An inspirational leader, Jieke joined Mobiquity over six years ago. He talks about the importance of the human centered way of working through understanding the customers true frictions in order to deliver the right solution. Through his years of experience he explains why to him it is not all about technology, but actually about people instead!
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Jieke Pan: Hello everyone, my name is Jieke Pan. I was born and raised in WenZhou, a port and business city in China's Zhejiang province. I left China when I was seventeen years old and joined my parents in Lisbon, Portugal, where I learnt Portuguese in about one and a half years. I am proud to say I was the first Chinese person to graduate from the University of Lisbon where I obtained my bachelor, post-graduate and master degrees in Computer Science. Having lived in many different countries my hobbies naturally transform throughout the years as I have grown as a person. However, one of my biggest passions, which really began in Portugal, is soccer. I love to watch sports competitions in general, but I am a big fan of the Benfica soccer team from Lisbon. I would often go to their games, but as my career and life has changed over the years and I am now married and have children, I have less time and watching soccer these days has become quite a luxury for me.
How did I get to where I am today? I started as a researcher during University in our faculty’s research lab, where I primarily focused on Distributed Computing and Security. I later joined a large industrial manufacturing company in their R&D department where I worked in multiple areas including Network Planning, Security, Data Engineering and Machine Learning. From there I made the move to The Netherlands. I had always dreamed of living there so when I found the right opportunity I didn’t hesitate to accept. I was part of a small but very powerful engineering team, which was responsible for a Global Mobile Payment Platform across seventeen countries, pre-iPhone/Android era. After that I then joined the world’s third largest ERP solution provider. I was fortunate to be a part of the Cloud innovation team, where we were the truly speaking early adopters of AWS (when it was still called Amazon Cloud). We worked on multiple large scale initiatives all consisting of re-architecting our existing solution and making it Cloud ready. We may also have been the first team to come up with a Hybrid Cloud Solution on the Enterprise grade.
It then came time for me to take another route in my career, which was joining Mobiquity. Why Mobiquity you may ask? Through my interview process, I spoke to many different people and they all shared the same passion which left me with a great impression of the company. I was eager to experience more diversity of business domains and learn more about the human centered way of delivering software. It is quite nice for me to look back and share with you my journey so far, but I must admit even though I have been here quite a while, it still only feels like the beginning to me!
Since joining Mobiquity the company has grown from 50 people to 250+ people, with over 50+ distinct nationalities and I really love that about this company, that we embrace diversity. Here everyone can be themselves, grow their career and reach their goals. Taking myself as an example, I started as a Backend Competence Lead, grew to the role of VP Engineering, CTO and member of the EU management team. Over these years, I have always had help, coaching, support and encouragement when needed. I truly believe the similar type of journey can and does apply to everyone within Mobiquity. As long as you keep an open mind, are willing to cooperate and work for the team, give value to others’ opinion, contribute your strength to what is right, and take the lead by truly leading, you can grow not only as a person but in your professional career also.
I am the VP Engineering and Chief Technology Officer at Mobiquity Europe, meaning I am responsible for the engineering competence and technology thought leadership development of our European office. Although we say EU, our client portfolio covers the EMEA region. As we are continuing to grow, we are expanding our engineering capabilities to South Africa, the UK and a few other countries. In my role I focus on three key types of engagement. Pre sales; talking with customers, exploring the problem and finding possible solutions. Working on a project team; Utilising my knowledge and experience as part of an engineering team to help key accounts explore future opportunities and growth. Technology development trends; keeping on top of new technologies and investigating if they can add value to our offerings, and investigating if it is worthwhile to create a new competency to explore further.
I also still work as a hands-on engineer which I enjoy doing. I was part of the initial team that worked on Philips, where I was the Technical Lead and Architect for three years. We worked on creating a single data platform which connected all their digital products together in order to enhance the consumers overall experience. We did something very precise for an already strong brand to help them enhance their brand value and offering. Together with client delivery, we grew that partnership from initially 5 people into a global partnership in just two years.
After that, I joined RaboBank Innohub, where I was part of the first team as the main Technical Architect. Over the past three years, we have delivered more than ten important innovation MVPs and also jointly created the early version of our Digital Traction Model. This was a completely different style of project as we were creating new brands that never excited before, apart from as an idea in someone's mind. It is really quite exciting to see how fast we can innovate, validate and quickly build a product within a short time frame, while still learning and continuously improving the offering.
Things never get repetitive, there is always a new challenge to tackle. I enjoy helping the customer delve into and really understand their key frictions in order to ensure we can then find the right solution for their problem. We work as a team to tackle collectively each project and deliver something tangible that brings satisfaction not only to the customer, but to the team itself.
What have I learnt over the past 6 years at Mobiquity? For me, Technology comes last. What really matters is building solutions that people enjoy using. By using the right technology to solve the right problem we can generate business value for our customers and in turn their customers. This is why Engineering must always align and work closely with Digital Product, Strategy and Design in order to guard the golden triangle which delivers human desirability and business viability, enabled by feasible technology.
You have certainly heard of the statement Always Be Kind. It is not just about being friendly to others, it actually means being mindful of what you do. Applying mindfulness to our day-to-day job reflects how well you understand your user, and how much you are aware of the business value your solution is going to deliver. How do you translate these understandings into your design, architecture, testing strategy, code and then technology choice? It is important to keep in mind the total experience; customer experience leads to user experience which all connects back to the employee experience. That is why we are not just developers, we are engineers. The key question remains the same, what problem are we trying to solve? My team and I are continuously looking into the next generation of programming languages, frameworks and platforms, the new way of designing architecture. When the moment is right, we will bring them to the table, so stay tuned.
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