What Does It Mean To Be a Project Manager at Ulam Labs? | Employee Story
March 17, 2022
It’s always nice to witness an inspiring transformation. As for Marcela, she decided to take a leap of faith and follow a totally new career path. Once an optometrist, now a Project Manager at Ulam Labs. She used to examine people's eyesight, help with the choice of lenses or the perfect pair of glasses. She took on the challenge of being a Manual QA first and continued with creating automated tests. The company needed people with fitting predispositions to fill Project Manager roles. She had a choice to make - continue the path of a QA and dive more into the depths of Quality Assurance and Automation or start a new endeavor.
How long do you work at Ulam Labs and what do you do here?
I have worked at Ulam Labs for almost three years. I am a project manager here and I participate in the entire life cycle of our projects. From the very moment of receiving the requirements from the client to the release of the finished product.
What are the main Project Manager tasks?
I start with collaborating with the client and breaking down his expectations and our possibilities into goals. So that I can introduce the project to the team and make sure that we are heading towards fulfilling our clients needs. I also introduce the application's purpose and the position of the end user to my team. I believe that the kickoff stage is one of the most important moments within our projects.I would say it usually takes a few meetings to determine the scope of a project.
After receiving all the information mentioned above, I can start creating tasks for the development team and prepare the stages for the sprint. During the sprint I keep an eye on the progress we're making and tackle obstacles if they appear.
I am the point of contact between the team and the client. Part of my job is running meetings and making sure everyone knows what to do.
I also have to keep an eye on the quality of what is delivered and handle client's feedback.
What skills are the most important for your role?
It may not be obvious to everyone, but social skills are most relevant here. I think patience, openness and composure are key while dealing with people. A good PM must know how to meet the client's expectations, while taking care of the team's welfare.
Nevertheless, assertiveness and self-confidence are equally important. Sometimes one has to say "no" to prevent the project from failing.
What was your development path?
I started out as a manual tester and initially developed in this area. Soon after, I started learning Cypress and writing my first automated tests.
I really enjoyed the work of a tester so when I was given the opportunity to try myself as a PM it wasn't an obvious choice for me. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try and it turned out to be a good decision.
But being a manual tester wasn’t your first choice for a career path?
No it wasn’t! I’m also an optician/optometrist by profession, and I started working in the profession right after graduation. It quickly turned out that the job was more about being a salesman than a vision specialist. This was a turning point when I decided to change the industry and look for a job that I would be happy to do - and I chose IT.
What do you enjoy most about working at UL?
Definitely the variety of projects. I haven't come across the same project twice, despite the fact that most of them are based on blockchain.
I have the opportunity to constantly grow my experience in this field and at the same time I am always learning something new.
What has been the most interesting project for you so far?
I have very fond memories of one of the recent projects, Lendingblock. The idea was to create a cryptocurrency-based lending and borrowing platform. Shortly after MVP release, we enhanced it with an orderbook based exchange.
It was quite a challenge. There's always an extra thrill when it comes to dealing with real money. The great commitment of the development team and the product team has certainly contributed to the success of the project.
What challenges do you face when working on projects?
Blockchain-related projects are particularly demanding as it is a dynamically developing field. It takes effort to keep up with these changes, be up to date and keep an eye on how the competition is doing.
Why would you recommend working here?
I’m pretty sure that this position is for everybody who likes to have the chance to lead interesting projects that are based on modern technologies.
Each day brings me new challenges and gives the opportunity to develop my skills as a PM. The most important and rewarding thing for me is that I can actively participate in every stage of the process, from planning to implementation, and I have a direct impact on the final product.
If you find it motivating too, this job would be your dream job!
We are constantly recruiting for Project Managers positions. If you feel like managing a blockchain or crypto project is something for you, don't hesitate and apply for a similar role!