Interview with a New Engineer: Meet Ebuka Ugwu

December 8, 2021

Written byEbuka Ugwu

Interview with a New Engineer: Meet Ebuka Ugwu

We enjoyed our first interview with a new Mixmax engineer so much, we decided to do it again. Ever wondered about who we hire and what they do? Meet Ebuka Ugwu.

Ebuka is one of our most recently hired software engineers who joins us from Abuja, Nigeria. Along with a lot of technical knowledge and experience, Ebuka brings a passion (and patience) for teaching others what he knows. And at Mixmax, we’re always ready to learn.

Describe your journey to becoming a software engineer. How’d you get here?

I studied Telecommunications Engineering in college and didn’t have a lot of exposure to coding until my final year project. I was assigned an optimization algorithm project and I was pretty certain I was going to fail it. At the time I barely knew enough to get by, but those six months pushed me to learn as much as I could about software engineering. After school, I randomly applied to a fresh startup as an engineering intern. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Tell me about your typical day at Mixmax.

I work remotely with a distributed team. I work primarily during the day and have a few hours of overlap with the folks on the team working in the west and east. My role is as a full-stack engineer, so a lot of the projects I work on involve making updates to the user interface, and probably an accompanying change to the backend as well. A big part of the work here involves collaborating with other engineers.  We often use pair programming and review each other’s code to ensure we hold ourselves to the highest standards of quality.

The applications of software engineering are endless. Do you have one in particular that makes you excited for the future?

Education. I think technology can still unlock a huge amount of value for educating people around the world, of all ages and from all backgrounds. I’m excited about everything from using virtual reality in teaching, to AI-driven custom teaching models, to the truly limitless possibilities of the democratization of learning materials on a free internet.

What interested you about working with Mixmax?

I was recruited by the technical team at Mixmax. I wanted to learn more about the role so I spoke with engineering leaders at the company. It was obvious that the team was very knowledgeable and passionate about their work. The interview process was really nice too, and when I got an offer I thought, “Why delay?” I accepted it within days. Soon after joining, I got to work immediately on my first feature and even deployed it to production within the first week. It felt really great!

The title “engineer” can come with a lot of stereotypes, but at the end of the day we’re all complex people. What’s your least “engineer”-like quality?

I never really geek out on technology. I like the idea of technology and gadgets, but mainly just as tools to get things done. I generally don’t care too much about the technical details of the things I use in real life, but I prefer to just marvel at the ingenuity of whichever engineer put their brilliance into it instead.

Last thing you read?

The Fortunes of Africa, by Martin Meredith. I really enjoy reading about human history. It’s incredible to see how people and cultures are driven mostly by the same goals across time and generations.

Imagine your ten-year-old self. What’s your dream job?

Accountant! Mostly because I thought it was all about counting money all day.

Tell me about a part of your job that you feel you do exceptionally well.

I enjoy teaching others everything I know. It’s been an avenue to solidify my own knowledge and I’ve used it to my advantage over the years. I hope to be a full-time teacher at some point in my future.

Any advice for new engineers, or engineering students?

Putting deliberate effort into your craft is important. Engineering calls for a lot of learning while on the job, and experience is the best teacher. That said, my advice is not to leave all of your learning to accidental experience. Go out of your way to acquire knowledge.

Want to build your skills and learn with us? Apply today.

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