Software Engineer

Meet Nikolay Levchenko

Nikolay develops and improves the software tools that keep our partners up-to-date and able to steer their projects with us. In order to make sure our partners get the best possible experience he constantly has his finger on the pulse of how market trends and client needs are evolving. Read on to hear about what Nikolay’s working on right now, and for some great tips on work life balance, and self-care while working from home!

What is your current role at ZMS? How long have you been working with ZMS? 

I’ve been working with ZMS for almost 4 years now! Right now, I am primarily focused on the development of the visual appearance and functionality of the marketing module in zDirect, a portal for partners selling through the Zalando Partner Program. The marketing module is the place where Zalando partners can find the most valuable insights about their products and consumers.

Did you ever change teams or roles in ZMS / Zalando?  What was this experience like? 

Yes, I did change my team recently, from the ad operations team to the ZMS Insights team. I can say that it was not so easy for me to stop working closely with people I know so well and like so much. Nevertheless, I made the decision for my further development, and for the next challenge in my career. Regarding the role change, I can say that over the last 4 years my role has been developing together with ZMS. During this time,  I have been focused on campaign management, ad server troubleshooting, analytics, media planning, automation and I’m now eager to focus on the development and improvement of the ZMS Insights software applications in zDirect.

What were the main reasons for you joining ZMS?

Back in the day I did not know much about the company and my future role. All I knew was that ZMS was a small but very ambitious media company with an international start-up environment offering a challenging role on the intersection of marketing, tech and analytics. And this is what is still motivating me today. 

What team do you work on and how would you describe what you do and how you approach it? 

I work in the “DNA team ” – a team that provides our clients with easy-to-use tooling to get valuable insights about their product and their consumers. My work is to constantly improve that tooling so that it goes hand in hand with market trends and client needs.

How would you describe the working environment and team culture at ZMS?

Working at ZMS means working in an international team with a flat hierarchy, full of support and united by a common goal.

Where do you feel you can have the most impact (on customers, partners, or our colleagues)?

Having grown together with ZMS, I believe that due to having a cross-functional role I have contributed a lot towards the development of better tooling and internal processes for different teams such as operations, analytics, sales and tech teams.

How do you think ZMS makes a difference? 

I think ZMS is unique because of its people united by their attitude to work in a fast paced and continuously changing environment. It is a company where it’s your knowledge and not a title that matters, and where good human qualities such as egolessness and team support are ingrained in the company’s culture and our Founding Mindset.

What was the most exciting challenge at ZMS that helped you grow?

Probably the most exciting challenge is my  latest move from an operations to a tech job. By doing so, it helped me step out of my comfort zone, embrace new and exciting problems and gave me lots of motivation for the years to come.

How do you stay up-to-date with the technology you use?

The key is to always participate in the knowledge exchange within my team and various Zalando tech communities such as ReactJS meet-ups, Data Science or zDirect.

How do you keep up-to-date with new technologies? Have you ever implemented something you learned in a work context at Zalando/ZMS?

Definitely! It is a good practice at Zalando to have some dedicated time for learning and development. In addition to that, we have meet-ups and Hackathons that help us share new knowledge, apply it and integrate into existing tooling. For example, since I am actively involved in front-end development, we meet regularly in a big circle of zDirect Front-End Developers and discuss new technologies, shortcomings of existing solutions and conduct knowledge sharing sessions.

What are your go-to WFH tips and tricks? How are you taking care of yourself during these times? 

I have some easy and obvious rules:

Rule #1 Eat healthy food at a proper time

Rule #2 Exercise or have short walks outside at least a couple of times per day

Rule #3 Manage your time – use your personal time to relax and spend it with your family and/or friends

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