A behind-the-scenes look at the people who make us great.
Welcome to the August edition of the Cogent Crew series, where we’re inviting you to get to know the people who make Cogent what it is.
This month Mary interviewed Armin, one of our General Managers. Read all about what a ‘typical day’ looks like for Armin (hint: it’s not very typical), how he learnt to juggle, and some great life advice we could all do with.
Name: Armin Sadeghi
Job: General Manager
Time at Cogent: 2 years
Mary: So Armin, what does a typical day at Cogent look like for you?
Armin: Oh gosh, everything from meeting new or prospective clients to helping lead internal projects. I’m the go-to person for managing what projects our people are working and when, so I’m continuously trying to align the flow of new projects with new team members needed as we grow. It’s a bit of a balancing act at times.
Yeah I bet. You were a programmer for a long time before stepping into a management role. Were you always interested in programming?
Definitely. I was interested in computers from when I was nine or ten years old. I started programming on an Atari 400 with cartridges and a tape drive. It had actual cartridges and it was fantastic. Since then I was fascinated by what I could create with a computer, so then did my computer systems engineering degree, and have been developing software ever since.
Was that always the drive? To create new things?
I think my passion’s always been to build useful things that solve real human problems. That’s what I loved about building software, but I’ve also always been quite interested in hardware and other aspects of engineering.
At the end of the day, I’m interested in bringing solutions to people’s lives that make those lives better.
Is that what drew you to joining Cogent?
It’s one of the reasons I joined, yeah. We’re very particular about the type of projects we work on, and actively choose not to work with a potential client if they’re not aligned with our ethics or values. Our approach is very collaborative, so we always want to be creating meaningful products with people and businesses who value the same thing.
The other reason – and it sounds very cliché – is that our focus on transparency is phenomenal. I’m a very open person and transparency’s really important to me, so it’s great to work in a company where that’s lived everyday. Everyone’s like-minded in this way so day-to day decisions and communication are more effective.
What’s in the pipeline for you at the moment?
Cool. Is there anything else you would’ve liked to try pursuing as a career?
I was always interested in medicine, so I contemplated getting into that at a different point in life. And I’m not sure if I would’ve pursued it as a career, but I’ve always loved art and actually did a lot of art back in my school days. They’re very different, I know!
Yes they are! Do you do any art in your spare time?
I have young kids, so don’t have a lot of spare time these days. My main priority is spending time with them and helping them learn and develop. So fairly limited to kids art projects for now.
Any random skills we don’t know about?
I can juggle, does that count? You might’ve seen me do it at Cogent from time to time. It’s a bit of a random story, but I went to visit my uncle in Texas in my youth, and one of his friends took me to a juggling club meet-up. I met some really interesting people, had a great time, and got into juggling for a while. For anyone who doesn’t know how to juggle, I highly recommend it. It can be very relaxing.
You’ll need to teach me. You’ve travelled quite a bit – do you have a favourite place?
I grew up in New Zealand, but my two favourite cities on the planet are Seattle and Melbourne. I consider myself very fortunate to have experienced living in both.
I love Seattle because Washington state is just gorgeous and has some of the most beautiful landscape and natural scenery on the planet. Melbourne’s fantastic because it’s just a phenomenal city to live in. It’s incredibly diverse, has really friendly people, and is just such a lively, active city.
Yeah, and both cities have amazing food. If you had a private chef for the night, what would you ask them to cook you?
Malaysian and Thai food. I don’t even particularly care what, just a huge banquet of dishes would be ideal.
That sounds delicious! I’ll keep an eye out for my invitation. Have you been given any wise words throughout your career (or life) that you’d share?
I think much of life is trying to balance today with the future. The best advice I ever got was to focus on making memories today and living every moment the best that you can. I know it sounds really cliche, but I think we can all do with that reminder.
Definitely. Is there any other advice you’d give to your younger self or someone just starting out in their careers?
I think one thing that held me back in my formative years was actually fear. I had a lot of fear around success in work and life, and often played it fairly safe. It was only really once I let go of that and decided to not have any expectations about the future that success happened for me.
In hindsight, the expectations I was putting on myself were holding me back, so the advice I’d give to my younger self is to remove those expectations and the fear associated with not reaching them.
Yeah, I think that’s something we can all relate to, and great advice. Thanks Armin!
Like the idea of joining the Cogent team? Head over to the Cogent Careers page and say hello!