meet the maker: inga shpolberg

in meet the makers by Ann Whittaker

Inga Shpolberg Software QA EngineerAn interview with Inga Shpolberg, Software QA Engineer, by Ann Whittaker, co-founder and VP of HR at Rethink Robotics

Inga, you test the integrity of the software that runs Baxter.  That takes someone who likes to create order and make things just right.  How did you develop this talent?

Ever since I was very young I liked to be organized and enjoyed doing things the right way. I always loved to help my grandma to set the table for family holidays and everything had to be in a very precise order. When I was at school, my teachers always asked me to help them organize various activities because they knew that everything would be well structured and run smoothly. Over time it has become a second nature and I cannot imagine being any other way.

What captivated your imagination as a young woman?  What drove you to pursue your degree and training?

From my early childhood through my college years and later on in life I always had a passion for learning and for tackling new challenges. Moreover, I enjoy sharing my knowledge with other people. I have a major in education and psychology and planned on working with young children. However, after moving to the United States almost 20 years ago from Odessa, Ukraine, I needed to start a new life in a new country. I decided to pursue a new career in technology, a booming field at the time. Quality Assurance career struck me as something I would enjoy greatly. I am passionate about technology, like learning something new every day and enjoy working with different people.

You so beautifully balance your full on techno-goddess focus and your exuberant love of life and the people around you. Please share some of what informs your world view.

I try hard to balance all things that are important to me in life – family and friends, successful career, interests outside of work. My children are my top priority and I invest a lot of time to make sure they get an excellent education and are well prepared for life. It is important for me to feel intellectually challenged, enjoy my work and look forward to coming into work every day. I try to stay current in the field of technology which evolves every day. Needless to say, I have had to become a very proficient scheduler and multi-tasker, as any woman who has a family and a full time job has to be.

Finally, describe what it’s like to work with Baxter and your colleagues at Rethink Robotics.

Working at Rethink Robotics is my first experience working in the robotics field. When I first started I was a little nervous that I might lack in-depth knowledge in mechanics and physics which would make it hard to get up to speed with Baxter technology quickly. However, after I started, everyone on the team was extremely welcoming and willing to help. I found myself working with world class engineers that are not only brilliant technologists but also wonderful and nice people to work with. I enjoy working at Rethink Robotics greatly and look forward to coming into work every day.



About the Author

Ann Whittaker

Ann is a co-Founder of Rethink Robotics and VP, People & Culture. She has developed strategic and tactical expertise in the operational and human resources domains, creating an engaging, vital culture in which corporate objectives are achieved and employees flourish. Prior to co-founding Rethink Robotics in 2008, Ann held high-level administration and communications roles in educational, philanthropic and life sciences organizations. Her past affiliations include MIT’s Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, the David Rockefeller Jr. Family Office, Millennium Pharmaceuticals and PAREXEL International Corporation. Ann holds a BA from the American University and an MBA from Babson College. She currently serves on the Board of Trustees for the Chapel Hill-Chauncy Hall School and previously served on the Senior Advisory Board of Cellanyx Diagnostics.

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