Our Development and Operations Engineer, Chidi Chukwuma, shares some of his personal highlights from his one year journey with 54gene.
Before applying for my role at 54gene, I watched a lot of videos on the company’s mission, and discovered that they deeply resonated with me. As someone with an entrepreneurial spirit, I’m drawn to challenging ventures rarely explored by most. With 54gene falling into the bracket of such ventures, I was further motivated to join their journey and contribute my repertoire of skills amassed over the years to aid in the ultimate goal of equalizing precision medicine on the African continent.
As a startup with fewer operations at its inception, the ambience at 54gene was casual. Case in point – When I came on board as the 7th member of the team, there weren’t many established protocols and communication channels, but as the pandemic became increasingly dire, our operations and consequently our team have grown immensely in order to meet up with emerging demands and services.
My role as Development and Operations Engineer is not familiar to the Nigerian job market and my methods are not traditional. I had to learn about the people I was working with in order to be efficient in communicating. I also had to look at what was currently being done and improve on them all. Security is a paramount priority at the company, and working to reduce our vulnerability to hackers and threats while relaying the importance of security to the rest of the team was my foremost responsibility.
Prior to joining 54gene, I already knew this was the kind of work environment I wanted to be in long-term. More than anything I wanted to be a part of the driving force that made this company reach a recogniseable standard in security, as well as automating our systems to enable easier and more efficient workflow without manual interference. I also looked forward to meeting interesting professionals who I could grow and become lifelong friends with.
Some of my most memorable moments at 54gene include office-time with the Genies, even simple joint tasks with other members of the engineering team. Our banters, inside jokes, shared meals, and activities outside work hours are the moments that stand out above everything else.
A lot of my proudest achievements with the company revolve around our security and automating our operations. Asides that, I take pride in knowing that I help make work easier for other developers in the Tech team. I am also proud of building most of the systems that help the company house all its products. These systems have been able to cut operating costs for the company . They are also the reason why our operations are able to continue seamlessly even while the pandemic has forced most of our workforce to work remotely.
Working to develop operating platforms for 54gene has given me expert knowledge on such projects and also allowed me to close my knowledge gap by practicalizing so many things I knew only in theory but had no hands-on experience in. This has allowed me to take ownership of my projects, and become more confident in showcasing my skills.
As we journey through the new year I look forward to our continued growth, consolidating on what we have already built, upgrading our designs to the latest standards, and improving the company’s standard procedures.
My advice to anyone looking to become a Genie is to always stay updated on your field, because you’ll need every ounce of knowledge you can get when the time comes. Learn to be open about challenges you’re facing to get help, communicate with teammates and strive to maintain a good relationship with them. It is also important to note that 54gene is a fast-growing company. You need to be able to take ownership and intuitively know what needs to be done as this will make work easier for you and others.