Technically Speaking
Technically Speaking with Harrison Wheeler
Balancing Design and Engineering in the Tech Industry With Adekunle Oduye

Balancing Design and Engineering in the Tech Industry With Adekunle Oduye

Adekunle Oduye, a Design Engineer at Plaid, discusses his journey from art to design to engineering and how he became a design engineer. He emphasizes the importance of understanding both design and code and communicating and collaborating effectively. He also talks about his podcast, "Code & Pixels," which aims to provide practical guidance and insights for those interested in design engineering. He encourages listeners to try new things and not be afraid to fail to learn and grow. 

Key Takeaways:

  • Discover the importance of understanding design and code to bridge the gap between the two disciplines

  • Understand why design engineers should be comfortable with ambiguity, project management skills, and excellent communication and collaboration

  • Learn the power of trying new things and not being afraid to fail to learn and innovate


"I think for me, it's always, you're going to learn best by doing. That's how I learned, I was like, all right, I'm going to build this thing. I have no clue. I'm going to build it, but I'm just going to figure it out." - Adekunle Oduye

"Don't be afraid to try new things. You're going to try things and it's going to be frustrating and you're going to feel down about yourself. But I think that's like anything, it's like you're going to suck at first." - Adekunle Oduye


(01:20) Introduction to Adekunle Oduye and his experience in design and engineering

(01:54) Icebreaker: His current obsession with going to museums

(03:23) Icebreaker: His interest in incorporating AI into his work

(05:29) Icebreaker: His preference for lo-fi hip-hop music while working

(06:54) His background in art and transition to design and engineering

(11:32) Evaluating the role of a design engineer based on project needs

(15:28) Core competencies of a design engineer: ambiguity, project management, communication

(21:05) "Code & Pixels Podcast and its impact

(24:58) His upcoming speaking engagements

(26:31) Why you should try new things and not be afraid to fail

About The Guest:

Adekunle Oduye, a design engineer at Plaid, is based in Brooklyn, New York. With a background in art and design, Adekunle has a unique perspective on the intersection of design and engineering. He is passionate about using AI in his work and constantly explores ways to leverage it in design systems. He is also the co-host of the podcast "Code & Pixels," where he discusses various topics related to design engineering.

Connect with Adekunle Oduye:





Code & Pixels

Referenced Links:

That Conference

Converge US

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Technically Speaking
Technically Speaking with Harrison Wheeler
Technically Speaking is a podcast by Harrison Wheeler about BIPOC designers, entrepreneurs & technologists sharing their unique stories of triumph and resilience at the intersection of product design.