New faces, women in technology, whiskey and cake

by | Sep 29, 2017

It’s been a while since I’ve updated what’s happening in the wider world of OptimalBI so here is a brief summary of what the team has been involved with in recent months – to be honest we are all so busy with interesting customer projects it’s hard to keep track of the many social, pro-bono and sponsorship activities we are busy doing. 

New Faces

Our most recent OptimalBI recruits have included Alison and Brent, bribing their teams with yummy baking since the day they turned up both are well settled into customer projects. Alison is a Senior SAS Analyst and Brent has joined the Data Vault Data Warehouse team working with ourcodebase ODE and Microsoft product set.
Keeping us all organised since Bronnie left for her OE via Hawkes Bay has been Angeline who joined our shared services team OptimalPeople after returning from a few years living in Melbourne. Angeline is responsible for contracts, events and creating social opportunities for the team.

Women in Technology

During 2017 I have been actively working on a range of initiatives designed to create opportunities for girls and women in STEM education and careers (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) including the recently launched “Return to IT” programme. You can read my writeup on this at Techblog: New programme designed to battle skills shortage. 
OptimalBI sponsors Female Fuel’d Tech Talks an amazing meet up event and support network for women who are working in, or wanting to work in, the Digital Technology space. With our own fabulous Kate as one of the organisers this group of ~50 women get together to hear stories, share challenges and announce news. 2017 meet ups have included inspiring stories on mentoring, engineering empathy, pathways to leadership and a great discussion on the challenges of working part-time. Currently in Wellington, FFTT will be launching in Auckland in 2018.
We are also proud to have created opportunities for women to get involved in Women Who Get Shit Done as a sponsor of the September 2017 Wellington unconference just last weekend.

Other great initiatives

In 2017 our team have used their Volunteer Days to support a range of initiatives from school working bees and fairs, to helping me run Code Clubs (including one at the Beehive where kids taught politicians to code).
Shane Miles donates his time to Habitat for Humanity and other community based projects building dwellings and repairing infrastructure. This year he has been to Samoa, since joining OptimalBI he has traveled to Vanuatu, India and Cambodia, always returning with fascinating stories.
Closer to home OptimalBI have signed the NZ Talent Open Letter pledging to continue our practice of employing not only based on tertiary qualifications but on skills and talent as well. We do respect the immense effort studying involves supporting many of our team members in their continued education while recognising there are many pathways into our workforce so will not impose an arbitrary requirement for a degree.
OptimalBI will also be supporting Mental Health Awareness Week which is coming up from October 9-15th and promoting what we get up to via the Mental Health Awareness Photo Challenge – check it out!

Who’s who at OptimalHQ

We do love our co-working space, it’s warm, light, relaxed, filled with music and laughter. We also love the casual way people who need short-term workspaces come and go alongside our permanent residents OptimalBI, OptimalPeople, Draper Cormack and LoudInPublic!
It has certainly been a hive of activity around here leading up to and during this post election phase with visitors, phone interview and tv cameras (don’t worry we haven’t branched into political commentary this is all Draper Cormack).
Our place is also great for events with regular courses, customer meetings, cake eating, my various board meetings, the team catching up for drinks on Fridays (we’ve had both whiskey and wine tasting this year) and we do make pretty good coffee so feel free to visit.
Until next news update. Enjoy our blogs. Vic.

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