It’s been a while since I last posted something here. Not as much time as in other ocassions but still for me it feels like ages, mostly ‘cause I’ve been through some big changes. Those changes have been both at a personal and professional level. Let’s focus on the work stuff for now ‘cause the other one is a can of worms I truly rather not open up to the internet. That last one is something I’ve been practicing lately (oversharing much?)
Ever since I can remember, I’ve taken pride in being a polymath-wannabe, a generalist, someone that could juggle different aspects of a whole, and that really paid off. While I always worked mostly as a developer of sorts, being able to do almost anything gave me an advantage. I was an asset to my employers. Being a generalist gave me the opportunity to learn a little about a lot. I’ve worked solo as a freelancer, I’ve worked with marketing teams, development teams, business teams, and from every experience I took in as much as I was able to do so without exploding.
I always worked as a product manager at some level without even realizing, and subconsciously I knew that managing was something I was relatively good at, but never dived too deep because my focus was somewhere else. Somewhere I felt needed my attention at the time. Somewhere I, unequivocally, thought would be more helpful for the future than my task/people-handling skills. I did design work and, although it definitely is my weakest suit, that boosted my understanding of both UX principles and UI best practices. I also did development work (a bit on the back-end, mostly on the front-end) and that taught me how to approach solutions in a logical and organized manner. After being disappointed and disenchanted with the traditional educational system, I did some self-teaching and realized I could learn virtually anything I wanted as long as I had access to the internet.
The “you-are-nothing scaries” is what I called the feeling I got whenever I thought of focusing mostly on management rather than development. It is likely something exacerbated because of the public discourse that says “everyone should know how to code” (when in reality it needs to be something a bit more along the lines of “everyone should learn how to think logically”) and also the “managers are useless middlepeople” misconception.
I retired all of my design work, and honestly it relieved me because when I looked at what I did in the past, I cringed a lot. I shouldn’t though. Past work paid for my bills, allowed me to purchase stuff I thought it wouldn’t ever be possible, taught me to push my limits, and helped me grow at my job. I also retired part of my creative coding demos. I made up my mind, I wanted to focus mostly on management, grow on how to effectively work with my teams, how to provide support for them. And here we are today.
The journey so far has been great, I was lucky enough to participate in projects for brands such as Pepsi, the US Open or Cardano, among others. It has also proven tricky. I’ve struggled, and sometimes I still do if I’m honest, with stripping of my predominant web development profile. I still need to concentrate mostly on helping my team from a management perspective with just a pinch of former dev-thinking rather than full-on suggesting them approaches from a technical standpoint, and I know at these times I fail my teammates at some level. It’s a long road, I guess.
I’m hoping this publication is the entry way for me to walk you through all the amazing stuff we’ve been building at Way Too Digital these past couple of years (shout out to Agus for trusting me with obligations he thought I was responsible, sensible and smart enough to tackle. Without his trust I probably wouldn’t be where I am today professionally).
I’m honestly really eager to tell you some of the many stories I’ve been collecting: web3 boom, product development hurdles, amazing teammates, you name it and we can talk about it.