Dice HQ

Meet Felipe Conde Sales, DICE’s Head of Mobile Engineering with an eye for design

Words by Rachel Hahn
Photos by Charlotte Patmore

The motorcyclist, forró dancer and architecture buff shares his story of moving to London from Brazil

Eight years ago, Felipe Conde Sales wanted to move from Fortaleza – a city in northeast Brazil – to work abroad. He applied everywhere he could, but in the end, London chose him. And so did mobile engineering. Felipe found that he had a particular affinity for understanding the ins and outs of the mobile experience in his computer science studies, and it’s a niche that pulls in his interests in the arts, design and architecture. Now, he’s worked at DICE for six years, watching the company grow from 12 people in a corner office to over 500 across the world. Find out more about DICE’s Head of Mobile Engineering below.

On breaking the mould

We usually think of people working in the tech industry as engineers looking at screens all day, but I never thought of it like that. I’m interested in the arts, which goes against this image of the tech world. Mobile development has so much to do with design, the user experience and the way we interact with our phones – and these elements fit well with my personality.

On his takeaways from serving in the army

My first year studying computer science at uni was really tough. There was a lot of maths and physics, and I was a little shocked by it – I wasn’t sure I was on the right track. Many members of my family served in the army, and they all had really good experiences, so I decided to take a year off from uni and serve. Military service is mandatory in Brazil, but you can say you don’t want to serve, and they’ll discharge you. Of course, there are a lot of negatives in joining any armed forces, including the hierarchy, but I learnt a lot about leadership and tried to take things that I thought were actually valuable from the experience and apply them to my everyday life. I’m still very good friends with the 20 guys that I served with – they’re like brothers to me. It’s a completely different experience to anything else I’ve done in my life, so I don’t regret it at all. And when I went back to uni afterwards, I was a little more mature. The one thing that really stayed with me was how going through difficult moments with people creates incredible bonds.


On reconnecting with his roots

I’m starting to reconnect with Brazil – there are some really good new Brazilian artists coming up in the scene. It’s sometimes a little difficult to follow everything that’s happening in Brazil from London, but my wife and I recently started going to some dance classes. It’s a Brazilian style of dancing called forró, which originates from our region. It’s similar to salsa, but the steps and the rhythms are slightly different. I was actually pleasantly surprised with how big the forró community is in London. It’s been fun going to the classes, listening to the music and actually being able to sing the songs as well – it’s a mix of old and new ones, but lots of them I remember hearing at family barbecues.

On what he learnt in 2022

The position that I have at DICE right now is very different to what I’ve been doing for my entire career, which is coding. Coding is 0 and 1, true or false, but with managing people, there’s no right or wrong. Everything is on a spectrum of different possibilities. So, 2022 was really about me trying to understand that difference, and trying to understand exactly how to do my work and be a good manager. When I look back, I want to remember it as the year I invested my time in understanding how to positively impact the people I manage.

On the built environment

I’m really into architecture. Living in London and travelling around Europe means I get the chance to appreciate the history and construction of all the buildings. I’m influenced by my wife as she’s an architect, and we’ve been together for a very long time. The first month we moved to the UK, we’d go for strolls in central London and she’d say to me, “I just want to hug all the buildings – they’re so beautiful!” And I now have those exact same feelings.

On his most memorable motorcycle ride

I bought my first motorcycle when I was 18 years old, and a few years ago, I went on an epic trip in Eastern Europe with friends. We flew to Budapest and rode to Hungary, Romania, a little bit of Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, Croatia and Slovenia. Albania was probably my favourite. The nature is so raw and the roads were so empty – it was almost like we’d rented them out. There’s a totally different connection that you get with your surroundings when you ride your motorcycle – you’re really aware of everything around you. I like to hear the sound of the wind going through the helmet. It almost works as a meditation; it’s just you, your thoughts, and your motorbike on the road. I think being able to access that type of concentration helps with work, as you have to be able to focus while being super-aware of everything else that’s going on.

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