Welcome to our ‘Meet the Team’ blog where we introduce you to some of the talented people across Adthena’s search intelligence business.
This week, we’d like you to meet Vern Kamukondiwa, our Web Solutions Architect. Vern works within the Technology team and joined on Jul 24, 2013. Before joining Adthena, he has worked as a Lead Software Engineer at Ticketmaster Entertainment, Web Developer at Progressive Digital Media Group and Software Developer at British Airports Authority. Please read on to learn a little bit more about Vern in this Q&A.
Jonell: How has your role as a Web Solutions Architect evolved during your time at Adthena?
Vern: My role has evolved over several years. When I joined Adthena, I started as a senior engineer on a team of approximately 4/5 members. Initially, our work encompassed all aspects of the platform. However, as the platform and teams expanded, so did my contributions, experience, and responsibilities. I received great support, opportunities, mentorship, and training from my colleagues and senior members, which helped me develop into my current leadership role.
Jonell: How does your role as a Web Solutions Architect contribute to the success of the engineering team?
Vern: I help in cultivating a happy and productive web team and culture. I advocate for the development of products that bring value to our customers by leveraging appropriate technologies and following software development best practices and principles. This enables our team and platform to scale efficiently and align with the broader goals of Adthena.
Jonell: What are your passions/hobbies outside of work?
Vern: When the weather is good, I enjoy skateboarding with my son. Music festivals are also awesome, with some worthy mentions being Download festival, Hellfest festival, and Brutal Assault. Oh, the memories! I also have personal tech projects that allow me to explore new technologies and apply them practically at home, such as creating a media server or home automation projects.
Above: Vern, Ivan, and Laura attending the UK Search Awards to scoop Adthena’s two award wins.
Jonell: As an Adthenian we live by four values, which one resonates with you the most and why?
- Get stuff done
- Freedom with responsibility
- Deliver remarkable quality
- Smart and always improving
Vern: It is difficult to choose just one, as I believe these values intersect and embody aspects of one another. However, if I had to choose, I would resonate most with ‘Smart and always improving.’ We have a lot of smart people working at Adthena. I have aspired to be counted among them and to avoid feeling like a fraud in that regard, I have listened to the feedback from my peers and mentors, learned from them and actively pursued knowledge and self-improvement.
In my opinion, being ‘smart and always improving’ applies not only to our individual contributions but also to how we collaborate and contribute. Even small improvements are valuable and can make a big difference especially if they accumulate over time.
Jonell: What are some of the most rewarding aspects of being a Web Solutions Architect, specifically within the search advertising field?
Vern: Operating efficiently in the field of search advertising presents challenges for our clients. Delivering data-driven search intelligence to these clients requires us to tackle complex problems from both product and software development perspectives. Being part of a team and organisation that not only solves difficult issues in this field but also pioneers cutting-edge technologies and ideas is incredibly rewarding. I have been fortunate enough to have contributed to and benefited from Adthena’s remarkable growth journey.
Jonell: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received?
Vern: The best career advice I’ve ever received was from our CTO before I joined Adthena. It was along the lines of “I have found this small company called Adthena, with great people and brilliant business ideas. Although the current technology needs improvement, you should come and work here. There will be a lot of challenging work, but you will learn a lot and build very interesting products”. It has now been 10 years, and I am still learning and building really cool tech.
Jonell: Do you have a favourite travel spot?
Vern: I have enjoyed the limited time that I have spent in the French Alps, snowboarding in Chamonix was quite the memorable experience.