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Tochi: Meeting customer needs through code.

After studying microbiology, Tochukwu had a job that didn’t give him any sense of fulfilment before deciding to take action. He changed the course of his career trajectory by learning how to code via Udemy in a year. Today, Fincra’s infrastructure benefits massively from Tochukwu’s contributions.

“Customer obsession is what drives my performance,” he says

Read all about his fantastic journey of growth this past year at Fincra.

Can you tell us more about your role and background?

I’m a full stack engineer at Fincra, and I work on the front end(user-facing) and back end (supports the front end) of our application. Although I joined as a front-end engineer, I kind of transitioned into full stack in the last couple of months.

I studied Microbiology at university; I’m one of those people who wanted to do medicine and couldn’t get in, and they just pushed me into Microbiology.

What do you like the most about working at Fincra?

My favourite thing about working at Fincra is the fact that I’ve been able to meet some really amazing people. I think we have a formula for recruiting because it’s not coincidental; everyone on the team is a decent person, we’re very empathetic at Fincra, and everyone is approachable across any team or department. I’ve made really great friends with my teammates, so when we meet, it’s not just work, we often hang out together, and they’ll be my friends for a very long time.

My favourite thing about working at Fincra is the fact that I've been able to meet some really amazing people.

What are you passionate about?

I switched to tech from my former job because I wanted to make a lot of money. You know how people often say they’re passionate about changing the world and building solutions that people enjoy. I’m sort of passionate about those things too, but I’m mainly passionate about making money.

What skill do you think everyone should learn?

Empathy is a great skill—the ability to put yourself in other people’s shoes. When you disagree with someone, it’s a decent thing to be able to see where the other person is coming from instead of being set in your ways. Having this skill makes it easier to relate with people. Life is easy when you have a lot of people on your side.

Do the people closest to you understand what you do?

So, quick story, I had a really boring office job where I was required to show up every day, corporately dressed, for about two years, you know, spreadsheets, making calls, sitting in one place from nine to five. I got fed up one day, and I resigned. I then spent the entirety of one-year learning how to code on Udemy; my Mum could not reconcile me going out every day for two years and then just sitting at home in front of my computer all day. She didn’t get it. When I explained what I was doing, she still didn’t get it; she was like, “aren’t you going to get a life”. Until now, she still doesn’t get it, but she doesn’t complain as much because she can see that I’m doing well.

What’s your favourite part about your job? What excites you the most?

Fincra has goals. Fincra has a clear mission and a vision, and we want to take over the world. I feel like I can see my contribution to Fincra’s overall objective; my impact is tangible, something that I can see.

Fincra has goals. Fincra has a clear mission and a vision, and we want to take over the world. I feel like I can see my contribution to Fincra's overall objective.

How would you describe your work ethic?

I’m a hardworking person 😂 I really like working hard. Throughout my career, I’ve been somebody my bosses/superiors and colleagues can rely on me to do anything that needs to be done. I have a track record for optimum and efficient delivery.

How does your current job compare with previous jobs that you’ve had?

The culture at Fincra is one of Fincra’s most significant selling points, the company’s culture flows from the top to the bottom, and our culture is a reflection of their culture. Everyone here is friendly and nice, most workplaces in Nigeria are toxic, but Fincra does it differently. We pay special attention to employee welfare; there are regular checks to see if we’re doing alright. We were recently mandated to use our leave days, and I think that’s awesome.

Which of our core values resonates with you the most?

Customer obsession stands out for me. It’s a big deal to me. I work on products that have a direct impact on our customers. It makes me happy to know I worked on certain features, and our merchants are using them. When I build or write codes, the customer is always at the back of my mind; I often ask myself, “How easy is it going to be for the user? How can we minimise the possible number of complaints while using the feature?

Customer obsession stands out for me. It's a big deal to me. I work on products that have a direct impact on our customers. It makes me happy to know I worked on certain features, and our merchants are using them

Who in our organisation inspires you the most?

My biggest inspiration is Kazeem (CTO); he’s pretty awesome. We’ve done a lot at Fincra because Kazeem is at the helm of affairs; he’s able to motivate the engineers to work on stuff effectively. He also knows how to convey and communicate the ideas from the business to our team so that we can build the products effectively. He makes us aware of the impact of the work that we do. Sometimes it is easy to work in isolation, you don’t always have a big picture of how your work impacts the company, but Kazeem helps us understand what we add to the middle.

At the same time, he’s a basket full of ideas; he always has solutions, I don’t know how he does it, but he does. He’s also very understanding. He’s a model for what I want to become later in my career.

Then Moshood is just a fantastic person all around; he’s one of the best people I’ve worked with in my career. He’s a great guy.

How have you grown professionally since you joined Fincra?

I’ve grown in many ways; as I mentioned before, I joined as a front-end developer, and I’ve grown to become a full-stack developer, which means I now do both front-end and back-end stuff. We all have our core expertise, but we work in an organisation where there isn’t a limit to anyone’s abilities, so many of us find ourselves being pushed to try other things and grow. The management of Fincra wants us to be our best possible selves. Many people who join Fincra, do much more than they were initially hired for, and we are rewarded for it. There’s also an emphasis on training at Fincra, which is pretty awesome.

Given the opportunity, do you have any questions you would like to ask our CEO?

I don’t have questions for our CEO, to be honest. I think he’s doing a great job; he’s very hands-on; surprisingly, he cares about every detail of what we do, and I think it’s pretty impressive.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

I see myself having many zeros in my bank account; I’m not sure how many, but I hope to have a lot of money in five years. 😂

What’s the most exciting thing that you’re working on right now?

At the moment, I have a lot on my plate, but I’m most excited about an upgrade to a feature we currently have. We want to revamp the way our KYC is carried out and make it more seamless. I’m particularly excited about this one because I know the impact that it will have on our merchants.

When you’re not working, what other cool stuff do you do?

I like to do a lot of things outside of work. I play long tennis pretty well, I play video games too, so if there’s a Fincra league in the future, I would certainly love to join.

You can check out all the cool work Tochukwu does at Fincra by creating a free account in less than 5 minutes.

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