Very recently, Kippa hosted its first award night as a way to appreciate the Kippa team for their hard work and dedication in the past few months since the product and brand shipped.
As you know, someone had to bag the employee of the year award; You guessed it, Jude Jonathan took home that title with a cash prize of 1 million Naira. Hence, Jude is now addressed as the millionaire mobile engineer at Kippa.
Before we delve into this interview, I asked one of the founders and the Chief Growth Officer, Duke Ekezie-Joseph, about his perception of Jude and how he sees him as a person at Kippa.
"Jude is a very self-critical person that takes his tasks to heart; there have been times when a new update in the app had a flaw, and you could see it in his eyes that he was upset at himself for not catching the flaw first. But Jude, if you are reading this, I think you are a great person and an amazing employee- don't be too hard on yourself, try to share the blame with others too; you are doing great".
What is your role at Kippa, and how has it been for you?
Lead Mobile Engineer at Kippa, my role entails managing the mobile teams and occasionally working with the product team and the growth team.
How did you get into the mobile engineering industry?
I haven't always been a mobile engineer; my career started about 5years ago. I initially started my job as a web developer. I wasn't very fond of that aspect of tech because it involves a lot of creativity and I resonate more with logic and structure. As you can imagine, I transitioned into backend development very quickly.
I finally made my move to mobile engineering in 2017, when I started to see myself in those kinds of roles; I became curious about building my mobile app. Once I built my app successfully, I ditched everything else for mobile development.
How is mobile development different from other types of engineering?
Mobile development is similar to the front end but quite different. Unlike web development, it just entails providing expertise on mobile devices and their configuration, operation, and capabilities. In simple terms, testing mobile device software, updating operating systems, and reporting any application malfunctions.
How did you get your role at Kippa?
A friend recommended me to Kennedy; initially, it was a contractor role and the job was to build a mobile product in one month, but Kippa became something more significant than planned, and here I am leading my mobile development team
What does your workday look like?
Fortunately, or should I say unfortunately for me, my workday is usually 14 hours plus long. My day ends late because I tend to work at night, I'm more efficient at that time. I'm always up never later than 9:00 am; I head straight to work without breakfast from bed. It's just my routine. I start with planning and scheduling all my tasks and meetings in their priority on Jira. And then midday, mostly noon, I'd get lunch, and from there, it's back to work. From 5-9:00 pm, I take another break to study, and then it works till 2:00 am.
How do you spend your time off work? Like what do you do for fun?
My Sunday starts from Friday; I consider Friday a half workday. I have fun with my friends playing FIFA (even though I'm the worst player in the whole Maison). Oh, I also party and go clubbing. That pretty much sums up my fun routine.
You are one of Kippa's first employees; what has changed since you joined?
The team has gotten bigger, new talents have been added to the team, Kippa's ambitions grew. And it feels so lovely to be a part of a team that first started something small to watch it unfold right before your eyes.
What does a good work ethic mean to you?
A good work ethic to me is ownership; taking your work personally.
It's also professionalism; you're getting paid to do your freaking job, so you should deliver.
Next is communication; it's a skill every workplace should have. To me, it's a way to achieve your goals effectively and efficiently.
Lastly is proactiveness; this means taking charge of your responsibilities and questioning specific details that don't please you. Essentially, just to understand your tasks and then deliver correctly.
Burnout is something a lot of engineers face and are vocal about. What's your experience with burnout?
I experienced it a lot, especially when I just joined Kippa! Not because the work ethic is terrible. I mean, the work ethic is impressive. It just happens. Being burnt out means when you are mentally strained and exhausted from work for those who don't know.
When I was properly burnt out, my team forced me to take three days off work to just rest and be lazy. But, of course, I couldn't even do that; I wanted the imposed leave to be over so I could jump back into work.
But note: never feel guilty for choosing to rest. I believe you work better when you're well-rested; Don't be like me. :-)
What comes to your mind when you think of Kippa's engineering team?
Let's give an individual rundown of every team member,
- Ebube - he's very dependable, always looking for new ways to make tasks and projects better. He always pushes you to be the best version of yourself.
- Kosi- He is detail-oriented
- Valentine - He is very experienced; he's like a walking library of knowledge. Xrole as well.
The team overall is awe-inspiring and very quick to deliver. It's a fun team to work with, even if we do so much.
What are some of the pros and cons of working at Kippa?
A pro: Kippa promotes taking charge. You are allowed to be innovative, and you're allowed to explore.
Another pro is Kippa is obsessed with people; no one is ever left behind.
A con: Kippa prioritizes working with speed a lot, and it has always been like that. But it's as much a pro as it is a con because this allows us ship good products really fast
Since you have been working at Kippa, what has excited you the most so far?
For example, when we shipped invoices, it was a feature that made me extremely happy to work on. Precisely because I've seen reviews from users, and they have talked about how much it has helped them in running their business. That just makes me happy because, I think to myself, 'I did that.
What does it take to become the employee of the year?
I honestly don't think there's a metric for that, but I personally just believe that professionalism and dedication gets your hard work noticed
How did you feel when you heard your name called for the award?
I'm not going to be corny or lie and say I didn't know there was a possibility of having my name called. But to be honest I can make a list off my head of the other possible candidates that could have won the award as well. But when my name was announced, I was so surprised; the award alone means so much to me honestly. Thank you Kippa!! It made my night.
Finally, my final note on Jude as a person having met him briefly: During our interview, he seemed so passionate about how well the Users like the app. And from our conversations, I find that his metrics for success were intertwined with the users' reactions and reviews; it just made me look up to him as an ambitious person, a model kippa person that takes every aspect of his work to heart.
"Most times after we ship new updates or new features, the first thing I do is scroll through Twitter or Instagram to find User's reviews of the improvements. It just makes me feel like my hard work is worthwhile, and it's like a genuine confidence boost for me". - Jude Jonathan, Lead Mobile Engineer, Kippa
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Kippa is the simplest accounting & Invoicing software for small Nigerian businesses. Over 280,000 small business owners currently use the bookkeeping software to manage their business transactions, create and send professional invoices and collect debts 3X faster. To do this, we need a team of thinkers; in return, we give them the resources to do their best. View our open jobs and help us make business easy.