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Encouraging the curious mind — inside and outside of work

28th July 2020

Our developers love to build! And we love hiring skilled individuals who are always looking to excel and improve. These keen enthusiasts don’t just stop when they finish work; they take that passion outside of work too. Here’s our front-end developer Blake, on how his curiosity translates to his extracurricular activities. 


I’ve always been a bit of a ‘mad scientist’. Writing code just seemed like a logical career for someone who naturally loved to build things like apps and drones. 

I joined Zaizi nearly two years ago and in that time I’ve worked on some great projects. I prototyped headless WordPress projects, had a hand in building a very large headless react site with Crafter, and worked on other React or javascript projects.

A lot of the work we do here at Zaizi is pretty unique — if it has been done before, it’s probably not been done a lot. We frequently have to solve complex problems in creative ways and that really appeals to my puzzle-solving mindset. If it’s not a challenge, it’s just not fun!

Drones, ROVs and autonomous robots

Working at Zaizi has given me a lot of opportunities to invest and explore in the extracurricular activities I enjoy. 

For example, I’d never even heard of AWS when I joined Zaizi. But I’ve been working on the platform for the last two years here. By working at Zaizi I found out about AWS Deepracer (an AI-powered form of remote control car racing!).

Zaizi gave me the opportunity to code my own DeepRacer AI. Working with another Zaizi colleague, it allowed us to experiment with machine learning and the latest reinforcement learning algorithms.

One of my more mad science-related hobbies is the building and flying of drones and ROVs (Remote Operated Vehicles), so this was a fantastic opportunity and experience. 

“Out of hours” hobbies 

I’ve done many things outside ‘office hours’; from building a 3D printer to creating React applications — all thanks to the knowledge I gained at Zaizi. At the moment, I’m looking to help a sailing charity by building them an ROV that allows kids to see wildlife under water. 

Zaizi has been great in encouraging us to do other things. Being with like-minded people to bounce ideas and problem solve together sharpens the mind. And we’re given space to improve with designated training days and access to learning portals and tools like Pluralsight.

I feel like my hobbies and work complement one another really well. The problem-solving skills from one help improve my solutions in the other. It’s not unusual for me to encounter a problem at work that I had previously solved in my personal projects.

I honestly think that as a developer I am drawn to problem solving, and the hobbies that reinforce that mindset just make me a better developer.