In this edition of Meet the Digitalians, I chat with Beatriz Gonzalez from our Costa Rican office: Artist. Athlete. App developer. With hypersomnia…(I mean, her name has 3 z’s…)
KM: Hey B!
KM: How was your weekend? Do anything good?
BG: Ummm, I went to the beach?
KM: Cool, me too. [#Lies #January #Boston] Alright, let’s get down to business…What is your position?
BG: Team Lead
KM: What does that mean?
BG: I help the team coordinate the work for each day, clarify requirements with the Project Director, submit tickets, assign work to team members, and review code. I’m also a web developer.
KM: How do you explain web development to your parents?
BG: I ask ‘Do you know about Facebook or Twitter?’ and then say that those are applications. My job is to create applications that you can use on the web, whether in mobile or desktop environments. Janeiro Digital creates applications according to customer needs.
KM: Annnnd how do they respond?
BG: They just say that it sounds difficult but it’s also cool, cause it’s part of the technology world and that’s a huge thing nowadays. Some of my uncles/aunts ask me to fix their computers…
KM: What do you like most about working for Janeiro?
BG: The environment. The culture. The people here are really nice and always willing to help, even if they’re not on your project. And a small company is nice. You’re not just a number here. You’re a person. Everyone knows your name and appreciates you and hears your opinions. You can get a hug from the CEO and to me that’s very valuable. You also get to learn a lot here because you work on so many different things. So even if you don’t have the expertise to do something, there are other people here who can teach you.
KM: When did you start doing web development?
BG: In college I had to take one course on web development and I really liked it. I didn’t know a lot but I knew I wanted to learn more. Then my friend told me about a company where I ended up working and learning Rails.
KM: What do you like most about it?
BG: I’m doing stuff that I didn’t know I could do. It’s always a challenge, but it’s always satisfying. And you can do a lot of things with it. Also, coding is like art. It’s something you have to create, and it’s different for each person. There’s so many ways to achieve the same thing.
KM: What do you like to do on your free time?
BG: I don’t have much…I’m in school for a Master’s Degree in Systems Information Administration. I love playing tennis. I’m planning to get back into that soon. And yoga. And learning guitar. I also started studying photography last year. And I want to learn tango.
KM: What advice would you give to someone entering into your profession?
BG: It’s important to understand what programming and coding is about. But don’t quit when you don’t understand at first. It gets easier. Also, in this world you can learn a lot by yourself so I would encourage that person to study a lot on their own.
KM: What about for entering a startup in general?
BG: Take advantage of the fact that it’s a small company and that your thoughts are valuable and that you get to learn. Learn everything that it does and see where you can make a change. Bigger companies have processes in place that are harder to change.
KM: What does Pura Vida mean?
BG: Pura Vida can mean anything…You are nice…you are cool…hello…goodbye…thank you…you’re welcome…I am nice…
KM: I get it. I think…
BG: [Polite chuckle.]
So there you have it. Betty. B. Beatz. Pura Vida!
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