From Intern to full-time software consultant

March 14, 2017 | by Raúl Galván

In Join the team, Case Study, developers

“Everything in life has a price, opportunities exist, there are many variables out there waiting for you to choose one of them.  At the end of  the day, you are the one who defines the limits”

Being a software consultant at Definity First, my personal journey

Half a year ago I ended my career in Systems Engineering at Tecnológico de Durango. Yes, I’m not from this huge and amazing city named Monterrey where I now work and live. Back in Durango, opportunities are a bit different; I looked at my university peers working as office assistants, technicians, electricians…but I was not interested on any of these jobs, I wanted to be a developer or something related to software.

Even when I looked for it, I was not able to find that place where I can grow as a developer. I wanted something that really challenged me and made me grow as a professional software consultant, that’s the reason I decided to leave Durango determined to find that ideal job I wanted.

I remember the day I arrived at Monterrey, I first went to the place where I was going to stay at, a place full of students where I did not know anybody. And I said to myself, what’s next?  A lot of things went through my mind: where should I eat? Is it safe here? What about groceries? How should I spend and manage the money I have left? How much does public transport cost? Which route should I take to get to work? What if I get lost? How should I dress on my first day? But, all these doubts went away as the days passed by.

On my first day at Definity First I decided to wear my favorite shirt, well-groomed, insanely clean and formal shoes, and an appropriate suitcase. I had the typical (and boring) business look decided to give a great first impression. I got to the office and I was really nervous. I first met the Human Capital team, and all nerves went away when I saw and felt their joy and easy-going attitude.

Raul, software consultant, having fun at our End of the Year Party

There’s something I’ll never forget, when I met the person who was going to be my manager, I started to talk in a very formal and sophisticated way. “Good morning Sir, my name is Raúl Galvan. I’m very pleased to meet you…”, he answers something like “Hey, how are you?! First thing, don’t call me Sir, you can call me Freddy.  Welcome to Definity First my doors are always open please if you have any questions I’m here to help. You will learn so much here, I promise”.  I immediately thought that my manager was not like any other managers and that I was really lucky, you know what? I was right.

I was assigned to a team, I got the chance to do a small tour around the company getting to say hi to everybody. First thing I noticed was that they all seemed very relaxed and they absolutely did not wear insanely clean formal shoes or the perfect shirt. I realized that it did not matter if they were developers, designers, manager, salespeople or software consultant, they simply work as they feel comfortable. Then I immediately regretted buying so many shirts and formal pants.

I saw a vending marchine in the dining room, but I also saw that people only selected the product they wanted to eat without paying for it. ¿I mean, really? Is that even possible? Well yes, we have free snacks at Definity First. I was not even starting my activities as an Intern and it was already nostalgic thinking I was only going to be at Definity First for just few months.

My first activity in the project I was working on was to integrate some HTML changes into a programming language I did not know nothing about, xslt. It was hard for me to completely understand xslt. Suddenly, 8 hours passed by and I was still learning about this new technology for me. I tried as many times as I could to get the work done, try after try I finally managed to do the work. Then, my mentor said I had to upload that to GitHub… Git what??!! I felt under pressure at first, but now I know this learning process is constant at Definity First, there’s always a new challenge and even the most experienced software consultant faces these situations.

Rauls shares his experience on becoming a software consultantAt the end of the day, what matters the most is your ability, patience and persistence. I continued my journey in this new city and new job, meeting new people and places, getting lost in the way home, sometimes taking the wrong bus, it is part of the adventure. I was getting used to Definity First, a place that was starting to feel as my second home. A comfortable chair, working with the latest technology, getting to know averything about a software cunsultant life and a cold beer, why not? 

Everyone here helped me through this process and thanks to them I learned a lot.  It was a week before getting back to Durango, and I had conflicted emotions. I wanted to go back and see my family and friends, but at the same time I did not want to leave this awesome workplace. That week I was asked to be at the Human Capital office, first thing that crossed my mind was "oh no, what did I do?". I was told by the HC team that they wanted to stay at Definity First, and they offered me a position as a Software Consultant, I did not hesitate to accept.

Do you know that Foo Fighters song It’s Someone Giving The Best of You? Well, that’s the song I think about when I remember all this journey. Monterrey and Definity First gave me the strength and abilities and helped me build a better version of myself. I called my parents to let them know I was staying here, and it was not an easy task. But here I am, and now with this opportunity of guiding and helping some Interns that started just like me.

The lesson behind this is that there are a lot of opportunities, career paths, chances, and great jobs everywhere. But, not everyone is determined to give the extra mile to fulfill their dreams. Not everyone finds that awesome place where their dreams can perfectly fit. I found that place, a Great Place to Wok®: Definity First.