After more than 7 years I say goodbye to CARTO. 20 days ago I pushed the last commit that revoked my privileges in the platform.
The reason is simple and complex at the same time. I was tired.
I always try to get as much involved as I can so I have the maximum impact possible in every situation or role. This has been my philosophy at CARTO since the beginning, which is rewarding but, at the same time, exhausting and stressful.
After all the experiences I’ve lived at CARTO I feel like my job is done and I’ve given the best of myself. Time to rest and move on.
Considering I joined a company of 9 people and that I’ve been part of very different stages of the company in various roles, it’s evident that I’ve learned plenty of things. From data processing techniques to doing meaningful hiring and coaching, including company operations, politics, diversity importance, and many other tech and non-tech skills.
BTW, talking about hiring, some thoughts I tweeted the other day (sorry it’s in Spanish):
Cuando escucho lo de que "no hay talento" lo que pienso es que no hay talento para hacer recruiting, no de candidatos. Estamos acostumbrados a hacer recruiting "de buzoneo" o simplemente a tirar de red de contactos. Y cuando eso no surte efecto decimos que no hay talento.— Luis (@luisico) February 18, 2019
And also some things that, although they may seem obvious, I would like to highlight.
- There’s not such a thing as doers vs thinkers. If you are not both, get the fuck out of here. Circling around a problem without rolling up the sleeves and solve it does not help. At the same time, we don’t pause enough to think. Trying to solve a problem without analyzing why or what we try to answer is a recipe for failure. So, focus on solving things, but think first why it needs solving.
- Don’t be afraid of changes. Even less if you work in a startup. In a startup either you adapt or die. Not only you should not be afraid of changes. You should embrace them. Obviously, again, I’m talking about changes that make sense. Don’t get mad either.
- The moment you stop working as a team, you are horribly fucked. I don’t think this needs further explanation, but let me say that silos exist and we usually get used very quickly to them. They may do more harm than good so handle them carefully.
- Cut the bullshit. A very transparent environment without zero-bullshit is refreshing. And more agile (see what I just did?).
I’m grateful to many people for their help and for everything I’ve learned from them. People are a crucial part of this deal. This is something I wrote in my internal goodbye email:
I’ve helped and supported people that needed me, and I’ve had immense support too in the bad moments. Thank you. But most importantly, I’ve shared experiences and worked side by side with people I truly admire and respect. And I’m happy to say that I’ve made friendships that will last forever.
It’s not about the destination, but about the trip and who you share it with. The right mates will make you enjoy your job. The wrong ones will make you hate it.
The million dollar question. I don’t know.
Throughout time, the amount of importance I give to things has changed. For example, I don’t give much stress to the technical detail. With competent professionals, your problem rarely is the technical detail. Your biggest challenges will mostly be design, strategy and, architecture.
Something we have praised in CARTO since the beginning is: don’t get obsessed with the technology, focus on the challenge. With this in mind, it always shocks me when, for example, a job candidate insists much on the importance of using certain technologies before asking about the context (Docker, React, MongoDB xD, …). To be honest, if you put technology before the problem, you have misunderstood the whole thing.
With all this apparently unrelated rambling what I want to say is that I’ve got to enjoy more and more the challenge; the “why” and “what” before the “how”. I’ve paid particular interest to analysis, design (in a broad sense), procedures, etc.. The bigger and more interesting the problem, the better. No matter if it’s a technical or a human one. I know it’s a too abstract goal but because it’s abstract, it’s also exciting. Lots of possibilities.
In any case, for the moment what I need is to have some rest and to do things that I’ve not been able to do during the last years. And I want to observe closely what is happening out there. Meet friends and also new people and know about their ideas and their projects. And, let’s see what comes next, in days, weeks, months, or the time it takes.