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Bongani Dlamini

Say hello to Bongani Dlamini

Say hello to Bongani Dlamini

13 Jan 2017

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Meet the awesome humans that make up the Cue crew.

Tell us a bit about yourself

My name is Bongani Dlamini - I am a Technical Operations Manager at Cue.

Where are you based?

I am currently based in Bloemfontein, Free State.

Tell us about your journey to Cue

My journey to Cue, and specifically into the tech sector has been rather unconventional, given my educational background. I graduated as a civil engineer from Bahcesehir University in Istanbul, Türkiye.

I later undertook an internship within the EU's Erasmus+ Placement Program - working on structural designs for a commissioned port in Malaga. It was during the internship that the idea of switching to the tech sector was planted in my head.

I was offered a second internship at a tech company operating out of Barcelona. Though the internship ultimately did not materialise (due to some visa issues), I researched the company and was fascinated by how it operated.

It was then my obsession when I traveled back to Istanbul to find tech companies wherein I could work, learn, and fully immerse myself in this sector. That is how I ended up at Insider - where I spent 15 months as a client onboarding specialist.

Having spent nearly 6 years away from home, however, I sought opportunities that would allow me to be back in South Africa and be with my family. Professionally, I also wanted to deepen my technical skillset. And that is how I came across Cue.

What's it like working fully remotely? Do you find it easy to connect with other crew members?

I enjoy working fully remotely. It offers a lot of flexibility and ensures a truly balanced work-life relationship. Connecting with others will always be best in-person, but I find that it has been easier than I expected to connect with other crew members. It has only been virtual, but somehow it feels like we now know each other beyond the Slack channels and Google Meet sessions. I'm impressed!

Have you consumed any good books, podcasts, blogs, or films lately?

Among a few others, I usually listen to a podcast called How I Built This with Guy Raz. 10/0 recommended! It is an absolute gold mine! I'm also currently reading Power Play - Elon Musk, TESLA, and The Bet of the Century by Tim Higgins. A lot to unpack! A lot to learn.

What do you do outside of work?

I watch an awful lot of YouTube (F1 content) and the PJ Masks on Netflix (my son's favourite - we watch it together). I also try to work out, but it's been a minute.

With a civil engineering degree, have you found any relevant concepts or work approaches that apply to your role as a Technical Operations Manager?

Definitely! The engineering discipline prepares one for any sort of role, particularly because of its analytical, logical, and solution-oriented nature.

You once got so bored that you wrote and published a book?! Care to tell us more?

Vantage Point is set in a utopian city in South Africa, several years into the future. It fuses actual, past events with what might be - but I am no Nostradamus so I was careful not to appear to be. In it, I discuss the demise of South African native languages with English as a total lingua franca. I touch on the development of the country (and the world) - technologically and otherwise, and what implications this has for us (livelihoods, nature of work, warfare, etc). This is all woven through a storyline to give the book life. All these topics are discussed by characters in the book.

You're a fanatic F1 follower, who is your favourite driver and constructor?

Simple. Lewis Hamilton and the Mercedes PETRONAS-AMG F1 Team.

Describe a typical day or week in your role

A day in my working life goes something like this: I start the day by checking Trello for tasks, new and/or pending. I check Slack for the same, then I go through my emails for updates, announcements, meeting requests, etc. Then I allot time for the day's tasks and tackle them accordingly. This usually involves a few Slack huddles a day, queries in the Ops channels, and maybe a quick scroll on Confluence. I also put aside at least an hour somewhere in-between everything to learn something, whether it be through Big Brains Time recordings, API documentation, or 3rd party learning platforms. The day usually ends with a final check and updates on Trello, and going through mentions on Slack to ensure that all the day's tasks are completed, and goals met.

What skills and attributes does someone need to succeed in your role?

Generally, both hard and soft skills are essential. Not only is the Ops team at the core of the day-to-day technical operations of the company - we are also within a sizeable communication chain wherein people skills come in handy.

Do you have any advice for someone interested in a career in Technical Operations?

Dive in! There's a lot to learn. A lot to gain. A new challenge every day. The role is never dull.

Describe the Cue culture in three words

Daring. Agile. Disruptive.

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