A Day in the Life: Joaquin, Rulesware Engineer

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Our Day In The Life Series spotlights a typical day for various Rulesware team members

Born and raised in Guadalajara, Joaquin has been working as an engineer at Rulesware’s Mexico office for yearly two years. Today he leads a small project team at the company.

Joaquin found his position with Rulesware the old-fashioned way: by typing “Developer Job, Guadalajara” into Google. Rulesware’s careers page was the second hit, and the rest is history!

When he isn’t working, he’s a star in the kitchen who loves to cook up a storm (he thanks his dad for teaching him to cook at a young age), he devours books (sci-fi and fantasy especially), and he’s an avid board game player with shelves filled to the hilt with games to prove it.

We caught up with Joaquin to talk about his life, his work, and what a typical day looks like in his world.

RW: Joaquin, you’re an engineer at Rulesware. For those who don’t know, can you briefly describe the role of an engineer?

JE: An engineer’s job is to deliver functional code to a client. But the position goes beyond just coding, it also involves working with people. There’s a lot of mediating between parties—you’re connecting ideas between your teammates, your client, and the delivery manager. You’re there to find solutions and you do a lot of consulting with clients to understand what they really need.

RW: So you work with code and people. There is a stereotype that people who love to code aren’t necessarily social animals. Do you agree?

JE: It’s a really interesting thing. I’d say that yes, engineers do tend to be more logical and as a side effect might have fewer social skills, but many of us work to develop those skills. Being a people person is so important for front-facing work.

RW: Okay, Joaquin—your morning alarm just went off. Walk us through a day in your life.

JE: Well, I live in an apartment with my girlfriend and our new puppy, a Shiba Inu called Koja. The very first thing I do each morning is wake up, take Koja for a walk and then feed him. Then I go straight for a cup of coffee. I can’t function without it.

After that, because of time zones, the morning is my quiet time to sit down and code for two or three hours.

Then, the whole team gets together for our daily stand up meeting. We share updates, and I try to find out where roadblocks are and how I can help. Through the day, I’m constantly in contact with my team, sending messages through Google Chat.

The afternoon is meetings. My meetings run from 2pm to 6pm or so, so they take me to the end of my day. We have a lot of teams working within the client’s company right now and there are a lot of interlocking parts, so we need to keep each other up to date. The agile methodology we use also involves spending a lot of time with our clients, presenting solutions and understanding needs. We all work together on refining stories and understanding what the client wants.

On this particular project I’m on, we’re also doing partner enablement. So basically, we’re helping the team on the client side to develop on Pega themselves. This is their first project, so we work as mentors and guides for them, helping them understand how Pega works.

RW: That’s very cool. Are you deeply experienced with Pega?

JE: I had actually never heard of Pega before Rulesware. I went into training as soon as I started on the job, two years and two months ago, and spent a couple of months honing my skills on internal projects. I was able to get various certifications, and was given a lot of prep time that was really useful. When I joined my first client-side project, I couldn’t wait to turn all my theoretical knowledge into practical knowledge. Pega really makes developing easier. It has a lot of depth and technical background.

RW: At the time we’re doing this interview, COVID-19 has had a big impact on the world and on how people are working. How has it affected you in your day-to-day life?

JE: Well, I’m an introvert so in a lot of ways my life has remained the same. My girlfriend and I love to jump onto a video call to speak with my family (I have one sister in Canada and one in Spain), and to play board games with our friends. Work-wise, I used to be in the same room with the people on my team, but now we do Google Chat and video calls.

RW: For folks who don’t know what the culture is like at Rulesware, can you describe it?

JE: Well, the culture of Rulesware is what I love. The people are amazing, and I find it incredible that you can approach anyone in the company for a chat, and it’s always well received. Everyone is open to help each other. At the Mexico office, I was there in the beginning when we started out really small—like we were six guys in a six foot by six foot office and we all got really close. Now we’re in a much bigger space and new waves of team members are starting to come to the Mexico office, but the original culture permeates—everyone is friends, we go out after work, we play video games in the afternoon, during breaks people are chatting—it’s a really good atmosphere.

RW: For people considering coming to work for Rulesware, what kind of person would you say thrives here?

JE: A characteristic that makes you shine here is to be driven. Someone who is self-motivated, loves learning and who always tries to get better; someone who gets feedback from others and wants to challenge themselves. If what you want is just to sit down, do work, go home and always do the same thing every single day, I don’t think RW is going to be the right fit. It’s never monotonous here; every day a new challenge and the act of finding the solution is always an iterative process.

RW: What does the future hold for you, Joaquin? Any particular career goals on your horizon?

JE: I am really happy and content with where I am in life right now. But I have been working toward getting my LSA, I want to eventually grow into that position—it appeals to me to really get into the nitty gritty of the client’s process and turn that into the best solution.

RW: One final question just for fun, Joaquin. When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up? Was it to be an engineer?

JE: [Laughs] Actually I had no heroic ideas of what I wanted to be when I was a kid. I wanted to be a physicist. I’ve always loved reading, and at school I excelled in math, physics, and chemistry. But as I focused more on math, I fell in love with computer science. I love puzzles and I love the challenge of my work today. I know I found the right career for me.

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