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How I got into working in tech

by Laurent O.

March 16, 2023


We had the pleasure of sitting down with Daniel, our Tech Lead recently to understand more about his role and what a tech role looks like at GreenJinn. Safe to say he works magic better than a genie can! 

Why Tech? 💻

When I was young, the only stuff I wanted to make work was tech. I got enjoyment from using the tools I had to create something. This included physically making computers- from breaking them apart and putting them together again. Understanding what every part did. 

I think I got that from my father who used to do the same with radios. As the next generation, I did this with computers. 

I realised at school, I’m a bit dyslexic but with tech, it was something I was naturally good at and I could work around my dyslexia. This continued at University, some exams I was never any good at but others I would be at the top. I studied Computer Science and Engineering as a masters degree. My aim was to be in software engineering- designing the actual software and putting the procedures together. It really taught me to be organised and be able to see the bigger picture. 

Getting into a tech role 🙌

You don’t need to study tech to have a degree in Tech however where I’m from it was suggested to help give you a structure and clearer thinking. The masters is not needed, you have to be really interested to do it!

Learning programming languages has also helped me learn other languages (learning mandarin, speak Italian and English etc) and made reading easier.

I started working for a start up during my masters. It was here that I started developing an app from the beginning, from the algorithm behind the scenes first before building it. It was to track gym workouts. At the time it was very difficult to develop apps like this and to do all the actions we wanted it to do, it is a lot easier now as phones develop. It was really interesting to build the product from scratch and understand the behind the scenes.

Then I went to work for a company renting sports venues. Airbnb for sports. From my experience, it sounds like I’m super sporty, I like sports but wouldn’t say i’m a sporty guy. I like the industry though! Again here, I built the application from scratch. 

When I joined GreenJinn, I helped build the app as well. There was a prototype in place and I started changing it piece by piece. When I started, it was very early days so not much structure to the app and the building of it as quite a few people had had a go, so it was my job to start building it properly. Taking it to the next level with a core team working on both backend and frontend.  

My role has completely changed from when I started. I came in as a mobile developer and now I run the development team. 

What does it look like today?

No day looks the same.

We firstly need to make sure the platform works- the app, our dashboards etc. We identify any problems.

We are always looking at our infrastructure costs and trying to reduce this. People don’t really know the costs that go into running an app; from back end, data storage and computing power etc.

As I run the team, I will be defining their tasks and what to prioritise as a team. Working cross functionally with all the teams to find out what they need from us and then how to split this out across the team. I make the pipelines and over see all of the projects. 

I am here to improve developer experience- the tools they use, the quality of the tasks they see and the pipeline. Putting the right frame works together. Helping with their developing. Be the bridge between the teams. If you are a developer and have a problem, you come to me first. We then go to other team members together. 

I still write code on all of the platforms. Then others check it. You have to make your hands dirty, keep my skills going and see what is working. We all have responsibilities to code. 

Working as a team allows us to stay humble and work out problems together. 

Start up life 💡

I love the challenge of working at a start up. You have to just work things out yourself. No day looks the same and something could happen, a bug for example, and suddenly everything is up in the air. 

I enjoy getting things sorted. When the team ask questions, getting to the bottom of why things aren’t or are working. 

Our system means you are able to write code remotely. People can work from anywhere and don’t need a powerful computer. I’ve just spent the last few months working from China after travelling around parts of Europe. That’s a great thing about the role and GreenJinn.

Why work for GJ

We have a lot of projects everyone can get involved with, as we are a start up you will get exposure to more than just your role. 

We work together as a team to solve problems. We use everyones experience and ideas together. We don’t do just what one person says or what a platform does. We do it how we want to do it. We mix things up and go with what works for us. 

You can be creative in your role. We are creating things our way. We learn from others but we are doing it our own way. So you can truly have your own stamp on our GreenJinn development. We encourage everyone to have their own opinion and challenge our processes. 

From day one, you are thrown right into it. You can go in production from what you develop. It’s exciting! You don’t need to know everything to be making a difference at GJ. There are opportunities to build from day one.