Enjoying life and work in vibrant Amsterdam

Liubov Kononenko joined Miele X in April this year as a Frontend Architect in our IT team. Originally from Ukraine, Liubov moved to Amsterdam five years ago to continue her career in software development.  We caught up with her to find out a little more about her background, her role at Miele X, and what it’s like living and working in Amsterdam.

Her journey to Miele X

From an early age she was keen to pursue a tech career as had good problem solving and analytical skills, and a passion for technology and innovation, so she chose to go to a technical university in Kiev. While studying, she took a job as a Web developer at an outsourcing company in Ukraine and continued working there after graduating from university. "It was a great first step into the commercial software development environment, where I learned a lot for 6 years working on different projects with clients from all over the world. I was always curious to try working abroad, to see how everything is organised in international companies and experience a new culture." Soon after, she took the decision to move to Amsterdam.

“There’s a huge variety of tech companies in Amsterdam,” she tells us, “besides big corporates, it’s also a great place for start-ups and scale-ups – perfect for someone like me with such a technical background.”

After four years with KPN, Liubov decided to join Miele X. So what was it that first attracted her to the organisation? “I was contacted on LinkedIn and at that time I knew Miele as a market-leading company that consistently delivers high-quality premium products, and I was really curious to find out a bit more about their digital hub – Miele X.”

“After the first interview, I was really excited” she tells us, “hearing that Miele X has an entrepreneurial environment while being part of a large family-owned company, that there’s so much scope for development, and to have the opportunity to be part of shaping the culture and improving processes – it sounded like a really interesting challenge.”

Working experience at Miele X

Liubov joined Miele X’s E-commerce IT team shortly after as a Frontend Architect.  So how has she found the experience so far?  “The role itself is very interesting,” she tells us, “it matches my experience and I think it’s a great opportunity in the long-term as well. Currently I’m responsible for creating a future-proof architecture for the customer-facing (Frontend) part of our E-commerce websites, bringing it to the public Cloud and also growing the Frontend IT team. Technology is constantly evolving and customer expectations are also changing together with it. In order to be able to meet those expectations we must have flexibility and short time to market – to quickly adapt to change, have system stability and scalability – for a frictionless shopping experience. This is the main challenge to meet these needs while designing the architecture and building consistent online shops for around 50 different markets/countries. For me, working with the team and having a shared feeling of the accomplishment is something that definitely drives me to make it happen.

I really like the energy and culture at Miele X – we encourage diversity and have experts from different fields from all over the world. We believe that combining different perspectives is the best way to create a truly innovative environment where people bring their knowledge together to Get X Done”.

Liubov joined Miele X during the pandemic when remote working was necessary, and she was particularly impressed with the the onboarding in this situation. “I was really surprised with the onboarding process,” she says. “Starting the role remotely wasn’t ideal, but Miele X did everything they could to make me feel welcome. From the beginning, they really made it easy for me to familiarise myself with the projects, get to know the people and find my way in the team.”

Living and working in Amsterdam

Liubov has lived and worked in Amsterdam for around five years and loves the city.

“Amsterdam is such a beautiful, modern, vibrant city,” she tells us. “It’s full of history and stunning architecture. There’s so much diversity, I have met so many interesting international people and the open-minded attitude of the Dutch people really adds to the city’s rich and varied culture.”

After moving from Ukraine, Liubov quickly felt at home in the city. “Amsterdam is unique in that pretty much everyone speaks English,” she says. “It makes it much easier for expats to live and work here as there’s no language barrier. Although Dutch people really like it when I try to speak their native language.  I love cycling and the city is extremely bike-friendly, which makes it incredibly convenient to reach everything in quite a short distance. On the sunny days you can take a boat and enjoy astonishing views from the canals. Also there are a lot of great places in the Amsterdam surroundings, the North Sea is only a 30 minutes drive, and has beautiful nature, sand dunes and lovely countryside.”

After a little over six months, Liubov is setting into her role and loving life at Miele X. So what advice would she give to somebody thinking about a career with us here in Amsterdam?  “It’s important to be proactive and open-minded, willing to learn and improve. Follow you curiosity and enjoy the process!”

What’s Next? You Decide.

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