Employee Spotlight: Vodka Tonic with Victor Aluko
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After a whirlwind adventure from Nigeria to Europe, Senior software Engineer Victor Aluko has found his new home in Winnipeg, Canada—and, more importantly, at Kenna. Victor is a relative newcomer to the Kenna family but a shining example of the caliber of talent and character we look for in team members.
In early 2021, Victor hit the ground running at Kenna, bringing with him more than a decade of experience in working across the technology stack and leading engineering and development teams. But his experience isn’t all he brings to the table. Victor complements his expertise with passion, diligence, and an affinity for a good laugh. No matter what the topic of conversation, a chat with Victor is sure to brighten your day.
Q: Where did you grow up?
A: Lagos, Nigeria. I’ve spent most of my life there, but eventually moved to Estonia to complete a master’s degree. I did a short stint in Finland right after, and I’ve been in Winnipeg, Canada for the last two years. So it’s fair to say I’ve moved around a bit!
Q: How did you come into this field of work?
A: About 20 years ago, my brother—an IT professional himself—tried to get me interested in programming, but I just wanted to play games. I couldn’t afford another computer in those days, so I was using his. We got into an argument one day and I decided I would just learn programming so that I could build my own games. 🙂
I’ve worked as an engineer for various companies for the last 10+ years, and I’ve been at Kenna now for about four months. I’ve never worked in cybersecurity before, so moving into this field has been very interesting for me. Interviewing with Kenna was a great experience, and I was extremely impressed that the Kenna team helped to match me to the role that I was best suited for—senior software engineer—despite initially coming to interview for a lower level.
Q: Do you have any interesting hobbies?
A: I used to play football (soccer) before I left Nigeria, but I stopped because I saw the potential of being seriously injured. I was also doing Tae Kwondo and weight lifting before the pandemic started, and I hope to get back to that (or some form of Mixed Martial Arts) eventually.
Q: What is your favorite way to spend the day off?
A: When my wife and I lived in Europe, we would buy an EasyJet flight and just fly to a different European city to go take hundreds of pictures and then fly back. We miss those days! That was really the ideal way to spend time off.
Q: Which holiday do you most look forward to every year?
A: Christmas! When I lived in Nigeria, that was the one holiday everyone was guaranteed to be around. The entire extended family—nephews, nieces, the whole gang. Now that we’re living abroad, we still pass the phone around with folks and talk for hours. Once the pandemic ends, we’d love to travel back home for the holidays. It’ll definitely be quite an experience traveling that far with the kids!
Q: What is your favorite memory of your family?
A: When my mom was born, she didn’t have any official date of birth documentation. Her parents vaguely said her birthday was in April. But about 15 years ago, her brother discovered that she was actually born in January. Then, three years later, we uncovered some documentation that showed her real birthday was actually in August. Every year we joke with my mom that she has three birthdays and wish her “Happy Fake Birthday” or “Happy Real Birthday” on each date. We still laugh about it all the time.
Q: If you could relive any moment of your life, which would it be?
A: I wish I could relive my 20s—maybe between 23 and 30. That early adulthood had so much freedom and adventure. You only have to think as far as the next month. I was living in Nigeria during that time. I met so many new people and learned so many important life lessons.
Q: In the morning, do you hit the snooze button or wake up immediately?
A: I have to set two alarms. I have to have a backup alarm because I’ve managed to get up, walk across the room, turn off the alarm, and then go back to bed in the past.
Q: What are the top 5 songs for your road trip playlist?
- Numb by Linkin Park
- Somewhere in Stockholm by Avicii
- Trouble by Avicii
- Feelin Good by MI
- Rewind by Nas
Q: Phone call or text message?
A: Text message
Q: Music or podcast?
Q: Ocean or mountains?
Q: Burger or taco?
Q: Deep sea diving or bungee jumping?
A: Bungee jumping
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