Ebenezer Olajide, Technical Team Lead, BidX1 Global
Tell us a little bit about you.
My name is Ebenezer Olajide, the Technical Team Lead here at BidX1. I am originally from Nigeria, but I moved to Galway with my family when I was eight, so I've been in Ireland for more than 20 years. I currently live in Dublin with my wife Deborah.
I'm 28 years old, a Chelsea supporter, and I sing in my Church choir.
Tell us a little bit about your career prior to joining BidX1.
I studied Computer Science & Information Technology at NUI Galway, graduating in 2014. I moved to Dublin after university and I was offered a position as a Software Developer at a Health and Safety company. I learned a lot in that role, but I also did a lot of stuff in my own time – graphic design, app building, coding in different languages – which helped me broaden my knowledge.
After a couple of years, I wanted to combine my technical knowledge with the skills necessary to manage large software teams and development projects. So, I enrolled in a Master’s programme in Information Systems Management, again at NUI Galway.
The thing is, although I moved back to Galway for that year, I continued to work remotely for my company in Dublin. Having a full-time job and doing a full-time Degree at the same time was tricky! It was a tough year, but God saw me through, and it was worth it. When I returned to Dublin after graduation, I saw that BidX1 were looking for a software developer...and you know the rest!
Why did you want to work for BidX1?
Honestly, my initial curiosity came from the fact that it was a property company hiring a software developer – I was thinking “what are they up to?!”
I met the Head of IT, Mark Darcy. We discussed the company’s plans and he showed me the BidX1 platform – and that got me very excited. It was a great time to join; the software team was small but growing, and we were ramping up development on the platform.
You’ve recently become Technical Team Lead, congratulations - that’s some achievement. What would you say drives you?
My family and my faith. Those are the core pillars of my life, and I try to bring the same values that I practice in those spheres into my work life as well.
What are your main priorities and goals in your role?
Managing the development team; keeping the team motivated as we deliver projects; effectively managing releases and deployments; problem-solving and innovative thinking when it comes to building new programmes or improving the existing systems.
Ultimately, my job is to make sure that development output is meeting business needs.
What’s a typical day for you?
I start each day with a review of the projects and work in progress on our Development Board. That's followed by a stand-up with the technical team in Dublin, then I jump right into another stand-up with the remote technical team.
After that, it very much depends on the day. I spend a lot of time troubleshooting; helping the team to make sure everyone can progress with their work and making sure that the work we are doing is organised and prioritised. In an ideal day, I'll get a chunk of time for coding new features or fixing bugs myself.
What are some of the challenges you face in your work?
Technical challenges are an obvious one. Managing business expectations and meeting deadlines can be tricky too. We’re lucky to be very collaborative here, with no silos. This means we work with the Design and UX teams at the early stages of a project or design, which allows us to flag any issues early on.
Our headquarters are in Dublin, a global technology hub, so there’s significant competition for the best tech talent. Ensuring that we get the right fit – from technical skills to cultural compatibility – is important.
How do you keep your team/staff motivated?
I prioritise listening to the team. And most importantly, I make decisions and act upon what I feel is best for the team. I try to be approachable and ensure everyone is on the same page with regards to the work we do.
Also, we’ve introduced dedicated learning and innovation time. On the last Friday of every month, the team are free to spend the day working on what interests them most, whether that’s learning to code in a new language or improving their UX/UI skills. We attend tech summits and conferences to keep us updated with relevant technology updates.
What do you like most about working at BidX1?
It’s amazing to work for a company that sees potential in people and champions their progression; I have been able to grow so much in my career since I’ve been here. I love that we are solution-based, with a focus on building and improving things. We are more proactive than reactive.
I'm really connected to what I'm doing - I guess the only problem is switching off. I often find myself mulling over a technical challenge in the evenings, which annoys my wife at times!
What career advice would you give to others?
Don’t just be a developer – bring more to the table than the traditional skills required for your role. And make time to improve yourself; there are so many resources online to improve your technical abilities, many of them free or inexpensive.
Is there anything we haven’t covered?
I would like to clarify that I did not have 3 weddings. Everybody is constantly joking about the fact that I had 3 weddings.
I had a traditional Nigerian ceremony in Ireland. I had a civil ceremony in a courthouse to make it official. And I had a destination wedding in Portugal.
That sounds like 3 weddings, Eb.
But to the same woman! New people joining the company hear I’ve had 3 weddings and they think I’ve been divorced twice at age 28.
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