offers a fresh perspective on team structure and interactions in the context of business and technology. The book presents a compelling argument for rethinking the conventional wisdom about team organization in favor of a more flexible, adaptive approach. At the core of the book are the four fundamental team topologies: Stream-aligned, Enabling, Complicated-Subsystem, and Platform teams. Each team structure serves a specific purpose and is designed to maximize efficiency in software delivery. The Stream-aligned team is responsible for a particular product or service stream, enabling teams to provide temporary support to overcome obstacles, Complicated-Subsystem teams handle parts of the system that require specialized knowledge, and Platform teams provide a self-service API to other teams. The authors also identify three modes of interaction between teams - Collaboration, X-as-a-Service, and Facilitating. By defining clear modes of interaction, teams can better understand their roles and responsibilities, thereby reducing friction and increasing productivity. A crucial concept introduced in the book is that of cognitive load. The authors argue that the efficiency of a team is directly related to the cognitive load it carries. They recommend designing team structures that consider each team member's cognitive capacity, thereby improving overall performance and productivity. The book also introduces the idea of a fracture plane, a logical boundary within a system where it can be split into different areas. This concept provides a useful tool for organizing teams around the natural boundaries of the system, promoting autonomy and reducing coordination needs. The authors advocate for a team-first approach to work assignment. They argue that by designing the team topology first and then assigning the work, businesses can ensure alignment between the team’s structure and the overall business strategy. The book also recognizes the importance of evolutionary change in team structures. As the system grows and changes, so should the teams. This approach ensures that the team structure remains relevant and effective. Lastly, the book introduces the concept of Team APIs - a set of expectations and agreements that guide how teams interact with each other. This concept promotes consistency and efficiency in team interactions, reducing the potential for misunderstandings and conflicts. In conclusion, "Team Topologies - Organizing Business and Technology Teams for Fast Flow" offers valuable insights and practical strategies for improving team structure and interactions. By applying these insights, businesses can significantly enhance their software delivery performance, leading to improved productivity and better business outcomes.

Thinking, Fast and Slow
Daniel Kahneman

Key Insights from 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' Cognitive Ease: The human brain tends to choose the path of least resistance when processing information. System 1 and System 2: Two distinct systems govern our thought processes. System 1 is fast, intuitive, and emotional, while System 2 is slow, deliberate, and logical. Heuristics and Biases: Our brains use mental shortcuts or 'heuristics' to make quick decisions, which can often lead to biases in our thinking. Prospect Theory: People tend to make decisions based on potential losses and gains, not final outcomes. Anchoring Effect: The first piece of information we receive about a subject heavily influences our perception of subsequent information. Availability Heuristic: We tend to judge the probability of events by how easily examples come to mind. Endowment Effect: We value things more when we own them. Hindsight Bias: Our tendency to see events as more predictable than they really are after they have happened. Framing Effect: The way information is presented can drastically affect how we perceive it and make decisions. The Halo Effect: Our overall impression of a person influences how we feel and think about their character. Deeper Analysis of the Book's Concepts 'Thinking, Fast and Slow', a seminal work by Daniel Kahneman, delves into the two systems that drive the way we think—System 1, which is fast and intuitive, and System 2, slow and deliberate. This dual-process theory of cognition is not new, but Kahneman's exploration of how these systems interact, often leading to cognitive biases, is groundbreaking. System 1 operates automatically and quickly, with little or no effort and no sense of voluntary control. It's the part of our brain that responds to a surprising sound in the darkness or decides to swerve to avoid an accident. This system is heavily influenced by our past experiences and emotions, making its responses feel intuitive and automatic. In contrast, System 2 allocates attention to the effortful mental activities that demand it, including complex computations and conscious decision-making. This system is slower and more deliberate, often stepping in to verify and modify the impressions and intuitions from System 1. However, System 2 is lazy and often defaults to the easier, automatic responses of System 1. This is where cognitive biases come in. Heuristics and biases are mental shortcuts that System 1 uses to make quick decisions. While these shortcuts can often be useful, they can also lead to systematic errors in our thinking. For example, the availability heuristic might lead us to overestimate the likelihood of dramatic events (like plane crashes) because they are more memorable and thus more easily available to our minds. Prospect theory, introduced by Kahneman and his colleague Amos Tversky, challenges traditional economic theory, which assumes that humans are rational actors. Instead, prospect theory suggests that people make decisions based on potential gains and losses, not the final outcome. This can lead to seemingly irrational decisions, such as refusing to take a small loss to potentially gain more in the long run. The anchoring effect describes our tendency to rely heavily on the first piece of information we receive (the "anchor") when making decisions. Even when the anchor is arbitrary or irrelevant, it can dramatically influence our judgments and estimates. Similarly, the framing effect reveals that the way information is presented can drastically affect our decisions. For example, people are more likely to opt for a surgical procedure if it’s presented with a 90% survival rate than a 10% mortality rate, even though both statistics convey the same information. In conclusion, 'Thinking, Fast and Slow' highlights how our thought processes—though powerful—are not always as rational, objective, or logical as we might believe. By understanding these biases, we can take steps to mitigate them and make better, more informed decisions.