My Hero Journey: crossing 6000 km together
Adegoke Obasa (Manager, Software Engineering) and Adeyemi Olaoye (Senior Software Engineer) joined Delivery Hero in August 2018. By coincidence, Goke and Yemi accepted a position at Delivery Hero around the same time and ultimately travelled the 6000 km journey to Berlin together. We talk about their shared journey, why they chose Delivery Hero, and what the Berlin tech scene is like.
How did you end up working at Delivery Hero?
Goke: One of the Directors of Engineering on the Pandora platform told me via Google hangouts about a Senior Backend Engineer opportunity. Initially, I wasn’t so interested because at that time, my role was focused more on mobile development. However, eventually I decided to explore the opportunity, especially after reading the tech blog, which is now tech.deliveryhero.com
Yemi: I had previously worked in Nigeria solving problems with an e-commerce company backed by Naspers. From there I went on to work in a service-focused startup that gave me the opportunity to work in multiple verticals including advertising, banking, insurance and energy; and gain some technical leadership experience. I was looking for opportunities that would give me a challenge on a much larger scale.
While I was interviewing, I found an opening from foodora (one of the Delivery Hero brands) on stackoverflow. The opportunity sounded interesting to me especially with the delivery of food with bikes, which was really different from what I was used to in Nigeria. I went through the interview process, experienced the move from foodora to Delivery Hero, and here I am!
How long have you known each other?
Goke: I have known Yemi for about 9 years, we met in our first year at the Obafemi Awolowo University in Nigeria, but we grew closer in our 2nd year when we attended and organised training together. We went on to join the same mentorship program and we have also worked at the same company three times prior to joining Delivery Hero.
What do you do at Delivery Hero? What does your day-to-day look like?
Goke: I am the Engineering Manager of the Post Order squad in the Pandora platform (foodora, foodpanda, Pizzaonline and OnlinePizza brands). The Post Order squad aims to create a transparent and stress-free experience for our customers while waiting for their order to be ready. Day to day, I support my squad to deliver customer value by clearing blockers, ensure the team focuses on high impact projects, align with the product team on new initiatives, ensure the quality of our deliverables are high, perform code reviews, and provide prompt and actionable feedback to my engineers.
We had thought our paths were going to be separate from there on. But then found ourselves together again.
Yemi:I work as a backend software engineer in the Order and Upselling Team in the Pandora platform enabling our markets and brands in Europe and APAC. On a daily basis I work with my team to develop, monitor and support our services to ensure our customers have a seamless and personalised ordering experience and return to order more.
Was it surprising to end up at Delivery Hero together?
Yemi: No actually, although most people would think we planned it because of our history together. Months before I started interviewing, Goke was focused on applications for a Phd program to explore his interests in robotics. So we had thought our paths were going to be separate from there on. But then found ourselves together again.
Goke: Midway through my interview process, Yemi told me he got the role. I was really happy about the news and also motivated for my own interview process. When I got my offer, I was super excited; knowing that the relocation process would not be an easy one, I was really grateful to God to be going through the process with Yemi, as we had been through a lot together already.
What was the biggest challenge when changing countries and companies?
Goke: The biggest challenge moving to Delivery Hero was switching from active mobile development to backend development, but thanks to the good team and process existing in my team I was able to ramp up fast.
Moving to Germany, the language barrier was the biggest challenge especially when moving around the city; having something to say but not knowing how to say it makes me feel really uncomfortable. However, I am currently taking the company language classes, in fact, I am now in the A2+ class.
Yemi: For Berlin, it was the language and the culture. Not having a good grasp of the German language made things quite challenging at first, thankfully we had the German courses at the office and that made it much better. And my awesome German speaking colleagues are always helpful with the more difficult stuff.
Thankfully we had the German courses at the office and that made it much better. And my awesome German speaking colleagues are always helpful with the more difficult stuff.
Working at Delivery Hero has given me the challenge I was looking for in terms of larger scale from day one. With Pandora platform averaging ~500k orders per day, I have had the opportunity to work with a cross-functional team daily working on solving complex and interesting problems.
Did it help to have a friend throughout this process? What was it like to settle in Berlin?
Yemi: Oh yes, Goke and I arrived together and lived together for the first 6 months. Having someone close to discuss challenges with greatly helped. Of course, it took a while to get to know my way around the city, but now I feel more at home and I love the fact that there is always something or somewhere to explore.
What’s the biggest difference between the Nigerian and the Berlin tech scene?
Goke: Availability of tech opportunities: in Berlin, there are lots of tech opportunities across companies at different stages of maturity, from startups to publicly traded companies like Delivery Hero.
Yemi: The tech scene in Nigeria is young, vibrant and growing. But from my experience in Berlin, I see more developed tech with lots of opportunities.
What motivates you?
Goke: I am motivated by feedback and growth. Feedback because it is fuel, especially when it is actionable, it propels me to greater heights. Growth because it pushes the bounds of innovation within me.
Yemi: I am a strong believer in the impact and reach of my work. I usually imagine that my work is making someone’s life somewhere better on a daily basis. That coupled with the amazing growth in Delivery Hero keeps me motivated to do more.
Do you have any plans of where your Hero Journey will go next? How do you plan to grow at Delivery Hero?
Goke: Being new to management, my focus is to become a better engineering manager while building a productive team with good team spirit. My growth plan involves attending the Delivery Hero Leadership Academy, receiving and acting on feedback from my manager and team, learning and exploring new technologies, as well as reading books and listening to podcasts from thought leaders in the field.
Yemi: Yes! There are tremendous opportunities for growth at Delivery Hero. To grow, I will keep taking on more responsibilities that give me the opportunity to contribute more while working with fellow Heroes to achieve our goal of sustainability.
Interested in becoming a part of Delivery Hero? Get in touch – we’re hiring!