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Eaton software engineer helps develop home automation systems

Eaton software engineer helps develop home automation systems

 September 13, 2021

Olga is a software engineer for Eaton and is based in the Czech Republic.

She describes herself as an open, enthusiastic, curious, accountable, and goals-orientated person who is good at commencing projects, organizing her work, and storytelling - which she believes are perfect skills for prototyping and innovation.

Olga works for Eaton's Building Automation group in Power Management & Control Components EMEA where she helps to develop RF (radio frequency) home automation systems. She also loves to study - she has two Master's degrees and has started a PhD that makes a positive difference to others: she is working with a hospital to apply machine learning techniques on the COVID-19 Computer Tomography lungs diagnostics.

A continuously evolving career

Olga joined Eaton as a software engineer in 2014 but her responsibilities are constantly changing and evolving. She started her career at Eaton with a focus on testing: manual system testing and developing test automation framework for regression testing and application of continuous integration concept.

With her seniority and product knowledge evolving, Olga started to be more involved in software development for Home Automation Gateway - mainly Java and JavaScript developing for Linux-based embedded systems. She then switched to the end devices development and testing Real-Time Operating System software development in C / C++ languages with a focus on electronics.

"The technologies and project needs are changing rapidly and the main challenge for me is to continuously grow professionally. It is also an opportunity and benefit for me to learn new program languages, new skills, and expertise," she adds.

Olga enjoys working on many different projects with various scope and responsibilities.

She has the flexibility to apply to projects which are not actually part of her main duties in Eaton. She can also focus on the skills and expertise which will support her career growth, and which are in the area of her interests. Yet, this can sometimes present the most challenging part of her job: learning how to "keep focus and make the right priorities."

A variety of skills needed for the role

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Although she's a software engineer, Olga isn't only writing the code. Developing home automation systems requires a plethora of different skills.

Together with product management, Olga and her team are defining functionality, features, and requirements for the new devices based on the voice of customers. For this, it is essential to have good communication skills, domain knowledge and the ability to understand customer needs.

Olga also works with hardware engineers to design the best solutions, which requires hardware and electronics expertise. While helping colleagues test devices they have developed, Olga needs to meet every new challenge with curiosity, precision and patience, particularly when repeating the same routine.

"Currently, I work on Shutter actuator implementation, so we are preparing a small installation, which looks like a real window and shutters on it, to be able to test the shutter behaviour. We have a lot of battery supplied devices, so energy efficiency is important for us," she explains. "To be able to test the energy consumption behaviour of the devices continuously, we have developed a LabView project and triggered the real operation conditions with continuous energy measurements. To be able to make out the test stand it is essential to be able to work with your hands."

A company that encourages innovation

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Innovating is part of Olga's day-to-day job. Both Eaton's Business System and its culture encourage employees to "think differently and to act differently," she explains.

This culture is put into practice through global activities and challenges such as Innovation Hackathon, while Olga can take part in local events such as iDay or Innovation Cup. She is encouraged to submit her ideas, create a team, and work on solutions. Eaton also gives her the opportunity to present and communicate her ideas to senior leaders.

"Many times, I have been lucky to present my work to our top management including our CTOs and CEOs," she adds.

Thriving in Eaton's flexible, supportive and inclusive culture

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Olga has many roles, tasks, and projects running in parallel, both in her personal and professional life: she is a software engineer; a PhD. student; a mother. She has two daughters who she needs to give as much attention and time as they need. 

However, Eaton supports Olga manage these responsibilities through flexible working hours, part-time job possibilities, and financial support for childcare. At Eaton, Olga believes employees can "manage the work-life balance perfectly."

Work-life balance is important for Eaton's leaders as much as an employee's personal growth. Olga explains that Eaton offers yoga lessons on the site as well as language courses. In terms of physical wellbeing, Eaton encourages its employees to walk, run, and take part in environmental challenges such as cycling to work, where they compete to cycle a number of kilometres to the office without using a car.

As a mother of two, Olga also benefits from Eaton's family events such as sport day or special a fairy-tale event for children to understand Czech traditions.

As well as a good work life balance, Olga explains that a big part of Eaton's culture is talent development. A development plan is an important part of Eaton's yearly goals.

It has the same importance as the company's performance goals. Eaton University also offers a rich portfolio of e-learning courses and on-site training. 

Inclusion and Diversity is also an important focus at Eaton, where the company supports young talent – both men and women - to increase diversity in the organization.

"As part of my daily job, I am leading the interns. I am doing my best to keep them engaged and enthusiastic, to challenge them with interesting projects. Our interns are coming back to us every summer and some of them are getting permanent contract after finishing their studies," adds Olga.

Career advice for those looking to apply for Eaton jobs

Olga has some great advice for anyone wanting to apply for jobs at Eaton: "Even if you are a fresh graduate, do not underestimate yourself," she states. Eaton is not looking for the exact technical skill set, but for "curious, intelligent people who are willing to learn."

For Olga, it's important for applicants to ask themselves: Will you enjoy your work? Is it something you are excited about?

Not only the technical skills are important, but soft skills and personality also matter. "Just be yourself, be curious, show your interest and be ready to learn!" adds Olga. "We have a distributed organization and every day we communicate with our colleagues on the globe and clear and effective communication are important for our success." Olga herself is ready to learn: she has applied to the Eaton Global Mentoring program to get career advice from senior leaders.

Finally, she shares her own wisdom: be engaged as many activities as you can. "Who knows, maybe your next volunteering project, will be career-changing for you," she adds. "Be brave, speak up and believe in yourself."

Forge an exciting engineering career at Eaton

At Eaton, women like Olga are pursuing innovative careers while achieving a perfect work/life balance both at the office and at home. 

Inspired by Olga's story? Bring your own career pathway to Eaton.

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