Lewis Taiapa Joins Octave

October 19, 2022
David Read

Here at Octave, we are always looking for new talent. We like working with people who are driven and eager to learn but also bring a unique perspective to our mahi. Lewis is an inspired and proven champion, a team player, and someone we feel will teach as much as he's taught. We look forward to working with him over the years and seeing him grow as Octave does too.

I sat down with Lewis and asked him some questions so we could all get to know him a little bit better. Here’s what he had to say.

To begin, please tell us a little bit about yourself

I was born and raised in Wellington and grew up in the Lower Hutt area. But my whānau whakapapa back to East Coast of New Zealand, Ngāti Porou and Rongowhakaata [@iwi] iwi [@iwi]. I attended full-immersion Māori schools from Kōhanga reo to Kura Kaupapa, so I can speak the reo. I enjoy playing sports, travelling, and spending time with my family. I have a huge interest in building/repairing things, and DIY [$data-reoako-id=kaupapa-2] kaupapa [$data-reoako-id].

Was there a particular place, role model or event in your life that has shaped who you are today?

My time at Enspirial Dev Academy was a huge catalyst towards self-learning and developing the skills to work in the Tech industry. Full immersion in Māori schooling allowed me to connect with my heritage and fully embrace the culture. It really was a wholesome experience of [@ako] ako [@ako] and self-discovery.

What inspired you to get into software development?

I have always had a passion for problem-solving and building things, and I really like how software development brings those two together! To build something and see a final functional product is fun and fulfilling!

What were you doing before you joined Octave?

Before I joined Octave, I worked in sales, building, and fleet technician with Jump/Lime scooters. Sales allowed me to step outside my comfort zone to speak to customers about ways to help solve some of their current problems. Being able to listen and understand what some of their issues or concerns are and then educate them with new ways or products to solve them was a fulfilling aspect of the Job. I also enjoyed developing my communication skills, which help with problem-solving and articulating complex problems in simple language.

What interested you most about working at Octave?

I really love the mahi that Octave is involved in — a group of Māori engagement projects (including ReoAko) — and the opportunity to work with a talented team of individuals were the key reasons for me wanting to work here. Any [@kamupene] kamupene [@kamupene] that helps to promote and teach Te Reo Māori is one I would love to work for! I was also interested in learning a new development stack slightly different from my previous background. I enjoy the challenge of new learning!

Now that you’re here at Octave, what’s it been like?

My first few weeks here at Octave have been a great learning experience. The team has been really great and supportive. I have been catching up with each staff member getting to know their backgrounds, and asking a lot of questions! Learning the new tech stack has been fun, and working with Python framework tools and understanding the company's workflow and environment has been great. I really enjoyed working on a small piece of the ReoAko API, writing scripts to add a new set of kupu to the database. I look forward to seeing this go live.

You’re big into inline hockey. What draws you to it?

Hockey is a fast-paced sport that requires a lot of skill and you have to make decisions quickly. It’s also a cool-looking sport with all of the gear!

What are some of your biggest inline hockey achievements?

I have captained the NZ Men's team for many years and have travelled the world to play at the IIHF World Championships multiple times. In 2007 I was part of the NZ Men's team that placed second in Division 1 of the Men's World Cup. We lost to Brazil 4-5 in overtime! More recently I have captained our local Wellington Premier team and have won the last seven National Championships here in Aotearoa!

How does being part of a high-performing sports team inform your approach to software development?

I think being able to work under pressure is a key thing. Communicating and working well with others to achieve a common goal is another. Also, being able to identify areas that need to be worked on and then take action on developing those areas. As a developer, I believe these skills are transferable, especially when it comes to problem-solving and working on projects to deliver quality products on time.

What other things interest you?

I am also interested in building small DIY projects, and customising shoes and rollerblades! YouTube tutorials are a trap for me!

What do you feel you bring to the Octave team?

I feel that I bring a lot of new energy to the company. I am motivated and willing to contribute towards promoting and growing te ao Māori within tech.