Aidana Kurmasheva

Specialization: mobile and web development. Internship: Cleo Labs, USA.

Aidana is from quite a large Almaty family by today’s standards: she is one of four siblings. She’s 23. When she is not engage in development (and the work takes her 10 hours a day), she watches programs about traveling. She likes them even more than the trips themselves. However, in times of a pandemic, this is understandable. At the same time, the developer is looking for an idea to create her own startup. We are sure that one day it may happen, it’s all in her hands. In the meantime, she shares with you experience in an American startup.

Tell us about the startup where you were trained?
The startup I worked for is called Cleo. The main office is located in San Francisco, as well as startups of Yerassyl and Aigerym (also the winners of the IT internship program of the Yessenov Science and Education Foundation). This is a platform for parents, based on an application where the user receives pieces of advice from specialists in children’s health. We sell this feature to companies, and they provide access to our app to their employees as part of a social package. The startup has already received $ 27.5 million in investment and continues to grow.

What were you responsible for and how did you spend your time away from the office?
I was a full-stack developer (i.e., back-end and front-end development). I added new functionality to the app, worked on the control panel to make it more user-friendly, as well as worked on some other projects. Over the period of six months the company has changed a lot, even in terms of CEO. Our team has spent a lot of time together and I have made new friends in my life. In our free time, we managed to visit New York and Los Angeles. Every week we held some kind of event. We played volleyball, participated in a Halloween costume contest, or went to a startup conference (Denver Startup Week). We had a lot of fun at the annual corporate party.

It’s great that there was more than just work. What have You achieved professionally?
It’s important to me that I have become a full-stack developer by adding some front-end experience to my skills. The internship helped me learn and analyze how startups work from the inside. I saw how many processes in product development change flexibly and quickly, worked with very cool specialists from Uruguay, Argentina, and the United States and use their experience. At the end of the internship, I received an offer to stay and continue working with Cleo and accepted it.

What’s next?
I work with the startup further, already from Kazakhstan. I am close to the company’s mission, and, importantly, I like what I am doing now, so there are no plans to change anything in the near future. The only drawback: the time difference with the States, you have to work at night. This is inconvenient. I would like to follow the example of other startups and gather a team in Kazakhstan. But due to the situation in the world and in the market, it would be impossible in the near future. Like many other companies in the US, Cleo has had to reduce the staff to optimize costs. But the COVID-19 pandemic also gave the company an opportunity to think about new projects. That’s what we’re all working on right now.

27.05.20, Stories

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