Balloon Team Spotlight: Jamie Bate, Senior Software Engineer

What is your role at Balloon?
Software engineer but always happy to do what ever is needed at the time.

What’s your background?
I currently live in a small town in New Zealand called Nelson with my family. Originally I studied Geology at University, but soon realised I would be bored so rapidly transitioned to work in tech. I have worked for a selection of great companies in New Zealand and then in 2013 I “virtually” moved to San Francisco to work on a passion project with a startup in the area of Type One Diabetes. Since then, I have enjoyed working with small, passionate, and focused startups and the range of work and challenges that comes with it.

Why did you want to join Balloon?
Great founders with grit, Amanda as CEO, mission-driven  

Why is Balloon’s mission important to you?
Because great ideas and thoughtful insights come from many places. Giving people a positive way to air them and then build on those ideas is important. 

Describe something outside of work that you’re passionate about.
Getting outside. As a kid, I really got into cycling and found it was a great time to think while I went somewhere. I am still really passionate about riding and, even though now with kids and work there is a lot less time, I still get out and into the forest to go mountain biking. It also helps that I live in an amazing place to explore outdoors!

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Consistency and just getting on with things without fuss … oh, and also four great kids :) 

What is your greatest fear?
Getting stuck and no longer evolving and adapting as things change 

Who are your real-life heroes?
I don’t know if I would say I have heroes but I do have many people that I admire greatly. A few that spring to mind are: 

  • Helen Clarke - former prime minister of New Zealand who went on to work at the UN and WHO. I admire the way she went about representing NZ on the world stage.
  • Jacinda Ardern - current prime minister of New Zealand. Jacinda has had to deal with a number of hard situations, with the attack on our Muslim community in Christchurch and also Covid-19. She has done so with create compassion and also decisiveness.
  • Sir Edmund Hillary - the first person to have reached the summit of Everest along with Tenzing Norgay. He then also became a great philanthropist helping the Sherpa people building schools and hospitals. He just had a huge heart and a can do attitude while remaining humble. 

What do you hate?
Being late 

What is your current state of mind?
What will the new normal be? It feels like in so many aspects of life it is time for a change as the current/ ‘old’ ways we are doing things are not working out. I see it as a positive thing and am interested to see where it will lead us.