5 minutes with Shideh Kolahdooz

Published: Thursday, September 17th, 2020

5 minutes with Shideh Kolahdooz

Her older sister is convinced that she is always at her desktop typing and could fix her computer for her, which is partly true, but we can confirm there is so much more to her job than just that – meet Shideh, our Head of Engineering.

With extensive experience in software, solutions architecture and IT, Shideh also boasts a Master's in Computer Science and Web Based Computing - not too shabby eh?

Working with Panviva for just over a year now, Shideh (also known as Doozie by us folk here at Panviva!) has recently been promoted to her new role and at the minute is working on security transformation. "We are currently in the middle of a shift in our approach to security which I am super excited about, it complements our projects around PaaS migrations and Microservices."


A typical day in the life of a Head of Engineering

Being a self-confessed early bird from the age of 3, Shideh is usually online at 7.30am and starts by reviewing the day ahead to set up context and a plan of action to get everything done.

"I work closely with Development, DevOps, Product and Innovation teams to plan and coordinate current and future projects."

"About 75% of my day is spent in back to back meetings discussing and talking on a wide range of topics, both technical and non-technical with different teams and on different projects. I see myself as the coordinator between people, projects and teams which focuses business objectives and values."

"I usually use the time in between meetings to catch up with small tasks. That is how you stretch time."

Shideh has worked on several projects but her proudest achievement in Panviva is a recent security initiative which "will change how we develop and innovate as a SaaS provider."


What made you think, "I'd love to work in tech?"

"Initially my thoughts to study software engineering didn’t have much to do with love if I’m honest, it was more a well-considered decision at 18, but soon after I started, I fell in love with it. Software is 0s and 1s in essence, you can always count on the facts and make educated deduction to solve puzzles."

When it comes to influence and one person that has inspired Shideh’s approach to working, it’s her old Dev Manager, Neil McCoy. "He later became Director of Development. I learned a lot from Neil, on how to manage and build an agile team while staying engaged and involved with the rapid technical changes all the way through to managing and empowering your people."


What do you wish you had known as a woman before starting your career in the tech industry?

"I wish I had more confidence in myself and what I bring to the table. I have met a lot of talented smart women in my 13 years in IT and one thing that we all have in common is that it takes us longer to find our voices and confidence to raise our hand for leadership opportunities."

"My message to young girls joining the IT workforce is to be true to themselves, believe in their abilities while always looking for ways to improve."


Other things you should know about Shideh...

If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?
Flipboard, Spotify and Voice Memos.

You’re stuck on an island, you can bring 1 kitchen utensil, 1 person and 1 technological item, what do you bring?
A knife, Greta Gerwig and a music player.

If you could add one thing to Panviva’s office, what would it be?
A pool table

What is the one thing that you believe to be true that very few others do?
"We don’t need to eat animals to survive. Unlike many other animals who kill for their food, humans can survive on a completely plant-based diet."


FIRE ROUND:

Coffee or Tea?
Coffee for sure

Android or Apple?
Apple for non tech reasons

Cats or Dogs?
Dogs

Outlook or Gmail?
Gmail

Night owl or early bird?
Early bird since I was 3

Messy or organised?
Organised at work, Organised mess at home

Holiday at home or abroad?
Abroad