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How long have you been with Goji? What is your role on your team?
I joined Goji at the end of 2017 hot off the heels of becoming a dad. My job title is “Engineering Lead” which means I run a small team of developers whilst trying to figure out our longer term technical direction. My average day varies between deep, complex conversations around systems design to fixing small issues reported by our clients. I also spend a good portion of my day pairing with my team and acting as a mechanism for unsticking them if they hit a wall.
What initially interested you about Goji? What do you enjoy about working here?
Initially I joined Goji to utilise my financial technology background whilst learning lots of new skills quickly. Startups are the ideal place for this kind of learning because there’s a lot of ground to cover in the early days. I’ve gained real insight into the world of private equity and it’s been a fantastic learning experience. I really enjoy the technical challenges I encounter whilst working at Goji. We are often solving problems that don’t have a standard solution, and it’s up to us to figure out what works best. We won’t always get it right the first time, but iteration is a key part of the engineering process.
Where did you work prior to joining Goji? How has this shaped your role here?
Prior to working at Goji, I worked at IG Index Ltd. I rose through the graduate program to the title of Senior Engineer. Before I left, I led a small team delivering tailored onboarding journeys for the many offices they have around the world. I brought a lot of my learnings from working there to Goji. In the time before I joined Goji, I spent a lot of my time working on building out modern web applications. This experience is now put to good use with our funds product.
Give us the inside scoop – what are some of the unique aspects of working at Goji?
Culture. I have never been at a company where I can happily have a conversation with the CEO/CFO and come away feeling more in touch with the company than before. In my experience, Goji has a genuine interest in the lives of their staff. I’ve seen, and been part of, multiple instances where the company has prioritised the wellbeing of the staff member over short term gain. This is a very heartening thing to see and sets Goji apart from other companies I have seen in the industry.
What was your dream job as a child? Tell us a bit about your journey to where you are today.
As a child I wanted to be many different things. My most consistent desire was to become a vet. I always liked animals growing up and I really liked the idea of helping make them better.
Once computers became more common in all our homes I started to get very interested in programming. I convinced my parents to buy me a “C++ for dummies” book in the early noughties which I never managed to finish, but the spark was definitely ignited. From there I took programming challenges whenever I could and eventually ended up studying MEng Software Engineering at Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh. While studying there, I worked on software simulating oil and gas well dynamics which served as my first professional experience of software development.
What would you do if you had unlimited free time?
If I had unlimited free time, I’d spend the majority of it with my family. I have two children, which soaks up lots of time outside work. The picture you can see is of me “in jail” at a local wild west themed restaurant the kids love. Unlimited free time would definitely mean more of that kind of thing.
If I wasn’t playing with the family, I’d be trying my hand at some DIY on our house or building furniture out of wood. I’ve made a few pieces but always struggle to fit in the time necessary with such a busy schedule. If that wasn’t the case, I think our house would be covered in small projects I had dreamt up.
Any fun projects on the horizon? What are you and your team up to next?
As our funds product goes from strength to strength, I’m looking forward to the challenges presented by our need to scale. Typically, scaling brings a whole new set of problems that require creative solutions. Whilst doing that we’re also looking to put in the foundations for the next 12 months’ worth of features that will be built for the product. Building software is like “Extreme Tetris,” fitting features and functionality together in ways that build strong foundations for further developments is tricky but very rewarding. I’m very excited to see what challenges 2023 sends our way!