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Pinwheelie Spotlight: Elena Churilova, Software Engineer, Integrations

Pinwheel Team

May 12, 2022

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This month's Pinwheelie is no stranger to challenges: A former PM turned bootcamp engineer, Elena talks coding, celebrating employee success, and how Pinwheel is building a bridge to better outcomes.

What are some of your key objectives right now?

I am currently working on building a new and very cool feature that will help lots of our end users. It’s a cross-functional work that involves engineers from different teams and it’s fascinating to see how separate parts come together to make something completely new. 

What drew you to your field?

I’m a former project manager who switched careers and became a software engineer. At my previous job I had to build several dashboards to track metrics for my team. This is how I got introduced to some light coding and Python specifically. The joy of building tools that make others happy motivated me to go further, so I went to a software engineering bootcamp. When I came across Pinwheel I had a feeling that the company’s mission of building a fairer financial future aligned well with my need to build products to make others’ lives better. 

Can you give us any insights to what the integrations team is working on?

Imagine a river. You are on one side of it. You have a good income but your credit score is not in great shape. There are lenders on the other side of the river that can do underwriting using your income data, from your payroll account. Or companies that provide earned wage access. There are more use cases of course, but the important part is that we are building a bridge from one side of this river to the other. 

What has been your favorite thing about working at Pinwheel?

As my first job out of bootcamp, the experience at Pinwheel as a whole has been my favorite thing. The cool start-up vibe I get while working at Pinwheel, the fast pace, the great people, the growth, the unlimited PTO, the social events, the peer support, the remote work environment...it all contributes to a great culture and a great place to work. 

What is Pinwheel doing that other companies aren't?

Besides building the best-in-class innovative product, I think Pinwheel builds a culture where your voice can be heard. Prior to Pinwheel, I’ve never had as many of my ideas heard and implemented. At Pinwheel, every time I speak to someone and share something I want to implement — be it my manager, executives, or my teammates — I always get so much positive energy back. It’s hard to compare this feeling with anything. It's powerful. It's fantastic.

Bonus question: What’s your favorite Slack channel?

I consider myself a big UX/UI advocate (even though I'm a backend engineer) so #help-design is my favorite place. I geek out on all things related to the end user experience and design.