Kevin Mkenya, who has been in Cellulant since 2018 describes himself as a chilled out guy who enjoys playing video games and watching anime in his free time when he is not busy coding.
At Cellulant, he is responsible for leading a team of devs to manage and architecture the messaging system thus ensuring maximum system uptime and customer satisfaction.
Where did you study and what did you study?
I studied Computer Science at Kenyatta University.
What drives you?
Solving customers’ problems effectively and efficiently thus ensuring they have more confidence in our products and the customer sends back a positive response on any of our products always gets me going.
Who has been the biggest influence on your career and why?
I would say three people have had the biggest influence on my career ie.
- My first boss fresh out of school, Patrick Kinoti. He hired me while still in University and I am forever grateful because under his wing I was able to learn a lot.
- Engineering Manager Washington Chekata and Product Lead Carol Mbasinge who I still work with at Cellulant. They have always pushed me to always strive to be the best version of myself and have always had faith in my abilities even when I had some doubts. More importantly, I like their approach in solving problems thrown at them and they are the people I would love to emulate more.
What drove you towards working in fintech generally?
I have always been fascinated by how the whole payments ecosystem works and thus when the opportunity to join Cellulant came along, I did not think twice. I quickly took up.
You recently changed roles from being just a software engineer to leading a team, was this strategic?
I decided I was ready for something different and more challenging. The shift from being a software engineer to a team lead was to try and lead a small team working towards the same goal ie. Solving the day to day challenges of the products we are churning out to our customers.
What would you say have been some of the most challenging moments for you?
- When I got the chance to transition into being a team lead it was not easy because it was something new and I had no clue what and how to handle it. But I am happy with the support I have so far received from my colleagues and the company as a whole because each day I am getting better at it.
- When I worked on a project that was a bit overwhelming since we had to quickly learn the architecture while trying to come up with the new architecture which had a lot of new features and concepts that some of us were not entirely familiar with but It was a learning opportunity because despite all the challenges our team faced we were able to finish the system and deploy to some markets successfully and in those markets we were able to see an increase in the overall Turn Around Time (TAT) of the systems.
Which have been the most rewarding moments?
- When we got to deploy the new messaging system to the markets and did some training and migration of customers and at the end of it we got some positive feedback from the customers and also an increase in the number of messages sent out by the same customers. It just made me feel so happy.
- When we finished developing and deploying one of the projects to some markets successfully and in the end it got to improve the overall performance of our systems in those markets just made me feel like all the late nights we spent while working on the project was all worth it.
What do you love most about working at Cellulant?
I love that Cellulant is a company that always pushes you to grow and get out of your comfort zone at all times.