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Tatyana reveals the game that can improve your project management skills to help keep your projects on track!
All kinds of people from all kinds of backgrounds performing a wide variety of roles come together to produce CRYENGINE every day. Today we interview Tatyana Lipnitskaya, Project Manager for CRYENGINE Operations, to learn how to keep your projects on track and discover how games can improve your project management skills!
Hi Tatyana! Can you tell us about your background and your journey to CRYENGINE?
I used to work as a technical translator dealing with manuals for industrial equipment, inspecting engineering drawings, and learning the difference between suction and discharge pipes of pumps, throttling bushes, and bearings. But at some point, I got an opportunity to play with a corporate website, and that's where it all began.
I was really amazed by this mysterious new world of admin panels, frontend, and backend. And I started to dig deeper as I really wanted to know more. First, I took some free courses: HTML, CSS, JS, React, SQL, and picked up these fancy badges that gave me a false belief I could do anything as an actual programmer! After that, I did a couple of web-related projects and learned more about the field.
I actually became a project manager by accident. The project manager left the company where I worked. The team was completely lost as they needed someone who knew the project and could communicate with the customer. I took over the role, started to do daily routines to help the developers, and I was soon managing several projects and mentoring junior project managers.
In 2020 I found a position opened at Crytek, read the job description, and thought: "Wow, that's me!" I applied and started working with the most incredible web team a few weeks later. I'm not joking. These guys are amazing, and they have a unique atmosphere on the team. We are always ready to help and support each other no matter what.
What is your main focus at the moment?
Together with the leads, I act as a point of contact for all the stakeholders and users submitting feedback related to the CRYENGINE Hub and launcher. I help check all the information and create a list of things we need to fix to improve the user journey. It also involves aligning our plans with all the different departments, preparing and checking that tasks are on track, and keeping an eye out for feedback on our social media channels. Basically, my job is to remember every task and ensure nothing is forgotten, helping CRYENGINE grow and making users happy!
What does a regular day at CRYENGINE look like for you?
Each day brings new surprises and challenges, but one thing stays the same: each morning, we meet with the team to update each other on current tasks we are working on. After that, there could be additional meetings with the technical lead to discuss tasks, blockers, and plans, internal training, meetings with stakeholders, interviews with candidates, or the preparation of internal documentation. Also, I usually dedicate an hour or so to check our products with our QAs as I believe it helps to learn the detail and, of course, have fun with the team trying to find a more sophisticated way of breaking the functionality!
What does it take to do your job well?
Project managers deal with a wide range of tasks to, well, actually manage the team. The focus of any project manager is to provide a customer with the desired scope of work in the desired time frame. Sounds easy, but this task is a bit more complex: you must deal with many different things daily. You have to check and create tasks, help define requirements, make sure everyone has everything they need to work, update the project's status for stakeholders, and sometimes serve as the first line of support for people inside the company. There are deadlines, and you need to remember many important facts and help your team grow.
I know it sounds exhausting now, but it is fun when everyone works together well!
What advice would you give to people around project management?
I think it's important to try to stay reasonable in any situation and apply a commonsense approach to each task. If it makes sense, it makes sense, you know! You must also dedicate time to stay up to date with the latest trends and technologies in your area. The worst thing that can happen to a project is a project manager with zero knowledge and understanding of the work, as this person cannot understand the team. But overall, don't be afraid to try, don't be afraid to ask, and always be aware of risks!
What are you playing at the moment?
I'm not a huge gamer, but I play strategy games like "Oxygen is not Included" from time to time, as it is an excellent simulator for a project manager job! You have to solve different tasks, try different approaches and make sure your people are happy!
Are you the next Project Manager for CRYENGINE, ready to work with Tanya? At Crytek, we value diversity, and actively encourage people from all backgrounds and experience levels to apply to our available jobs, so join us over at LinkedIn and check out our careers page.
If you have questions or feedback about CRYENGINE, let us know in the comments, on the forum, or via Facebook and Twitter. You can pick up tips and tricks about our game development, ask questions, and more by joining our community and the CRYENGINE development team over on our official CRYENGINE Discord channel.
If you find a bug in the engine, please report it directly on GitHub, which helps us process the issue quickly and efficiently. You can find out how to submit feedback on GitHub, and access CRYENGINE source code, here. Don't forget to subscribe to our YouTube channel, where we host a range of content, including tutorials covering all aspects of the engine and game design. Want to show your love for CRYENGINE? Pick up merch over on the official online Crytek Store.