I have a deep-seated commitment to delivering superb services to clients. My job function entails collaborating with our talented engineers located all over the globe, while liaising with our client partners.
Not too long ago, I organized a webinar where I inquired Karim Hosny, Olla Ashour, and Mayowa Egbewunmi about what their workdays look like as Works engineers.
Karim, who is currently a Senior Software Developer at GitHub, has been part of the Works crew in Cairo, Egypt, for more than a year. Olla, on the other hand, hails from Alexandria, Egypt, and worked with Works for two years before moving on to a startup that specializes in educational technology. Mayowa became part of the Works team in February 2022 and is now in Singapore. Prior to joining, he has been associated with Premise for some time.
Can you depict a typical day in your routine?
Mayowa: I am based in Nigeria while working for Premise, located in the Bay Area of California. There is a time difference of between 7 and 8 hours, depending on the season, between my location and my team’s location. To ensure a smooth collaboration, I strive to balance my work and personal life efficiently. I typically attend to my team’s crucial tasks and review my schedule in the morning. In the afternoons, which is usually between 2 and 5, I primarily focus on coding work, leaving the evenings to hold additional sessions or conversations on ways of improving teamwork and involvement.
Olla: I have found it incredibly helpful to allocate dedicated time slots in my calendar for my tasks. My client team is based in San Francisco, meaning there is a time difference of around 9-10 hours. I have scheduled my working hours from 2 to 6 in the afternoon, and the rest of the day is used for meetings and other activities related to the partnership. By following a structured schedule, I have increased my productivity in both my professional and personal life. One critical aspect is understanding the partner’s expectations, ensuring the right responsibilities are being fulfilled, and giving the partnership the priority it deserves. Additionally, it is essential to foster teamwork and collaboration, even if not all partners have a daily stand-up meeting.
Karim: While it is true that not all clients conduct stand-up meetings, regular updates are crucial to keep them in the loop regarding progress and future plans. With remote work becoming more prevalent, neither the client nor other team members are able to see the work being done. Therefore, it is vital to be visible in whichever way you find most effective, whether it is through daily stand-ups, asynchronous messaging or any other form of communication.
What do you consider your most significant accomplishment in your current client engagement?
Karim: One of our most notable achievements is the production of a plan to offer unlimited free private repositories through a collaborative effort. This was a bottom-up initiative that has become one of GitHub’s most significant projects as of 2022. We are incredibly satisfied with the project’s outcome.
Mayowa: I made sure that Premise was informed of Works’ capabilities and the expansion of our core engineering team from two to fifteen members. Everyone involved in this achievement has demonstrated a high level of commitment.
Olla: Working as a Works engineer for the EdTech platform, I am thrilled with our strides towards achieving universal accessibility. This is crucial for a learning software, and we are resolute in our mission to make it easily accessible to everyone. I have been dedicated to this area of improvement for quite some time, given the lack of attention it receives in various situations. Through my experience, I have learned that accessibility should always be a prime consideration when writing code.
Describe a challenging situation that you managed to resolve with either the current or a previous client.
Mayowa: I recognize the importance of having dependable access to utilities such as the internet. To ensure that any issues I face do not affect my work quality or availability, I have subscribed to three online services and am currently connected to one, with the option to switch to a backup if needed. Additionally, having a stable income from my work has allowed me to maintain my credibility.
Olla: The most challenging aspect of working in Egypt for me was the nine-to-ten-hour time difference. As Friday is a national holiday, my family members might be off work while I am working. To ensure I meet my employer’s expectations, I discussed this with my boss beforehand. In case I have any family commitments or am affected by the time difference, I inform my partner well in advance so they can plan accordingly. Knowing one’s peak productivity hours is also useful. For instance, if I am not a night person, I should not force myself to work late. Therefore, it is crucial to understand one’s needs and know how to fulfill them. Proper preparation is essential in this matter.
Karim: During the onboarding process, it is crucial to have any questions or concerns you may have addressed. If this does not occur, do not hesitate to request assistance. Effective communication with the client is critical, and any problems should be resolved as soon as possible.
Would you like to include any concluding remarks to this discussion?
Mayowa: As an engineer, it is crucial to demonstrate to managers how you can offer insights in a manner that distinguishes you from other candidates. It is advisable to showcase any exceptional abilities or expertise that you possess, such as developing a continuous integration pipeline, automating release processes, or efficiently managing and coordinating a team. It is also helpful to exhibit any soft skills, such as communication and problem-solving, which will further set you apart from other contenders.
Olla: Being able to adapt to various processes is critical, as agile methodologies are used by some teams while others are not. Additionally, daily standups may differ between different groups. To ensure success in delivering solutions and enhancements, it is essential to establish trust with the client by first understanding their processes and then adjusting to them.
Karim: Possessing strong social skills is crucial in many professions. It’s not only about going to work and returning home; it’s also about building relationships and networking. Scheduling regular meetings with your supervisor is an excellent way to accomplish this, and it’s important to use this time for more than just work-related discussions. Most colleagues will regard you as an integral part of the team and appreciate you, so it’s essential to make an effort to get to know them and integrate into the organization.