Your background is in engineering. How have you found the transition to leading a development team? How does your background benefit you?
Engineering is all about solving problems and improving processes, and software is the best tool to solve a lot of business problems, so it was a natural transition for me.
I feel my engineering background has helped quite a bit in making the transition as there is a lot of overlap in skillset.
What’s been the most interesting – or rather, unexpected – thing you’ve discovered since moving into tech?
The pace at which new methods and tools are being made in the tech world. There are always new frameworks, languages, and systems being launched and existing ones are constantly evolving. Being able to stay on top of the ever changing tech can be a challenge but it also makes it so interesting. There’s always a new tool to play with or a better way to do something.
Without the tech team Trip Ninja wouldn’t exist. How do you make sure that the team stays agile and on top of trends?
We continuously try to integrate and learn about new technologies and methods, and have weekly team meetings to discuss best practices and how we can improve the way we do things. The pace of innovation in the tech world is so fast, it’s vital to always be on top of the latest tools.
Speaking of trends, what are the top ones you expect to see in the travel tech market in the next couple of years?
Collecting and leveraging data is a global trend that, for better or worse, can have huge implications in the travel space. I think the use of personalized data and machine learning to develop more personalized and seamless travel booking experiences is going to be huge.
If you could travel anywhere in the world where would it be?
I’m very interested in going on a safari in Botswana or South Africa. It’s somewhere I’ve never been - and unlike anywhere I have travelled too. Being interested in wildlife, the outdoors, and photography, it’s high on my bucket list to capture some great shots of lions.
If you could design any piece of technology, to do whatever you want it to, what would you design?
I’d love to design an app that can intuitively search and book travel - flights, hotels, car rentals, tours, etc - for me based on my exact preferences. There’s so much noise in terms of choices and manually filtering results can be painful on many sites - being able to see really personalized results would be great, such as flights on my preferred airline, a hotel with a certain guest rating and amenities that are downtown, etc..
What’s one really cool thing that Trip Ninja does that people don’t know about?
We have a very diverse team - diverse in background, experiences, nationality, personality, and culture. Having such diversity on the team brings new ways of thinking and new ways to tackle problems. Everyone really embraces it and is always looking for ways to improve. I think that’s one of our keys to being able to develop new innovative products rapidly.
If you could only use one piece of software (both professionally and personally) for the rest of your life what would it be and why?
I guess it would have to be Google Chrome! I can’t think of any software outside of the browser that you interact with more frequently that has so much versatility both personally and professionally.