The ForeFront team is comprised of many different cultures, personalities, interests, and backgrounds. Day to day, this diversity highlights our team members’ strengths and combine to form a dynamic balance amongst the team.
So, we ask: How do a football playbook and code build relate?
Development Intern and Football Team Defensive Back Agbai Iroha took a quick time-out to give us some insight as to how his football career and new career at ForeFront collide:
What inspired you to get into technology?
[AI] I always wondered how things worked when I was young. I was always breaking things, and my dad would get mad, asking me why. The real reason was always driven from this question, “What makes this work?” It was a combination of curiosity, liking to build stuff with my bare hands, and understanding the mechanics behind the way something worked.
I quickly figured out that engineering was the path I wanted to explore. When I received a scholarship to Monmouth University, Software Engineering is their only engineering undergraduate program available. I was interested in software applications and their evolution, so I thought it was the perfect choice. I did not code before college, so it was a rough start for me, but I took advantage of the additional learning resources to get the hang of it, and the rest came naturally.
What is your favorite part of your day at ForeFront?
[AI] When you have people that are rooting for your success and development, it is a great feeling and environment to be apart of. ForeFront is a group that encourages you to ask questions and learn from them, people who are excited to help you, and cheering you on when you figure it out.
How is working with the ForeFront team like playing on a football team? How is it different?
[AI] Working with the ForeFront team is like working with the football team in the aspect of no matter how big or small your role, you play a vital part in achieving the team goal (customer satisfaction, and delivering a forward-thinking solution) The two teams differ in the aspects of a more relaxed atmosphere in the workplace (as opposed to strenuous, physical activity), and our end goal is to satisfy our clients, not win games.
Being a student athlete and member of the Monmouth University Football Team, how do you see a relation between football and your career path?
[AI] Failure is inevitable, but you can’t sit around and focus on mistakes. You can only learn from what caused that failure and set your eyes and effort on succeeding at the next task. There are similarities in accountability as well. Whether the grade received on a project or the outcome of your project work, the credit you receive is based on the effort and pride you have or have not put into your work. In similarities with football, you can’t blame the coach or your other teammates for efforts you played a part in. The extra mile you run after practice to the way you strategically read your opponent’s next move contributes to your team’s overall success, where everyone must do their part.
Finally, a team-first philosophy has translated well into my ability to work with teams within ForeFront. While personal accolades are nice and play well on your self-esteem, nothing beats the feeling of winning as a team. The same applies to software teams that collectively apply their efforts and develop a successful configuration or application. Athletes are taught to make personal sacrifices that will benefit the team, and that also translates for a developer to thrive in their work.
How do ForeFront’s coding standards related to the discipline cultivated through being a full-time student athlete?
[AI] ForeFront’s core values focus around being DRIVEN (Determined, Respect, Integrity, Versatile, Esprit de Corps and Nurturing) in everything you do. As an athlete, this culture fits my personal beliefs and I have learned how to incorporate these into my career:
- Determination: To be successful at everything you put your mind to, on the field and in the office. You don’t want to deliver results that don’t ensure personal and team success with your clients and team.
- Respect: For your superiors, teammates, and their limitations. With mutual respect, teammates work more collaboratively to inspire one another to do and be better every day.
- Integrity: Your integrity is your ability to make honest decisions that follow best practices, the best intentions of the team, and the benefit of the group.
- Versatility: Being a versatile in your role will make you a reliable part of the team and allow others’ trust in you to come to light. Your ability to be flexible enables the team to play on each other’s’ strengths.
- Espirit de Corps: Without team spirit, you lack the important connection to achieve a (or the) collective goal.
- Nurture: It is important to pick your teammates up when they are down and empower their success. That is what being a teammate is all about.
On the flipside, what is something that you have learned throughout your class and ForeFront experience that has made you a better athlete?
[AI] Just get started. Don’t look at how big or complicated the task is. Just begin somewhere, slowly chip away at your end goal, and continue to challenge yourself. Before you know it, you’ll look back and be proud of the work you accomplished by testing your boundaries and making action happen. That “get started” philosophy helped me to not only have a great internship here, but also be offered a full-time position that I happily accepted!