Hi! I’m Angel Martinez, Senior Software Engineer at Wizeline, and this is my story.
I’m going to tell you a little secret; throughout my time in high school, I had no idea what I wanted to do or become. I couldn’t even imagine myself becoming something. By a twist of fate, I ended up studying Computer Systems at university, but it wasn’t until halfway through the course that it made sense to me.
By the time I joined Wizeline, I knew I wanted to become a Software Architect, but the journey to this point was not as easy as it sounds. We need to back up a little to understand the path that brought me here. So, my friend, bring some snacks and enjoy this story with many ups and downs!
Getting My First Tech Job
After university, it was so difficult for me to find a job opportunity. I had no previous experience or knowledge about top-notch technologies, and at least in Mexico, that can be a huge barrier. After looking for a while, I joined a small company as a junior engineer for a part-time role. I helped them with scripting, but it was not challenging enough for me. Once I found some patterns, I could automate my tasks, which was awesome, but it was not the kind of job I wanted to do. I was eager to learn and do a lot more, and that was when I decided to quit. I didn’t want to stay in my comfort zone. I was too young to be stuck there.
My second job is kind of a sad story. I was looking for a developer position, but I ended up joining a consulting firm with no coding tasks. I quit after three days of doing nothing; I didn’t want to be in a job that didn’t make me happy, just for the record on my resume. After quitting, I joined another consulting firm where I did many things that I didn’t like, but I needed the job. I expressed what I wanted to do several times, but I had to focus on what was available at the time.
Suddenly, an opportunity came. A company reached out and asked me to complete a task. I was requested to build a payment application for an Android M-POS. I had no idea how to do that. I had never coded mobile apps, but I knew I could figure it out.
Learning as you go is exciting; you don’t even know what is happening until it all comes together. Showing myself glimpses of what I am capable of and losing my fear of a completely unknown world are some of the best sensations I have ever felt.
Becoming a Wizeliner
The job was going well, and I kept successfully completing projects until I became the Tech Lead of my team. I started feeling safe and comfortable at work, but then my phone rang one afternoon.
You guessed right. It was the Wizeline Hiring team at the other end of the line. I was invited to interview with Wizeline and become an Engineer on the team. I started the process with more doubts than confidence, but I made it through! Leaving my job was a difficult decision because I had a Technical Lead role, but I had to start over as a trainee at Wizeline. I’m so glad I decided to start over because it was like getting a second chance at everything, but this time better.
I remember my first day after my onboarding. I was assigned to a project, and my first meeting was a project overview. The first task was to design an architecture that served the business’ needs. The meeting was in English. I learned the language in school like most of us in Mexico, but I had little to no practice. After the meeting was over, I felt a lot of fear and uncertainty, and I thought I was not going to make it and would be fired.
That day was the beginning of my new life. Nowadays, I’m leading a team for one of the biggest Fintechs in Mexico. I not only write code, but I also help the business with its architecture and infrastructure.
It’s been a fantastic journey and an incredible experience so far. I am glad that I’ve successfully identified my passion for Software Architecture. I now know my life’s purpose is to help people and businesses grow to new levels. Over the years, I’ve learned a lot and shared my knowledge with other engineers, helping them start and accelerate their careers. I’m very proud of myself, and I’m grateful for all the people who have helped me get here because my story would be so different without them.
Lessons Learned Along the Way
I’d love for everyone to accomplish their dreams because dreams come true with effort, determination, passion, failure (yes, failure!), and learning. For this reason, I would like to end this post by sharing with you some lessons that I have learned through the years:
- It is valid to feel fear, but fear is not what matters. What matters is what you do with the fear. Fear is a motivator. You can learn to live with it until it becomes a strength.
- Never let anyone tell you what you are capable of or not. Surround yourself with people who help you grow.
- Think of failure as just another step before your success. It is okay to fail. What is not okay is to fail and learn nothing from it because then, you will fail again.
- Remember, you can reach any goal or level you want if you try hard!
- Assess yourself frequently. This will help you identify where you are and what you need to do differently.
- Bonus: Consider going to therapy. Mental health is so important, and I wish I had paid attention to that earlier.
It has not all been a smooth ride. I have failed a lot since that first meeting, but also I have learned a lot. I have now overcome my impostor syndrome. I know who Angel is, what he is capable of, and my strengths and weaknesses. I’m eager to keep learning and growing, developing new passions and goals, and building a better version of myself.
I’m Angel Martinez, Senior Software Engineer at Wizeline, and this is my story.