“Feeling included is a key aspect of human life and for me that means creating a respectful environment. And diverse thinking allows us to be innovative in our fast-moving industry.”
Agnieszka Orlowska is the Software Engineering Manager for Intel’s Data Platforms Group, and has more than 25 years’ experience in IT. Besides managing a team of talented engineers, she’s also the creator of Intel’s internal Inclusion Riders program. We asked Agnieszka to share more about her professional experience and passion for IT, leadership and inclusion.
Can you tell us about your role at Intel?
I’m accountable for leading the team of software engineers responsible for automating Intel’s validation solutions. What’s interesting about my role is that we serve many other teams at Intel, delivering solutions for more than 4,000 Intel engineers worldwide. Aside from my primary role as a manager, I’m also extremely dedicated to mentoring, coaching and supporting new leaders in their roles; this is not so much my job as my life’s mission. And I’m passionate about making Intel the most inclusive organization on the planet.
Can you tell us more about your career path?
I started my career as a software developer at Lufthansa Systems. Our software solutions were delivered to commercial airlines worldwide. Over the next few years, I climbed the career ladder as Project Manager, Team Leader and later Head of the Aviation Department. The roles were challenging, because aviation wasn’t my background and I needed to ramp-up highly specialized aeronautical services, combined with leading software innovation cockpit solutions. When I finished my MBA program, I took up a new role in HR Finance and Commercial, building employer branding. It was a very interesting experience to look at the business from a different perspective, although as I considered my professional values, I decided it was time to return to IT, so I joined the software hub that is Intel Poland.
What’s unique about your experience at Intel?
At Intel, you have an ocean of opportunities. You’re part of a team, and you can develop as an individual, too. If you know what you want to do, you’ll find a way to do it at Intel. From my point of view what’s universally helpful is to find a coach, a mentor or a buddy, who can help drive your progress; and that kind of support is really available at Intel. Another differentiator about Intel is that whenever I reach out to any colleague, I get a response. People here are very willing to connect and support each other.
What does leadership mean to you?
To me, leadership is all about being authentic. Authentic leaders are aware of their strengths, their limitations, and their emotions. Some time ago, I might have thought leadership meant getting people to follow you. Yes, we set goals and motivate people to achieve them, but for me as a leader it means to create a respectful environment, to include people in leadership itself. People with a leadership mindset can take action to satisfy customers and make things happen, without having to go up and down in a complicated chain of command. My goal is to empower my team, and personally I’m devoted to inclusion. I believe and ensure that every individual can play a significant role, and everybody has equal access to opportunities.
Can you tell us more about the Inclusion Riders program at Intel?
I think feeling included is a key aspect of human life and for me that means creating a respectful environment. The Inclusion Riders program was about recruiting diverse employees from multiple teams who now personally advocate for others, believe in inclusion and inspire people around them to become more inclusive. Now, Inclusion Riders helps employees to increase awareness of value brought by diversity of people, opinions and approaches. And diverse thinking allows us to be innovative in our fast-moving industry.
Aside from your involvement in Inclusion Riders, you have many other responsibilities at Intel. Let’s talk about your business group—what exactly do you do? What makes your team successful?
Our group is called PACT (Process Automation and Continuity Team). We specialize in automating the development process, implementing continuous integration with a special focus on the field of testing. We believe that adaptability, innovation, and responsiveness to feedback are not a matter of choice, but a necessity for any long-term project. We’re customer obsessed, we listen and brainstorm together. I think we’re successful because we’re open. We’re not biased toward a certain tool or solution; we just want the best for our customers.
What is the biggest challenge in your current work? What excites you the most about your job?
Time is always a challenge. We work in an international environment, juggling many projects in many different time zones. We’d love to make every one of our customers our priority, but we need to prioritize. What’s exciting about working within such an international environment is that everyone brings something new to the table and we continue to learn from each other. And what is rewarding for us is to see our customers using and appreciating our solutions.
Can you reveal any plans for the growth of your team? Can you describe the ideal job candidate for your group?
Yes, we are growing! Ideal candidates should not be afraid to ask questions and take ownership to drive projects. We are looking for someone with solid experience in software development with advanced practical knowledge of .NET MVC, .NET Core, Web API and practical knowledge of CI/CD process. Since half of our group is working on CI/CD topics, we’re also looking for skilled DevOps engineers. The skillset is mostly the same as for software development engineers, but with a focus on creating and maintaining entire build pipelines and working with CI/CD tool stack. In our group, we want team members who are fearless in their approach and who can remain flexible. Lastly, we look for candidates who have the ability to cooperate with and prioritize their customers.
Interested in opportunities at Intel Poland? Check out available openings here.