Kenneth Bassey is a Backend Developer. In this episode of The Obiex Block, he speaks to us about how his “behind-the-scene” mindset led him to his current career, how he quit his bank job to become a freelance developer, and his dislike for routines.
Let’s get to know you! Please introduce yourself.
Hello! My name is Kenneth Bassey.
Hello, Kenneth. It’s our pleasure to have you on the Obiex Block.
The pleasure is mine.
I appreciate that. So, tell me, what do you do for a living?
I am a Freelance Backend Developer. As a freelancer, I engage in contract-based agreements with companies, mostly crypto and web3 companies these days, to create, maintain, test, and even debug the entire back end of their apps and websites.
That sounds like a cool job!
Well, it is to me. But others find it either too boring or too technical.
Why did you become a Backend Engineer, though? Is it something you have always had a passion for, or was it because it had appealing perks?
I would say it is passion because I always had a “behind-the-scene” kind of mindset. As a child, while other kids played games and watched TV, I always wondered how these things got here. Who was behind the technology? What did they do for it to get to our screens? Who designed these websites to be this way? These thoughts always made me curious. When it was time to go to the university, I already knew it was Computer Engineering that I would study.
As for being a freelancer, I didn’t think I had the patience and self-control to work a 9-5 or a full-time job, especially for bosses who want to be called “Sir” and “Ma” with every breath their employees take. I’m not that respectful.
The very last one. I did it once. I quit after 3 months.
But, even as a freelancer, you work with crypto-affiliated companies. Why is that?
Remember when I said I quit a 9-5 after 3 months? It was with a bank in Calabar. The backend problems I kept fixing there kept opening my eyes to the shortfalls of traditional banking. At one point, I became bored because I’m someone who doesn’t like routines. I like sophisticated challenges, and those bank apps weren’t just it for me.
It was my then-girlfriend who told me that blockchain technology was the best field for me. So, I tried it out. She was right. Fiddling with the backend of decentralised apps is more fun. I love the challenge and the risk. It was just my thing. Since then, I always prioritised jobs that had to do with crypto, blockchain, web3, and the like.
Interesting. Now, I have to ask, what are your views on cryptocurrency?
Crypto is where finance is headed in this age. The Bitcoin ETF was just approved by the SEC. What does that tell you? Crypto may be a high-risk environment, but it is already referred to as the future of finance. Every venture has its pros and cons. Risk is crypto’s con, just as is for every financial investment.
What about the “blockchain”? How would you explain it?
I am going to be honest with you. I only understand blockchain in practicals. I can’t give you a theoretical definition of what blockchain is. You are asking the wrong person (laughs).
So you’ve never had to give a full lecture on crypto just because you told someone what you did?
No! I am a Backend Developer, not a crypto or blockchain tutor. When people ask me, I tell them to ask someone who could give them a better answer. Explaining things, especially in English, has never been my forte. Codes, I understand. Except they want me to explain blockchain to them with codes, then I’d be happy to run them a demo.
You must love your codes.
It’s the language that feeds me. I have to love it.
Mmm, word. What else do you find exciting about your job?
The products. I just love that feeling when I see something that I’ve been working on day and night come to life. It’s even better when you get positive reviews on the products. There’s nothing as rewarding as your product fully performing the function you created it for.
That’s the best feeling ever as a creator or developer.
Talking about jobs, what are the best and worst pieces of advice you have ever received about your career?
Let me start with the worst one. An uncle who never contributed a dime to my education told me that I was silly for deciding to leave my bank job to become a freelancer because the former had better job security than the latter.
As for the best one, one of my mentors told me never to settle for things I wasn’t comfortable with. That particular advice has helped me in more ways than in my career.
That was indeed some good advice.
It was. It’s been a mantra that I live by.
I can tell that it’s been working to your advantage.
Now, let’s talk money! What is the biggest money move you have ever made in crypto?
I once invested my house rent in crypto. And, yes, I was later kicked out by my landlord.
Yeah! I lived with my friend for about 6 months after that. I eventually got some good profit, rented my place, and moved out.
You are lucky that it worked out.
Very lucky. I for just return to my village. My finances have been relatively good since then.
Final question! How has your present lifestyle influenced your financial habits?
Let’s just say I have enough money now to have a big wedding.