Enlighten Designs is the Waikato-based creative technical agency where the team lives and breathes innovation.

From discovery and design to web development, to e-commerce and app development, they love the work they do, and they’re always on the look-out for the next keen person to join them.

They also offer a sweet package of perks to keep the team thriving and happy on the job:

  • Career development
  • Innovative tech
  • Modern workplace
  • Diverse team
  • Freedom of expression
  • Company lunches
  • Social events
  • Annual salary review
  • Birthday cakes and back rubs!

FutureForce® caught up with Enlighten Graduate Power Platform Developer (Software Developer) Christian Conder to find out more…

Christian Conder

Software developer



Top Career Tip

“Don’t stop learning. I’ve graduated from high school and university, but there’s so much knowledge to learn beyond that. I see it as you’ve proven that you can learn, so why stop?

A Chat with Christian about his role

Christian Conder
Graduate Power Platform Developer (Software Developer)

How did you get this job?

I’ve always been interested in computers, but never really considered specifically doing software development until I started looking through the university course catalogue. I thought it looked pretty cool and decided to give it a go! I ended up really enjoying it.

I never knew software development was a thing so it wasn’t until later on I discovered what it is. I’m pretty good with computers so it made sense to pursue something to do with them – play to my strengths.

What do you do?

A lot of what I do is focused around learning and enhancing my skills. Power platform is really cool as it is Microsoft’s low code platform which allows you to rapidly build applications. The goal of it is to reduce paperwork and increase efficiency. Day-to-day there’s a lot of decision making and innovating involved in each of the projects we get. I am still learning about my role as I’m only a few months in, but I’m excited for what’s to come!

What do you love about what you do?

I’ve really enjoyed being able to sit in with my supervisor/mentor – my tech lead. I’ve been able to sit in with my tech lead on different steps of the project I’m currently working on, so I’ve loved being able to get up to speed on how everything works. Being allowed the time to get up to speed without the pressure of having to perform immediately has helped me ease into this work a lot easier. It’s important in a workplace to have the ability to ease into work – it removes a lot of the pressure so I can get comfortable, get up to speed, and when the time comes I will be ready to charge ahead on my own. As a graduate I still have a lot to learn. I love this dynamic a lot.

I really enjoy building applications. There’s a lot of variety in between each of the projects we as a company take up. Being a consulting company we get to work with a range of different businesses who have different needs, so the difference between projects keeps it exciting. It’s always fun heading into a new project and trying to figure out what the client needs. It always starts with a conversation, and then you dig deeper to the problems.

What advice do you have for keeping balanced/managing stress?

I keep pretty active in my spare time – I enjoy running, swimming and biking. I think it’s important to also focus on sleeping well and get at least seven hours. This can be difficult but it helps so much. Focusing on 1) eating healthy, 2) getting good sleep and 3) keeping active means that if one of these fall off for a bit I still have the other two to keep me going. This drip-feeds into making outside of work more balanced. When you’re feeling good outside of work it makes it easier to come in and focus.

It’s nice having an office to come into and work. We get to work hybrid (in the office, or from home) but personally I like to come in to the office when I can. I come in everyday as it gives me a place where I can focus at work and once I leave the office it’s time to relax. It’s easier to draw a boundary between work and life when you have them in two seperate locations. When I’m in the office I’m working, when I’m outside I’m not.

What challenges have you had to overcome?

In the workplace I haven’t had any so far – it’s still early days. There’s a lot of support from my coworkers and superiors, so I know if I do come across challenges that I have people around me who I can call on if needed.

What do you wish you knew when you left school?

Try to see pursuing further knowledge/education beyond school as an investment into yourself. I wish I had seen going to university as an investment into myself when I started. It took quite a bit of time to figure it out once I started which is okay. If you want to maximise the return– or in other words get the most out of – on your investment you’ve just got to spend the time and effort.

Don’t waste opportunities that you’re given. Not everyone gets the same opportunities and they may never arise again, so if one comes by that you’re interested in – put in 100%.

It’s important/helpful to build contacts, but also to make friends and meet new people. In tech there’s a lot of people out there who are willing to help, so it’s important to get involved with other people and branch out.

Most importantly… make sure to have fun along the way!

What is the best career advice you have received?

One thing I was told early on was to try and dip your toes into a few different things to see what you like. Once you figure that out, give it a go! If it’s not working out and it’s something that you’re not really enjoying after giving it a good try consider making a change.

What do you like the most about working at Enlighten Designs?

Enlighten Designs is a consulting company that does a lot of bespoke applications. Bespoke means that it’s unique to each business – it’s from the ground up. Very specific solutions for different people.

Enlighten Designs is a very inclusive workplace and has a good environment. I got a really good sense of this during the interview process. The interview process was quite thorough – there was a values interview where they asked me to share what I personally value. They dove a bit deeper which was nice to see that they care about you as a human. They’re really focused on creating a team of great people rather than a team of great workers.

Where would you like to go with your career?

Enlighten Designs have reach nationwide but also globally, and in those spaces have some really cool things going on. I find that really inspiring and would one day love to contribute to those projects.


Skills, subjects, qualifications and advice

Useful School Subjects

  • Calculus
  • Physics

These were two subjects that really taught me how to problem solve and draw on critical thinking skills. These are two very key skills in any sort of career in technology. Taking these subjects in school set up a good base for the further knowledge I would gain in Uni. I majored in Information Science. This degree gave me a lot of hands on experience.

“When starting out at work I’d recommend taking notes. In your head, physically, or both. There’s a lot to learn when you start out at work, so this can be helpful in retaining all of that knowledge.

Also, preparation is key!”

What sort of person do you need to be for this type of work?

You need to be:

    • Problem solver. I can look at problems and see a more efficient way of doing it. If this is something you do, this is a good thing to have.
    • Confident in yourself. You’ve gotta back yourself. When you see a problem having the backing in yourself to speak up about your ideas. You can learn this along the way in the workplace too. There’s room to improve – I hope I get better at this!
    • Adaptable – There are definitely situations where this is important
    • Flexible
    • Able to work well with other people. It’s good to bounce ideas off of other people, and having a good range of ideas from different sources is important.
    • Collaborative
    • Able to know when to ask for help. This is something I still struggle with. If it’s someting you think you should be able to handle yourself it may seem easier to streamline and do it on your own. Knowing when to reach out is important. This can be hard because this varies from situation to situation.

    Find out more

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    Download or read Christian’s PDF