Ever since he was a kid, Gerald Ezeude has been fascinated with computers. Growing up, mathematics and computers offered him the one thing he highly valued: consistency. Today, as a Backend Developer at ParkMan, he can say he has very much stayed true to his childhood aspirations.
For most developers, finishing that first piece of code is something they’ll remember forever. Gerald is no exception – the joy he felt at the time assured him that this was something he wanted to do for a living.
“Knowing that, by following a set of logic, I can always predict the outcome is really sort of satisfying. There’s a certain magic to it.”
Born in Nigeria, Gerald moved to Finland in 2013 to start his Master’s degree in Software Engineering. A couple of years later, he joined ParkMan as a Backend Developer.
“I guess you could say I’m in my childhood dream job”, Gerald says. “I certainly ended up working with computers. My current job involves implementing and translating business logic into codes and keeping out the hackers by following the most efficient and secure practices.”
An ever-evolving company that is still maturing
Gerald has worked with ParkMan for three years now. In that time period, you get a pretty good grasp of the company – its strengths but also its points of improvement.
“ParkMan is a company that is always changing. Throughout my time here, it has been like seeing a child go through the stages of growing up. It’s certainly not an adult yet, more like a teen.”
Like any kid growing up into adulthood, stumbles and mistakes are unavoidable. Even though some of the lessons had to be learned the hard way, Gerald is very optimistic about where the company is going now.
“The management has really put in the effort of making the work environment a friendly and supportive one. Things are on the right track now and we are all focused on the mission at hand which is to disrupt the parking industry and improve people’s parking experience.”
“The amount of freedom and trust given to developers is encouraging”
What has made Gerald stay with the company this long? He says it has a lot to do with the dynamic and upward-moving work environment that he feels has allowed him to grow professionally.
“There is always room for self-improvement and the management encourages us to grow to our maximum potential. The ease of working independently, the freedom to choose your own tools and the peer review go a long way in ensuring that you’re always keeping up with the new advancements in the industry.”
Gerald also sees a significant difference between his previous employers and ParkMan.
“The biggest difference between ParkMan and my previous workplace is the amount of freedom and trust given to developers. I don’t feel like I’m being micromanaged which speaks volumes about the level of trust between the team members. It is really nice and encouraging for any developer to know that your employer believes in you.”
The remote work policy is also something that Gerald is fond of. Remote work and flexibility are something ParkMan wants to embrace – you can work from home or anywhere you choose if the nature of the project allows it.
A team-based work environment
According to Gerald, to really enjoy working at ParkMan, you cannot be too much of a solo player. The work environment is highly team-based and a lot of emphasis is placed on the co-operation of coworkers that all work towards achieving common goals. Humor is an important part of the work culture: the ParkMan team is a good mix of different nationalities who you can share a smile or an occasional belly laugh with.
”With a relatively small team, it almost feels like a group of friends here.”, Gerald says. “Ingenuity is definitely appreciated in the team and a good sense of humor helps, too. But most importantly, you need to like challenges and be a top professional.”
Working in silos is avoided as much as possible. A culture of open communication means that everyone is encouraged to come forward with their ideas – which brings us to the advice Gerald wants to give to new employees:
“I would encourage new people to be confident, to not shy away from being outspoken about their ideas and suggestions.”
“Trust is crucial”
When asked what is the greatest lesson the past years have taught him, it goes back to the strength of teamwork and the concept of trust. Gerald says that, before joining ParkMan, he had a very independent approach to work – having previously worked as a freelancer, he got used to the fact that every deadline depended solely on him. To switch to a different way of working has been very eye-opening.
The greatest lesson I’ve learnt since joining this team is to trust your teammate. At ParkMan, the team-oriented way of working encourages collaboration as meeting deadlines depend on every member of the team. A team is only as strong as its weakest player. This has enabled me to improve my teamwork skills over time and learn to trust that other members of the team are as committed to delivering the best possible result as I am.