When I was growing up in Russia, it was not usual to have a computer at home. We usually got access to computers in school and during some after-school classes.
But from the first time I touched a computer in our computer science class at school, I knew it was the way to go.
The beauty of computers is that when you approach one, you have to structure your thoughts into a language that the computer can understand.
Because they have constraints, you need to figure out how to build your solution with the unique capabilities that a computer can provide. That’s why it was so exciting to me.
I studied applied math in college, but computer science was always a big part of my studies.
Immediately after college, I started as a software developer for a software company that specialized in a product for businesses. I was responsible for writing code, testing and delivering it.
I had a strong ability for solving complex tasks and communicating with people. I was almost immediately promoted to the head of a department.
One of my biggest projects there was in Germany, working with the United Nations. I was responsible for delivering a piece of software that was used by more than 50 countries to enter, aggregate and report data on emissions of greenhouse gases under the Kyoto Protocol.
I had to work with several countries directly and with their development teams to make sure we implemented all the functionality required. My role was to make sure every country participated and had no issue reporting their data. Thankfully, there were no issues, and the software is still used to this day. It was very successful.
I left because I wanted to find new challenges. It’s not easy to get promoted in Germany. The IT industry is much more powerful in the United States, and I knew I could achieve much more here than in Germany.
I joined EastBanc Technologies in 2010.
I started as a project manager helping the International Monetary Fund improve a technology they used to distribute their public papers.
Two years later, I was promoted to a position where I was responsible for reviewing all of our projects. I had to make sure customers were happy, that we delivered on time and on budget, that the team followed best practices and that no one had an issue.
I was also participating in overall company management, where I helped lead the team that defined a new strategy to take the company to a new level.
Now, as head of the company, I am excited to build on our strategy and continue to work with our most important asset: our people.
— Interview with Vanessa Small
Position: Chief executive of EastBanc Technologies, a software-development company based in the District.
Career highlights: Project management lead and technical partner, EastBanc Technologies; chief technology officer, ITX-Software; information systems officer, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; head of the production unit, AstroSoft.
Education: MS, mathematics and computer science, Siberian Federal University.