Q&A with Yelena Teplitskaya

by Danielle Borges - Marketing & Sales Director

– Tell us about your role at Codence and what are you looking forward to the most in your new role?

My role at Codence is Application Developer. I’m looking forward to everything about this role! Developing full-time, getting to work with some of the smartest and most talented people in the industry, getting to solve interesting puzzles for our clients or internally using FileMaker and integrations. It’s all right up my alley and I’m so excited that I can finally spend my days developing, especially at such an amazing company.

– What was your career plan ten years ago? Did you ever think you’d become an Application Developer?

No, never. I have an English degree, and ten years ago I was doing operations for a company that was a fashion brand incubator. Although I could have definitely used the help of a FileMaker solution at that time, I had only briefly worked in FileMaker and did not understand the multitool it really was. As for my career plan, I didn’t really have one at 23. I had just moved to New York with a brief thought that I’d go to business school, but I realized it wasn’t something I wanted (at least not enough to take out loans for it). I think I thought the fashion incubator role would turn into something bigger eventually, and I’d end up staying with that company for the long haul. However, the job (and most fashion industry jobs) are extremely demanding, physically and mentally exhausting, and when I got the offer to do operations and automation at Duggal, I jumped at it. I’m so grateful I did, because that’s where I got a proper introduction to FileMaker, VBA, and where I realized that development was something I wanted to pursue.

– How did you master your developing skills as a self-taught developer?

A lot of googling questions to get answers. Any question I had, I knew there was a 99% chance that someone had already asked it on the Claris Community forums. Also, I had something to which I could directly apply my knowledge. We had a developer that was meant to be helping our team build a new custom system for the company, but he disagreed with our workflow. I was very eager to get our solution built, so I spent weekends watching tutorial videos, reading FileMaker articles, and googling questions about anything in between, until I could develop at least small portions of the system (layouts, buttons to move to the end of a row in a portal, etc). Slowly but surely, that added up.

– You mentioned you watched a lot of Claris FileMaker videos, and you believe that there are Claris FileMaker celebrities. Who are some you’d like to meet and chat about development?

It’s crazy, but I work with FileMaker celebrities now! Still can’t get over that. I mean, Kevin runs, which I definitely frequent, so that’s awesome. I would love to meet Todd Geist, Matt Petrowsky, Matt Navarre – they’ve really had a big impact on my development ability, and they’re just so smart and creative. But since I learned that Todd used to work at Codence with Danny, I think Danny Mack is now the FileMaker celebrity, having developed for so long with so many of the “big dogs”.  I get to work with him everyday. It’s just crazy.

– What do you love the most about developing in Claris FileMaker?

I love how fast it is to get a solution up and running. On the other side of the coin, FileMaker allows the user to make it as complex as they’d like – it could be an automated, layered system of interconnected files, or it could be a local app on someone’s phone – but it makes it easier to do whatever you do, and that’s awesome. I also love the consistent updates to the client and server versions. It makes you want to stay on top of the latest added features so that you’re not doing something in a more complex way than is necessary, given the latest updates.

– Have you attended Claris Engage conferences in the past? What did you enjoy the most about it, and would you recommend new and upcoming developers to attend?

Yes, and I loved them. I went to a couple in the past, and I believe one of them was when they unveiled the new name Claris. I was the only one from my company to go, and even so, I met some great people there with whom I still keep in touch. The sessions are really cool – like live shows put on by FileMaker celebrities. The conferences really focus on future roadmaps and reaching for the next big idea, which I think is really inspiring and is a great atmosphere for seasoned or new developers alike.

– When you are not “nerding out” and learning about Claris FileMaker or programming, what do you like to do on your time off?

I like to go to dinner with friends, especially if it’s a rooftop or we can sit outside (in the summer). That’s an awesome atmosphere in the city and Brooklyn, if it’s not overcrowded. I also like to just walk around discovering new stuff in my neighborhood. There’s always new stuff popping up to try. I like to take the train to go hiking (about 40 minutes outside of the city). I like listening to podcasts, so walking and hiking are perfect activities to do that at the same time.

– What are your top 3 favorite TV shows? 

  • Parks and Recreation – it’s the ultimate comfort show, it’s uplifting, I love Amy Poehler and everyone in the cast, and it can still make me laugh after watching it for the hundredth time.
  • Brooklyn Nine-Nine – I didn’t think I’d like this show (not super into the cop or law genre), but this is another comfort show. The jokes are hilarious, totally up my alley of humor, and it’s light enough to keep on in the background while I’m doing something else.
  • Severance – There’s only one season so far, but it’s so well done, and so original (at least compared to what I’ve seen lately). I haven’t been so intrigued with the writing and crafting of a show since Mr. Robot.

– You were born in Kyiv but moved to the US at an early age, did you learn any other languages? Are there any languages you would like to learn how to speak?

My first language was Russian, so I learned English when we came to the US. My mom didn’t want me to forget how to speak, read, and write in Russian, so I attended Russian school on Saturdays until high school. I would love to learn and speak Spanish fluently. I actually could for a very short while (while I around Spanish-speakers and heard it all the time), but if you don’t keep it around you, it’s hard to retain.

– What has the war meant for ordinary Ukrainians and your loved ones?

It has been a reality check for the whole country that independence is an ongoing struggle, unfortunately. It’s kind of surreal to think that my home country is a war zone right now. But for my family that lives there, they don’t zoom out and think of it in those terms daily because it would be too overwhelming. They are doing what they can to move forward with their lives, while remaining firmly committed to staying in Ukraine as Ukrainians and rejecting any intervention or rhetoric to the contrary. It’s inspiring.

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