16 Jul 2020

How to build a strong and successful dev team - Interview with Luané Swart, Head of Development at Ole!Connect

By Luané Swart, Head of Development, Ole!Connect

How long have you been with Ole!Connect and what has been your proudest professional moment with the company?

I joined Ole! Connect 6 years ago, with 2020 marking the start of my 7th year. My proudest professional moments at the company would have to be:

- Being able to learn and grow within the company – this is my 3rd position in the company.

- Being involved in the personal and career growth of my team members. It’s an amazing thing to be a part of.


What do you believe is the driving force of the success of the Ole! Connect development team?

The team is made up of good and talented people, from their personalities and capabilities to their work ethic. I also try my best to drive a good balance between work and fun – I’m a firm believer in the give and take approach – we all have personal lives, so I try to be flexible around what each team member needs in order to get the best out of them.


What proficiencies and methodologies make up the development team at Ole! Connect and why do you believe these skills and procedures are necessary?

We have an extensive variety of design, frontend, and backend skills – where all of the capabilities lean on each other and work together to achieve the required results. We use both waterfall as well as agile methodologies depending on client needs and projects.

Architecture wise we take a modular and micro-service approach which allows us to build a component once and re-use it for other projects.


When it comes to your tech stack, why do you utilise React and Node.JS above other tech stacks?

We chose React based on its performance and popularity on the global tech scale. It’s also relatively straight forward to port a React web application into a mobile application.

Then, NodeJS is great for developing products at high speed as well as its global popularity and performance.


What projects are the Ole! Connect development team currently working on?

We’re currently working on a range of projects, from Integration and Video Portals in Ghana, Nigeria, and Rwanda to a modern UI/UX for an online gaming portal. We’re also involved in the education space with a large corporate to match investors and implementors to work together on educational projects, and we recently moved all our projects to the Google Cloud Platform as a Cloud Solution.


Tell us about your vision for the future of the Ole! Connect development team?

We are always working on improving the efficiency within the team. Currently, we have a Project Office team, a Quality Assurance team, Developers, Data Engineers and Data Scientists, and are looking to add a Product Manager to help drive the products forward.

Tech wise we are continuously doing research on best practise and improving our existing applications. We try to find a balance between maintenance and new work to keep all our applications within the latest tech and performing at their best.

Other than that, we strive to improve the processes within the department and are always working towards upskilling each team member to reach their highest potential.