What was your first-ever job?
My first role was as a System Administrator at university, managing a server and several workstations from Sun Microsystems. I began this role around the same time that I was finishing up my studies there.
Could you tell us a bit about your work history?
I tend to divide my professional career into three stages. The first, when you first enter the job market and spend more time learning than being productive, started at the university itself at the end of my studies. I spent several years working in system administration, web development and training (one of my great passions).
In 1998 I started what I call the entrepreneurial stage when I founded and participated in several business projects that helped me to grow and mature. During this stage of my career, one of the highlights was my most successful project, the startup Activa Sistemas, whose mission was to spread the professional use of Linux and Free Software in SMEs.
Then, in 2015 I decided to finish this stage and move with my family from Seville to Madrid, where I started working for several consultancies and banks in large projects that allowed me to accelerate my career in the DevOps world. During this stage of my career, one of the highlights was my time at ING Direct and its Twyp project, a secure P2P payment solution. I was responsible for migrating the project from The Netherlands to Spain, from a DevOps point of view, which meant my first experience with Kubernetes (a tool I have grown to love) and total immersion in agile methodologies applied in a realistic and productive way to project management. During this stage I also achieved a master’s degree in secondary education, a long-standing desire happily fulfilled.
How did the roles that came before where you are today contribute to your career progression?
More than knowledge and experience in certain tools and technologies, what I appreciate most from my past experiences is the growth in non-technical skills, such as the continuous search for improvement and excellence, the continuous delivery of value, the use and application of best practices, team building and crisis management. I believe that these are the values and skills that the best companies hold in the highest regard and that have allowed me to mature.
What advice would you give to somebody looking to start their career in your field of work, or looking to transition to your field of work?
Learning and practising a lot is essential, as in every work field. Specifically for the DevOps field, I would recommend being proficient in at least one “popular” programming language, knowing the building blocks of one public cloud provider, being able to use containers and getting used to the software development lifecycle. Also, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of best practices, governance and agile methodologies. Getting involved in a community would definitely be very helpful. My final advice would be to set up your own home lab and spin up several personal projects to improve your skills.
Do you have any learning resource recommendations for your field of work?
There are nice learning platforms out there, like Coursera, Udemy or A Cloud Guru, which offer great DevOps courses. There are also interesting upskilling platforms, like HackerRank, Exercism or Codecademy, that offer interactive playgrounds for their users to improve their IT abilities. Finally, I’d like to recommend a couple of fundamental DevOps-related books: “The Phoenix Project” and “Devops Y El Camino de Baldosas Amarillas” (in Spanish).
Finally, what led you to apply to NearForm?
I was looking for a company where values and respect were key components in the organisation’s culture. Also, I wanted a real, fully remote position, with no small print, which allowed me to balance my personal life and professional career. Then I met a recruiter that told me about NearForm. The rest is history…