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Quick Questions with Matt: Chief Technology Officer

Heโ€™s the overlord of all things technical here at SwipedOn and our resident walking dictionary and grammatical expert. When heโ€™s not playing devil's advocate with the UX team or perusing his favorite website (whiskeyandmore.co.nz ๐Ÿ˜‰) heโ€™s busy keeping our technical and product teams on their toes.

We finally pinned him down (after 5 years as CTO) to find out a little more about him, what he likes about being part of the SwipedOn team, and most importantly... who he would choose to be stuck on a desert island with๐Ÿ‘‡

In a nutshell, what do you do at SwipedOn?

I shell nuts and also run the engineering & product teams for SwipedOn and its sister company, Space Connect.

What does a day in the life of you at SwipedOn look like? 

Probably unlike any other day. My job is wonderfully varied and I have huge trust in the people around me, so I get quite a bit of latitude.
 
I might be creating infrastructure plans, reviewing pull requests (or trying to push through a pull request of my own!), planning a new feature, catching up with team leads or working on security policies. My favorite pastime is probably playing devil's advocate with the UX team โ€“ lucky them ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

What do you like about working at SwipedOn? 

There's a genuine camaraderie and sense of trust among the team ๐Ÿงก We have a shared mission even while we value our personal differences. We can change direction quickly. And as SwipedOn has grown, it's been wonderful watching people take their opportunities to also grow in their own roles and personalities.

What do you particularly like about what weโ€™re doing with SwipedOn?  

Even though we're a high-growth company, we've built a sustainable business here that pays its own way and is in control of its destiny ๐Ÿ™Œ We don't spend any time chasing investor finance or inventing magical revenue predictions, so we can focus more on the features and usability that our customers want โ€“ and also on the happiness and productivity of the team.

What three words would you use to describe your role? 

Avoid. Technical. Debt.

Do you have a favorite motto or mantra that you live by?  

"Strong opinions, lightly held". It could be paraphrased as "be noisily wrong until forced to admit it" but I hope that's not how we interpret it! I'm also a devoted student of Sturgeon's Law.

What did you do in your previous working life?

I've switched throughout my career between software and journalism. My last job was CTO at Trust Codes, a brilliant Kiwi startup that uses randomized QR codes to identify individual products and machine learning to track their provenance and authenticity.
 
It's being adopted by food & beverage brands to deter counterfeiters and build trust, but can be used for any high-integrity purpose. Prior to that, I was technical director at an Auckland multi-media agency, and editor of a New Zealand business magazine ๐ŸŒŸ

What do you do in your free time?  

Tauranga is an awesome place to live and we enjoy the great weather, beaches and harbour โ˜€๏ธ My daughters are entering their teen years and starting on great adventures. But my preferred pastime is hanging out with my smart and fabulous wife, just shootin' the breeze ๐Ÿฅƒ
 

What are three things still left on your bucket list?  

  1. Spend some quality time in Latin America
  2. Observe my children become fulfilled and happy adults
  3. Ship Project Steve (don't ask) but do watch this space ๐Ÿ‘€

Whatโ€™s on your SwipedOn playlist?

Lambchop, Slowdive, Yo La Tengo, Al Green, Kurt Vile, John Lee Hooker

If you were stuck on a desert island and you could choose one person from the SwipedOn team to come with you, who would you take and why?

Probably Stephen, because his dad would pick us up after work.

Let's end this with a weird fact about you...

I have a deep, possibly psychotic dislike of modals in user interface design. If you know, you know.

Want to work as part of Matt's team? We're hiring for a range of developers now. Check out the open roles.

 
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Mia Campbell

Mia is our Product Marketing Lead at SwipedOn

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