June 20, 2022 - 4 min

Thank You, Mom(s), You Deserve Your Special Day!


Anka Bajurin Stiskalov

Senior Software developer

Moms as role models

If someone asks me who is my role model I would say, moms. I have colleagues and people that I admire and try to follow as leads, but real role models in my life were always moms.

Specifically, in my life, that is my mom, my sister, my mother-in-law, my sister-in-law, my best friend, and also some other moms who don’t even know that I look up to them, like the mom of one friend/colleague from the park where we play with our children.

Every one of these moms has something special that touches me to the core and makes me wish to be a better person, mom, and colleague.

It is not something that makes me a great developer. It made me a great developer who works 100% remotely when no one else (that lives pretty much near the office) worked that way in our company or anyone I knew personally.

That made my company implement tools and processes for time and effort tracking 6 and a half years ago, much earlier than others in our country. We were 100% ready for the corona period because we had already worked this way for years.

It is something that makes me log off from the computer at 4 pm, even if my developer side is still trying to pull me back in.

I still fall for all the sweet talks in the IT industry where clients and colleagues are giving you kudos and high praise. However, even while I’m writing this, I’m struggling not to start learning and doing more for my self-improvement instead of writing this long thank you “card.”

If all those moms didn’t “show” me what the priorities in life are, it would be much harder to stop working or stop investing my time in self-development from a business perspective than playing with kids or calling an old friend.

But it is not that moms are trying to show anything. Moms are fighting in their own way for the real values of life. They cry, laugh, yell, hug, and are sometimes annoying with all that “stupid” little requests, kisses, care, and fuss.

But it is hard to ignore them because we know that they are right.

Mom of 4 as a Tech Lead

When my CTO promoted me to a Client Support Tech lead, he said, as a joke, “You will be a mom to everyone. You have an experience with that anyway”.

I’m still laughing at this every day, not as a joke, but as a funny and happy life story because he got me. Or, with Avatar’s language, he saw me.

I can be a mom. I can work 100% remotely, play with kids after 4 pm, help them with homework, have lunch together with family not only on weekends, and still have a nice and promising career!

But also, I can do my “mom” stuff in my workplace. The first thing I did was immediately step up for a colleague who was trapped in one project and doing too much overtime. I have set things up, so he doesn’t need to work overtime anymore. As a mother, I have completely developed empathy for people that are trapped into overtime work.

My mission now, and not only my but it was obviously my CTO’s idea, is to reduce overtime work for all developers that are trapped into projects that they were working on before and that they need to support now and then because it is hard to add another developer quickly just for several hours of work

Since this is a thank you card, there will be another blog about how my company, especially my Client Support team, is trying to accomplish this. But I’ll give you a hint.

My CTO, Harry, said that I will be a “mom to everyone” because developers will rotate in the Client Support team every several months so that everyone can have a chance to work on projects and experience work in the support.

Working in support can also be challenging. But you get a higher overview of other projects and architecture and have a chance to learn new stuff more quickly.

Another great thing that we set up for our support team are Amazon WorkSpaces. AWS WS are Virtual Desktop Solutions. This solves several problems that developers have when they often switch from project to project or transfer a project to another developer.

The most important thing that I’m trying to accomplish with this AWS WS setup is to reduce stress. For example, when you need to jump in quickly to some project and solve some task, but your env setup is suddenly not working, and you know that client is on a limited budget, you start to feel stress.

As a “mom,” I wish everybody would enjoy their life and have less stress, and now I can help developers with that.

AWS WS setup allows us to have local env setups up and ready all the time. Docker containers can run for all projects developers need to switch to during the month. For example, suppose someone gets sick or has some other family emergency. In that case, another developer can jump in and continue exactly where he left off even if the code was not ready to be deployed on the server (for example, throws 5** errors locally). There are no blockers for someone else to take over.

Even if these situations never happen, keeping in mind that everything will not fall apart if you need a few days off reduces stress. Knowing that your company is taking care of you and your family time reduces stress.

Thanks to all moms doing their “moms” work with love and courage. Special thanks to the mom who inspired me to be a better mom and colleague.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Anka Bajurin Stiskalov

Senior Software developer

Senior Software developer at Q. I love to develop things thinking of other developers while doing it. Let's make each other's lives easier!