BigPanda stories

Olivia Sell, Technical Project Manager – New York

OliviaNew Yorker. Eagles Fan. Fashion lover.

What did you do before BigPanda?

For the last five years, I was at a defense contractor called L3Harris Technologies in Clifton, New Jersey. Before that, I was at Boeing. I’ve always worked in defense and I’ve always been on the FAA team. I started working as an engineer working on the mission computer, the way like Windows has windows seven, the mission computer gets updated every two years. I essentially would create a new capability and design the requirements, then work with a software engineer to actually implement it. I eventually moved on to specific subsystems when I moved to all three Harris on so I was troubleshooting all boxes that actually go on the plane that were returned, or new production assets. Eventually, I moved into project management.

What was your kind of favorite part about that career path?

I got to test labs in the middle of the desert in California and Nevada where I actually got to witness flight tests and hang around the flight crew. That was really cool. I was able to be in the flight simulator there too. Trying to fly a plane where you designed the software and then got to test out the capability of that software and see if it would actually work- that was pretty cool.

What led you to be interested in BigPanda and the AIOps world specifically?

I found BigPanda through LinkedIn! I was applying to different jobs in different industries, but after actually talking to someone, I was able to correlate what AIOps and BigPanda does to what my product on the FAA team did, it was super similar to what I used to do! The radar has to get through all this noise to find out what the real enemy is to protect the plane. It’s a lot like being able to tell a human from a mannequin. I liked that it was a very similar problem and solution, but a very different world.

What do you like most about being at BigPanda now?

All the people! Everyone’s really nice, and I keep waiting for that other shoe to drop. I’ve honestly never met a team where everyone is just nice. Everyone has made me feel so comfortable and are all willing to answer my questions. Sometimes I’ll slack someone and then regret it and think it was too late and they must all get notifications on their phones anyways because they always take the time to help me and answer my questions.

What teams do you work with on a daily basis?

Right now, I’m working on internal project that kind of touches several different teams so for example the Enablement Team,  R&D, Marketing, etc.

How do you find balance between your home and your personal life?

I try hard to set boundaries. I recently put a lock on my phone during off hours, but we will also see how much longer that survives. It can be hard to completely turn off when you’re on PTO but I also think it’s important to trust your team. I find myself stopping myself going to check email and tell myself – No, I trust my team. Our team will handle things without me asking, even if it’s outside their normal scope, just to make sure we cover each other and we’re all able to take time off.

What would you describe as one of your superpowers?

I would normally say my memory, but I feel like my memory is going nowadays. But I can usually remember things, like down to the exact date and time. To the point where it sometimes confuses people. For example, one time on a customer call I had my customer ask me a question about an email and I remembered exactly – yes, that email you sent last Thursday at 3:12pm? It can be nice sometimes, but can also can stump people.