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Another vibe check

Ore Ogundipe sitting at the beach, throwing a peace sign

2020 was a wilddddd year to say the least, from *that which must not be named* to learning new ways to live with myself. I spent some time unpacking in detail my emotions in the past year on a podcast episode with Obinna. Give it a listen if you’d like to hear my wonderful voice (haha)

In this post, I do a quick walkthrough of some other interesting things that happened for me in the past year and what I’m looking forward to doing in the future.

Looking back

Ore Ogundipe sitting at the beach, throwing a peace sign

Work was challenging, but thrilling & looking back, I couldn’t have asked for a better year! For context, one of the products my team owns is the knowledge base for Windows and other organizations within Microsoft which our engineers use to work daily. Apart from regular feature updates to the platform, what started off as a conversation between my manager, PM and I at the start of the year turned into a revamp of our data architecture and ended up as scalable data-as-a-service offering. With this, our customers can now self-serve & get actionable insights from data in minutes instead of long chains of requests. On top of this data, I got to build out algorithms that enabled teams gauge quality of content at scale - Thanks Azure Data Explorer!

On another project, I got to “drive” collaboration between myself and other engineers. It was extremely challenging but I enjoyed it a lot and we were able to come out with a valuable product. My biggest learning here was to call out concerns early & don’t be afraid to “shake tables”. (Kudos to all the engineering leads/managers out there, y’all are doing the Lord’s work haha)

I also joined an ERG (Employee Resource Group) for people living with Neurodiversity at work. In our last Microsoft Hackathon, we got together to build an internal platform educating other engineers on what it meant to work living with different Neurodiverse conditions; sharing personal stories from lived experiences & highlighting how managers and peers could make the work atmosphere more inclusive. I’m really glad we got to make it work.

I think one of the best things about working at Microsoft is that you get to form amazing relationships with other talented engineers on the basis of showing up to work as your authentic self.

Helping People

In July, I made my calendar public on weekends and started doing 1:1 sessions as a way of investing in people. In these calls, I have people talk about what top of mind for them & then I share my opinion, resources or connections that help nudge them in the right direction. It removes the unnecessary conversation barrier that currently exists when people need help & I’m pleased that I’m able to play a little part in helping people get to where they want to be.

If you want to book a session to chat about career, life or anything really, head over here

Neurotechnology & Brain Research

Ore Ogundipe wearing Neurosity brain computer interface and smiling

Since I was a kid, I’ve always been fascinated about how the brain works. Growing up, I actually wanted to become a Neurosurgeon. I’ve been building a career in tech but an itch I’ve been trying to scratch is the fusion of advancements in technology with Neuroscience.

Brain Computer Interfaces are gradually becoming more accessible and I think there is an opportunity to leverage these to help improve quality of life.

I’ve spent the last year intentionally familiarizing myself with this domain; reading research papers, tinkering with brain interfaces, recording my brain’s EEG data etc. I also got to participate in the eeg-notebooks sprint at Brain Hack Global 2020 where I met with Neuroscientists and researchers. The atmosphere there was very welcoming and I got to understand what the state of things were. It’s a major relief knowing that there is so much existing work that I could leverage & approachable people I could work with to bring some of my dreams to life!

Looking forward

Picture of the sky from the ocean in Vancouver

Some things I’d like to do more of this year:

  • unplug from the matrix - spend less time consuming content on social media so I can focus on creating
  • iterate quicker on neuro & data projects
  • help others build

Sharing these publicly to somehow hold myself accountable.

Parting words

You may have heard these somewhere before, but hearing them again won’t hurt :)

  • Don’t let the year overwhelm you - If you’re reading this, it means you’ve been through 2020 already. You know what else that means, you can face 2021 too.
  • Take things one day at a time - our brains tend to exaggerate negative emotions, things aren’t always going to be great; taking a deep breathe and knowing that the sun’s gonna shine tomorrow could help you let go a bit.
  • Plan ahead if you must, but realize that there’s no perfect plan. You’ve got to take the leap & just do it sometimes.

I promise to make my next post a technical one about something I’m building. Until then, here’s some good music for you - a reward for making it to the end of my brain dump ✨