Lyuba Ilieva is a Senior Director Automation and Quality at Musala Soft. That’s what it says on her business card, but on LinkedIn she is Queen of QA, Khaleesi of the TestSuit, Breaker of Core, Mother of Quality. Lyuba manages a team of 90+ QA engineers and she is convinced that work discipline and self-care are key for a successful balance between personal and professional life.

Lyuba Ilieva has 18 years of experience in the field of IT. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and naturally dove into the IT world – the technological infinity, which gives us the opportunity to improve the world here and now. Lyuba is part of large-scale software projects for global companies, working with creative, international QA teams with wide technological expertise. She continues to walk boldly forward and upward, because she caries an aspiration to challenge herself every day, and the courage to not be afraid of mistakes… Because fortune favours the brave! The sky is the limit!

Lyuba Ilieva, Senior Director Automation and Quality at Musala Soft

Favourite clothes?

Comfy ones.

High heels or flat shoes?

Depends on what I’m wearing.

Which is THE thing you never go out without?

My phone. It has everything I need.

Favourite lipstick colour?

Nude.

Which is the feminine quality/duty that you don’t possess?

Everything feminine comes naturally to me.

Which cause would you support/ Are you currently supporting?

Unicef – access to education for nonverbal kids.

Share something about yourself that we can’t find on LinkedIn.

You can hardly find out anything from LinkedIn. The professional qualities can be seen in the process of work.

Have you ever faced challenges in your career regarding the fact that you are a woman?

Each challenge is an opportunity.

Do you know how many women work in your position?

Yes. Just one. 🙂

Do you think that the problem with gender inequality still exists in Bulgaria and globally?

A study by Reboot Online was recently published and it presents Bulgaria as the best place to work for women. Looking at the statistics both as payment and as percentage of women working in the field, women are less than men. However, there is an explanation, according to which gender is not the only thing that matters. There are fewer girls in technical specialties globally because of the desire to develop in this field. There is a difference between the sexes, but this does not necessarily mean inequality. From my experience, I can say that the opportunities offered in the IT field for both women and men are the same.

“Software industry is extremely attractive in the last few years for the development of young specialists. We’ve often seen colleagues that retrained from other professions.”

Do you think a woman’s appearance and charm affect her professional success?

According to a social survey, good-looking people progress faster with their careers. This is true for both men and women. Everyone has their own weapons to achieve their goals. However, if we emphasize too much on our female or male advantages, it will certainly come back like a boomerang and there is a possibility that they will see us more as a woman (or a man, respectively) and less as a professional. 

Which policies does your company encourage regarding gender diversity?

The most important policy to promote diversity is not to limit it. At Musala Soft, 30% of the employees are women, 30% are foreigners from over 10 countries. Professional qualities and shared values are what’s important 

How do you get along with men in your company? Do they treat you differently?

My colleagues treat me unconditionally as a professional, and so do I. 

Read More Inspiring Stories for Women in Tech in WRTech here.

How do you balance your work with your personal life? Are there any rules that you follow?

I have a strictly defined profile of my obligations, which I follow. Of course, there are exceptions, but it is important for me to be disciplined and this inevitably benefits both personal and professional life.

Which sources would you recommend to us? (podcasts, webpages, influencers, youtubers, etc.)

The blog and the events in Dev.bg, specialized QA and Testing groups in Linkedin.

As a Senior Director Automation and Quality, which do you think are the qualities a specialist in the sphere has to possess?

During the last few years, the software industry has been extremely attractive for the development of young professionals. We often witness colleagues who have retrained from other professions. The motivation for development in this area is really high and this has a positive impact on the sector. Colleagues who have a strong interest in mathematics and information sciences, especially those with an engineering degree, are able to quickly establish themselves as specialists in software development and to chart a major career path in the field.

Do you think it’s good for us to aim to perfection in a professional and personal plan?

Absolutely not. This is an unattainable task and can easily increase the feeling of failure, and this will inevitably affect our results. The strength of every person, both professionally and personally, is to know both their strengths and weaknesses. Nobody’s perfect and there are no perfect situations. The only thing that moves us forward and upward is striving every day to be better than yesterday; not being afraid of making mistakes, because success loves the brave.

What gives you inspiration in a professional and personal plan?

When you love the things you do, it is such a great pleasure and it’s very inspiring. Of course, in addition to what you do, what matters the most is who you do it with. I am inspired by the colleagues I work with – creative, smart, fun, innovative, as well as my family and friends. It is important for everyone to choose the environment that develops and pulls him forward.

What made you choose the technological sphere as your professional path?

It happened naturally in a way. Back at school I was very interested and had some achievements in mathematics and information sciences. That’s what made me choose the specialty “Informatics” at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” and I have been working in the field for 18 years. This is the area with the strongest impetus for innovation – it is inspiring to create software that improves and also opens up completely new horizons for business and people’s leisure time. Sky is the limit!

If You Want to Read More Inspiring Stories for Success and Professional Growth Join the DevStyleR #Tech Influencers Community and Get Access to our Special Editions here.

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