Michael joined Mobiquity over three years ago. He is a self taught engineer who has grown his career successfully to now lead part of the Mobiquity engineering team. He shares with us the importance of investing your time in those around you to enable the continued success of the team in delivering tangible products to bring value to customers' lives.
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Michael Doye: I am originally from South Africa. I come from a big family of nine brothers and sisters. My mother is British and my father's side of the family is from Belgium, the French side, so I have quite a mixed heritage. I lived in South Africa for over thirty years, spending the last ten years in Cape Town, where I also went to high school. What do I like to do in my free time? Well, I love programming. Apart from that I like sports and watching sporting competitions, like skateboarding. I used to play cricket during highschool but now enjoy watching the matches. I have an entrepreneurial spirit and am always open to new ideas. From time to time I venture into some small businesses, for example I once had an online shop for subscriptions on socks.
I initially studied Sound Engineering at Intec college and worked for a while as a Live Sound Engineer in Cape Town. I then went on to work as a Restaurant Manager for four to five years. I didn’t start my career in Software Engineering until 2010, after I became curious as to how people were making websites and decided to give it a try for myself. I am primarily self taught, but did complete a computer science Nanodegree a couple of years after starting down this route. At first I worked for myself and later as part of a small agency. Why make the move to Europe? At that time, my girlfriend really wanted to live abroad so I decided to check what job openings were available, and that is when I found an opportunity at Mobiquity.
After joining Mobiquity, I quickly fell in love with the company culture. I had a very smooth transition and onboarding. The longer I was here the more I got to know the people and I was completely sold. There is a great mix of people and diversity in each of our teams, over 50+ nationalities, and that exposure is enlightening. It enables a lot of different perspectives and ideas, which means as a team we can continually learn and improve from each other's knowledge and skills. Coming from South Africa which is also very multicultural I was used to this diversity and immediately felt at home. I started out as a Senior Frontend developer, later became a Principal Engineer, before taking on my current role as Director of Application Engineering. It is great to have an opportunity to continually grow within the same company and it was also fun to be able to grow my career alongside the growth of the company.
The most important aspect of my role is investing my time in the people around me, my team. My aim is quite simple; to help others grow and succeed both professionally but also personally. As a leader your team looks up to you not only in times of need to help with certain frictions and problems they are having, but also as a person who can help to guide, advise and facilitate their own journey of growth.
The other side of my role is to oversee the Frontend and Mobile Engineers, as I am ultimately responsible for making sure the quality of our work is up to scratch. I also contribute a lot to ongoing RFP’s, by working together with the different Mobiquity teams and departments to define the architecture, set up a solid road map, and ensure we have the right team in place to coordinate the project.
I still work on dedicated projects which I think is important as I enjoy coding and want to make sure I keep my own skills up to date. Each project brings its own learnings and satisfaction. I have worked with a large EU bank on an application which provides investors a complete overview of farming operations in order to assist in investment decisions. I am currently working on an innovation project to develop new offerings for their customers to help them plan their financial future, set financial goals, and provide guidance on how to achieve these goals. As a consumer it is very helpful to have that insight into finances and be able to realise realistic financial goals. I enjoy working on these kinds of products that really make a difference and bring tangible value to people's lives.
What is it about Mobiquity that you like? The people! Despite the fact that we have been working remotely for over a year now, everyone has something interesting to offer and say. We do a lot of team work on our projects which is a great way to get everyone connected and have some fun with colleagues when we are unable to be in the office. We practice pair-programming, which basically means you are paired with another engineer each day to work on the same tasks. We also do mob programming where we work together in teams of three or four to solve a problem. It helps to keep engagement up, but also provides an opportunity for each person to continue to learn from one another and grow their knowledge. We are fortunate to have had a lot of success in the last few years enabling us to grow the company, but really this success is because of the excellent work from the top talent we have working for us. I am excited for the future and to see what else we can accomplish together.
When working as a FrontEnd Developer, user interfaces are important because first impressions last, a UI will define how a customer uses your product going forward and what they will say about it. FrontEnd for mobile or web is the first thing that customers interact with. It is important to get that first impression right and to set the tone of how you want people to view or interpret your brand or product. If it does not satisfy your customer, you run the risk of losing them and the potential future business they could bring. Therefore, a lot of effort and focus should go towards creating a smooth Frontend design that not only looks good, but works in an easy and efficient way. To do this it is critical to work closely with the Design team. There can often be a bit of a disconnect between Frontend and Design in a lot of companies, and it's important to bridge that gap by working closer together for a better end result that will ultimately benefit both teams and the client. At Mobiquity this is something that we focus on a lot and are continuously looking to improve.
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