Meet Cake: this is Mohamed

By Davy Kestens

We’re a fully remote team of about 20 people spread across 3 countries, all working together to build Cake and improve the financial well-being of every consumer. Meet the people behind Cake in this blog series. Today, we go to the UK where Mo lives.

Name: Mohamed Ali
Age: 39
Role: ETL Engineer/ Data Scientist
Making Cake since: February 2020
Location: Sheffield, United Kingdom

Tell us about your workspace

I grew up in the Netherlands and moved to Belgium to study at the university of Leuven where I graduated as Master of Statistics. This was a great way to be introduced to the world of data and all the insights you can get from data. After graduation I started working in Belgium. At that time my wife was still living and working in the Netherlands and we were working out where to live together. 
4 years ago we moved to London. The abundance of social activities and the experience of global cultures made us choose for London. About a year ago we decided to move to Sheffield. 

I do have a fixed workspace at home where I have my desk, but that won’t be the place I would necessarily work from. I just go there where I have silence so I can focus. I have two kids, Yacub who is almost 1 and Elias who is almost 3, so finding a quiet spot to work is sometimes a bit of a challenge. 😀

Every morning at 9 am (which is 8 am for me in the UK), the Cake development team has a short stand-up Zoom video meeting where everyone gives a summary of what we are working on and discusses anything that might be a potential blocker. After this meeting, I’m usually having a chai tea while I do some regular checks on the ongoing projects, just to see if everything is going as expected. If all is well I continue on any feature/job I was working on. 

What do you do at Cake?

I’m part of the Cake data team where I’m responsible for the ETL pipelines. ETL stands for Extract, Transform and Load. In general ETL refers to a set of processes extracting data from an input source, transforming the data, and loading into an output destination.

As one can expect, data plays an important role at Cake. I’m responsible for making this data accessible and valuable to the users of the Cake app and to the Cake-for-Business platform which is used by Cake’s commercial partners. Data comes from many sources but the most important are the banking transactions of all the Cake users that flow in through the connections with the various banks. We have now already anonymized and processed nearly 3 million transactions for a total value of over 930 million euros. 

Why Cake and not another company?

It’s mainly Cake’s mission that appeals to me. Cake wants to improve the financial well-being of everyday consumers through a better banking app. For our users, this means making their bank accounts profitable again. On the one hand by giving them more insights on their incomings and outgoings which will contribute to their financial well-being. On the other hand by letting them earn some extra money thanks to the Rewards they receive when buying stuff from our commercial partners or just by using our app because of the revenue we share with our users.  

What also influenced me to choose Cake was the fact that we are a complete remote based team. You waste less time on commuting and get a better work-life balance. Your work becomes part of your life in a positive way. I believe that that will lead to strong outcomes, both at work and your personal life.

What’s your most memorable Cake moment?

There have been so far 2 moments in my short time at Cake that are momentous.

The first moment was, prior to starting at Cake, when I met Davy, our CEO, for the first time in London. It just happened to be that Davy at that time was in London for a meeting and we went for dinner. The conversations we had that evening gave me a very positive impression about Cake.

The other memorable moment was just before the lock-down. I came down to Belgium and met most of the team members physically. 😁 This was the first and so far the last time that had happened. Who could have known! 

Me and my colleagues at our first (and last) physical meeting.

What’s your favourite cake?

That would definitely be cheesecake.

Any topping on the Cake?

Strawberries. 🍓 

And the fact that Cake can now be used with Dutch bank accounts as well. The first tests look very promising. It seems that the connection with the Dutch banks will be smoother than what we have experienced with the Belgian banks.
Now I can finally start promoting Cake to my family members and friends in the Netherlands. I’m already looking forward to 2021 when we will launch wide-scale in the Netherlands.

Are you ready to download the Cake app? It’s available for Google Play and on the App Store.

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10 reasons to make Cake your new banking app