2022/07/29 • 4 min read

DBA Team Lead @ La Redoute: an interview with Diogo Gomes

Can you introduce yourself?

Hello, my name is Diogo Gomes and I’m from Leiria, Portugal, and I am the proud owner of the most beautiful and luscious beard here at La Redoute. Now that I got that out of my system, I can talk a bit about myself. 

I am extremely passionate about music, and I love gaming, be it on a PC, pen and paper, or board games, I’m a nerd at heart, but I like to believe I’m a cool one at that. I studied in an Arts college where I took the course Sound and Image and specialized in Sound (sound engineering, music production, sound for TV and Cinema). After college I started my working life and worked in a bunch of different things throughout the start of my professional life, sales in audio and music, sound tech and producer, bartending, etc… Nothing to do with IT whatsoever. 

I ended up here in La Redoute at the start of 2016. You might wonder why and as soon as I know how to answer that question, I’ll let you know. I’ve been working at La Redoute for 6 years now, and I started as a system operator on the Supervision team when I joined in 2016, spent some time with the cool guys (and girls) from the Monitoring team around 2019, and moved on to new challenges on the DBA team in 2020 and now, since mid-2021, I’ve been leading the team.  


What do you do as a Team Lead?

The simple cliché answer is that I’m doing what I like the most, managing or, as I prefer to call it, leading.

Now for the complex answer, I am working side by side with an excellent team to keep all the database infrastructure running as smoothly as possible. This is achieved by aiming at high resilience systems and continuous improvement in performance but also looking into the future and pushing recent technologies and tools into our workflow. We do this with a new database engine, a new monitoring tool, or whatever else we find challenging and fun. We work together with most of the IT teams to achieve a status of operational excellency whenever possible. 


What do you enjoy most (here at La Redoute)?

On the first question, I mentioned that I started as a system operator and moved around quite a bit between teams. It allowed me to learn a lot even if lateral moves are often not seen as an evolution (not like vertical move in the hierarchy), it shows how much La Redoute as a company is willing to let you dip your toes into other teams and search for something that you like.

Once you find that, the company offers you a chance to grow, for example, on the DBA team, I started as a DBA Junior and eventually moved to DBA, and when I showed interest and potential in management, I was offered the chance to lead this talented team.



Can you describe your teams in 3 words?

High-Achievers, Supporters, Result-Oriented 


What challenges do you encounter and enjoy solving on a regular basis?

Personally, breaking communication barriers and destroying silos, having the ability to work with any team or any stakeholder; be it internal or external or someone that you know well or not at all. Being able to remove any barriers, make teamwork happen naturally, and see relationships and networks grow organically is the most satisfying part of the job. Human nature is as peculiar and as interesting as it gets. Navigating with, against or around it is one of the biggest challenges you can face but is also one of the most rewarding things you can do, even if you are not in a leadership role. 


Which achievements are you prouder of (here at La Redoute)?

Without any doubt, my growth, both personal and professional. I started as a system operator, which is the entry position in the company, and I am now leading a team. In the future, we will see! It is an incredible feeling to be recognized for my work these past years, and having that recognition rewarded is very gratifying and motivating. 


What is your axis of development and growth?

Loaded question. For me, it’s the human side of things, I just find a natural interest in anything related to people and how they “work”, interact and progress, understanding how people think and learning to develop values such as trust, respect, ethics, communication, ownership, and reliance. It is great to see that this is the trend and not a foreign concept anymore. Hiring people instead of skills is becoming the norm. It is exceptional to see this emphasis on fitting someone not only technically but also culturally. 


Any personal advice for someone who would like your job position?

  1. Grow a magnificent beard.  
  2. Understand if leading is for you.  Do you want a management position for what you believe are the right reasons or just because it is the only path (that you see) to evolve? 
  3. Leadership is a trait and not a badge slapped onto your chest when you become a manager, develop that trait even if you are not in charge. 


Why would you recommend La Redoute?

Overall, La Redoute is a great company in many aspects. It has a chill environment, people who care and opportunities to grow. It is a company where you can be yourself. Within the company, there are so many teams and different areas with different technologies that it really allows you to explore quite a bit. Once you are sure, it allows you to commit to something you really enjoy, want to pursue and get the support needed to grow. 


What is your hidden talent?

I am weirdly bizarre in a random and peculiar way. I’ll explain what that means over a drink, but only if you are buying. 


Any book or podcast you recommend?

I am not a huge podcast fan, but reading is much more my style. If I would have a recommendation right now, it would be: Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win” by Jocko Willink and Leif Babin. The sheer amount of useful information about leadership and how it is presented to the reader is incredible! I strongly advise you to give it a chance even if the title does not compel you. 







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