Hey Steven, nice to meet you 😊 Do you want to give a quick introduction to yourself and tell us about your role at Fika?

Hiya 👋. I'm originally from South Africa but have been living in London for 15+ years with a 4 year detour in Cape Town. I'm a Senior Software Engineer at Fika where I help build all kinds of cool stuff with web tech.

You transitioned from a non-technical background. How did you find this experience and do you have any tips for others thinking of doing the same?

It was daunting initially but ultimately incredibly freeing and rewarding.

The amount of things to learn might seem overwhelming at first but just keep going. Little by little more and more pieces will fit together and everything won't seem so strange. Use Spaced Repetition Software to help you learn, it's a game changer. Also, soft-skills gained from industries outside of software dev are extremely valuable, so you are not entirely starting from scratch. 

What is the professional progression like at Fika? I can see that you’ve moved up through the ranks quite quickly to become a senior software engineer.

One of the (many) things I love about Fika is that we have a very clear progression path with well defined requirements for each level. The company will always support and help you to get to that next level.

How do you personally stay motivated when you face a big challenge during a project?

One of our core values at Fika is to try to "reframe challenges as opportunities", and this is really the key. If you're able to remind yourself when you are frustrated that the feeling of frustration and struggle is literally part of the process of learning and getting better at your craft, it really helps you push through those hard times. It's easier said than done of course 😂.

You spent some time working as a developer in another country. Did you find that there were any big differences in the way dev teams operate?

In my case I think the companies I've worked for in the UK have had more structured and formalised processes than the ones in SA, but I don't think that would necessarily be true across the board.

Personally, what are your favourite things about working at Fika?

Great work culture, great colleagues, interesting projects, flexible working and what I like most about working at Fika is that it’s a company that actually, for-realzies, legit, cares about their people. And it’s a great mission to help lots of people!

You can discover Fika on the Haystack app, including their engineering practices, cultural insights as well as their open opportunities 📲

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