Empowering Growth: Viktoriia Titovchenko’s Journey from Junior Test Engineer to Software Team Leader

4 min read

A picture of Viktoriia Titovchenko, Agile Coach and Software Team Leader, at Materialise Ukraine

At Materialise, we offer our people an environment where they can grow and develop, no matter their role or location — and there are so many different opportunities, exciting international projects, and diverse career paths available within our organization. As part of our “Empowering Growth” series, we spoke to Viktoriia Titovchenko, Agile Coach and Team Leader at Materialise Ukraine, about her trajectory from joining the company as a Junior Test Engineer eight years ago to becoming a key figure within our software department. Discover how she managed to  maintain focus during tough times and challenge herself to accelerate her career at Materialise.  

Hi, Viktoriia. Thanks for joining us. Can you tell us about your current role and career progression across different departments at Materialise?

I’ve had various roles at Materialise. I’m currently an Agile Coach and Release Train Engineer for the software department and a Team Leader at Materialise Ukraine. However, I started my journey at the company around eight years ago as a Junior Test Engineer. I’ve progressed a lot, partly due to an inspirational manager I worked with at the Ukrainian office.  

She helped me develop when she recommended to management that I fulfill some of her tasks while she went on maternity leave. As a result, I gained a helicopter view of the entire business and was a frequent touch point for the team, liaising with other offices, like our HQ in Belgium. This broadened my horizons and gave me a taste of wanting more in a professional capacity: I wanted to pursue a more global career.  

That experience made me want to meet and collaborate with different colleagues worldwide and be a part of exciting new international projects. After my manager returned, she joined another team that focuses on our Magics software. Subsequently, I was officially promoted to a project management position and also became a Team Leader of six Software Development and Test Engineers for the rapid shell modeling (RSM) division, which designs software for our automated hearing aids. Over the years, I’ve had the privilege of working on some fundamental projects at the company, such as being part of the team responsible for transforming and implementing the agile framework in 2018 – 2019. Working on several different projects helped me build expertise and the confidence to pursue internal promotions, as they’re an excellent way to learn something new. During that time, I moved from a Project Manager to a Scrum Master, leading to my current role as an Agile Coach. Quite a journey, I must say! 

Indeed! Looking back, what was the most challenging moment of your professional career at Materialise? And what helped you to adapt and flourish?

My most challenging moment was returning to work a week after the war started in Ukraine. It drained me emotionally. 

All the Agile Coaches were checking in at the time, but I realized a lot of things didn’t matter the way they did before. As an Agile Coach, it was difficult to force myself to talk about growing and developing when circumstances worried me on an entirely new level. Some of my colleagues in Ukraine started clocking in 12-hour days because work was their only “escape.” I know that everyone at Materialise Ukraine appreciated all the support and fundraising initiatives we received from all our colleagues around the world. 

What a harrowing experience. We’re glad you persevered through such tough times. What motivates you to continue to learn and grow at Materialise?

Materialise is unique because the company really thinks about your growth trajectory. There are many opportunities to grow, but you can do so at your own pace. You’ll grow when you’re ready to grow. If you’re motivated, invest some time into your career, and remain dedicated, interesting projects and places will always be available to you to gain more experience. One thing I particularly like about our organization is that my colleagues and the management team are always open to ideas or suggestions. The mentality is: “If you’re ready to do it, then go do it!” 

That’s great to hear! Finally, what was the main lesson you learned moving to a new role or position? And do you have any amusing stories or faux pas to share?

I’m glad to say I don’t have any faux pas to share! Fortunately, I have a couple of pieces of advice to share instead. Firstly, to assume a leadership position, you must work on yourself before advising others on how they can improve and develop. It’s also worthwhile thinking about what values you want to represent to others. And you should keep this question in the back of your mind: how can I be a good example to my colleagues or team? 

Secondly, you need to quickly get into the habit of learning how to set goals for your department and team members. That’s why, in order to do it right, you have to start working

Thanks for sharing your story with us, Viktoriia. Good luck!

Viktoriia's dedication to growth while navigating various challenges during such a difficult period, supported by Materialise, shows how strong we are as a team. We`d like to thank Viktoriia for sharing her story with us and for her continuous passion and determination to be the best version of herself. 

Viktoriia's story is a testament to the remarkable paths one can forge within Materialise, echoing our belief that every career should be a journey of empowerment and self-discovery. If you’re looking for a workplace that values personal growth, embraces diversity, and offers a wealth of opportunities, Materialise is the place for you. Want to know more about life at Materialise and how you can make a difference to create a better, healthier, more sustainable world? Visit our “Careers” page on our website. 

We’d like to thank Viktoriia for sharing her story with us. Her passion and determination to be the best version of herself are remarkable qualities and show how we want all our people to grow at Materialise. Want to know more about Materialise and how you can make a difference to create a better, healthier, more sustainable world? Visit our Careers section. 

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