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When first connecting with David over the phone, there was the distinct sound of kids playing in the background. Not the noises you typically expect from a workplace.
“My kids are here today doing activities around programming an app and doing a science experiment” David casually informs me.
It was the Easter holidays and not all of the hipages staff were going to take leave. “We wanted to come up with something exciting and novel for that” David offered. So they set up a daycare where the kids could learn about technology and robots, as well as work on science experiments.
“People spend many of their waking hours at the office” David explains “So we may as well make it a great place to work. We spend so much time with each other, it’s important to us that everyone feels like they are being looked after..”
Immediately you can tell that this is no ordinary company.David Vitek, CEO of hipages built the platform himself some 13 years ago. hipages is an Australian online directory and marketplace that connects consumers with home improvement professionals and trades people.
“The business has always been in a rapid growth, rapid scale phase” advised David, “we’re always looking 2-3 years down the line, which is quite exciting for people”.
State of change
The hipages system was built in 2004 and moved onto AWS in 2012. As David jokingly says to his team “I did it to the best of my ability, with the best of intentions at the time” but technology has evolved and for David to continue his rapid growth and scale plans their system must also evolve.
“The next level of scale for us is going to be moving into a microservices architecture” David suggested, “It’s quite an exciting way to think about things because you can have somebody who owns that particular system”.
Plans for the future
“We’re really focussed on making more strides in the Australian market,” says David. “I think we’re leading the way but we need to continue down that line and that’s going to come from helping more homeowners get things done and helping more trades people be more effective in winning business and doing great jobs.
“There are still opportunities for us to create more moments of delight” advised David, which could look like further innovating many of the offline processes that tradespeople go through and bringing them online.
“We want to say that the system we built in Australia is the best globally. Then we can think about international expansion”.
Take advantage of your fortune
David’s piece of advice to the market, which he hopes does not come across as cliche, is this:
“There has never been a more exciting time to work in technology”.
“Today there are so many opportunities for engineers, so they should really think about taking advantage of this opportunity. You don’t know how long this is going to last, so just make sure you work on something meaningful. Get really good experience and do something that is important to you”.
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