featured image cover story felipe peña

Here at Globant, our Globers represent and live our culture. Cover Stories are a space to feature recognized Globers. In this edition, meet Felipe Peña, Volunteer and .Net Developer in Globant Colombia. Read on for his Globant experience!

How has your career developed here at Globant?

I arrived at Globant after working for several years in the banking sector, the change was like from earth to heaven. I do not only mean the regulations, that is, the clothes, the dynamics, meetings, and others, but the mentality and culture. In a short time, I became part of the team of a great airline project.

To summarize the experience, it was an opportunity to work with the best team of professionals and people in my career. The project even won international recognition from the CIO100 magazine. This kind of thing makes one realize the place that excellence occupies in what we deliver every day. 

The last year at Globant, was extremely valuable for me. We all have to look for an opportunity to be part of another Glober. We get to pick what initiatives we want to pursue, e.g., to be part of the OpportunIT program volunteer along with SENA Tolima trainees, or part of Hackatrix staff, or part of the team who welcomes the universities that visit our offices every so often. 

The willingness, joy, and excellence of all the Globers I met were surprising. They made me want to continue to grow and take root in this company. We will see what challenges and opportunities are yet to come.

What do you consider your next professional challenge?

I like working with people, it makes me happy to sow in others by means of serving them in whatever is within my reach and end up growing with them. Whatever my next challenge at Globant maybe, I would like to continue interacting with many people, trying to shed light on challenges, limitations and/or opportunities. In general pushing growth, both in the project I work on, in the account, at the site and the TDC.

Surely, I will continue to serve in different communities within Globant, mainly the .NET which is my home. Recently, we managed to move forward in the community with entertaining talks like those of the Friend Zone (in the style of a Talk Show), and we are already preparing another series of War Stories talks (“come with me to watch this sad story” theme). Stay tuned!

Do you participate in any Open Source or Tech community?

In 2012, I had a blog where I interviewed Tech entrepreneurs, mostly Colombians. In this blog, I tried to decipher his mentality and culture, so that I would share with others who wanted to follow that path insightful advice. However, I think the person who benefited the most out of almost 40 guests present was me. 

I was not the same after that experience, because I attended or served in several tech and entrepreneurs communities they had in Bogotá and Medellín. Maybe that’s why I see so much potential inside Globant by weaving stronger and stronger communities, not only from .NET but also from Python, CobraKai Tableau, Java, Cloud, RPA, IA, TAE, Mobile, UX and a Millions of other things.

What do you like most about working with people from other countries?

Each culture is a world to discover, and I enjoy every opportunity to explore the thoughts of people from other nationalities and organizations. As Geert Hofstede calls it, It’s about knowing his “Software of the Mind.”

Those who know me, know that I constantly reflect on the justice, truth, and beauty each culture brings. That is the challenge because every culture has its dose of suffering, lies, and ugliness. It is not pleasant to say it and probably read it either, but it is a reality that we experience when working in multicultural teams with other Colombians, Latin Americans (each with its different flavor), or when working with North Americans, Indians, Japanese, Russians, and so on.

In summary, and to paraphrase C. S. Lewis; each culture has blind spots due to its points of view, so each one is equipped to clearly see certain truths, but also exposed to a certain type of mistakes. Therefore, working with people from other countries makes every effort to understand how I am, how others are and how we are together.

If you had to define yourself with a Globant value, which one would you pick?

It’s funny but several Globers have identified me with Inclusion and Diversity. The best thing is for the volunteer and social responsibility initiative that we are carrying out with the SENA apprentices.

This community is very vulnerable because of its socioeconomic status. It really changes their lives to make a career in IT because of the workforce deficit and the opportunities that this implies.

Felipe Peña with SENA students in Open House.

What do you love most about your work?

The days that are most passionate are those that have more diverse tasks. For example, you can start the day by writing code in C# language for any user history assigned. You may also have to interview a candidate to enter Globant or the account where I work; and at the end upload daily with my POD, then review some code along with another developer to ensure that the new functionality does not break the existence. 

That same day, I may have to get together with the people of a Tech community at Globant since we may have an event the following week and I must see that this does not interfere with the visit of a client; In the afternoon maybe there is a call with the whole team inside and outside Colombia to review next week’s project; when leaving, perhaps the unit tests of the morning code, etc. At the end of the afternoon, I can go play some FIFA games before returning home. Those days exist and they are great!

What do you like most about working in PODS?

The typical organizational chart of an organization has the rigid inspiration of a machine; It is not alive, it is not an organism. PODS, on the other hand, are inspired by the cells of an organism and I think it is a key part of Globant’s success. His name, identity, principles, values, metrics and in general everything that implies his “maturity” and the mitosis through which new PODS are created is what I like most.

What do you recommend someone who would like to join your team?

Share with people from other teams, other technologies and Studios within Globant. Leaving the comfort of a team gives a better perspective of who we are and that helps to bring back value to what we do in the team and therefore make higher quality deliveries to our customers. It is like a kind of “give to receive”.

How do you motivate your team?

I hope they never get tired of my personal stories, about projects, other Globers, life, the books I read, my essays. They are very patient with me, really.

Why did you decide to dedicate your time to organizing projects with people from universities and other institutions? What motivated you to do it?

I believe that the social initiatives that positively transform the world have always been born from the life story of those who drive them. For example, one who has had a difficult childhood will probably go for orphans, children or vulnerable youth; a woman who went through great difficulties could create a project that supports battered women, widows, elderly women, single mothers, etc. You and I have a story from which to impact the world.

In the same way, who has had extraordinary opportunities to grow professionally, despite starting from scratch, as was my case, without money to study a career, in a small city and with many obstacles to overcome, will probably want to bring a voice of encouragement or advice to young people who are in a situation very similar to mine fifteen years ago.

It is about believing that if someone sows a good seed in us and if it falls in good soil, it will happen as with the mustard seed. Although, it is the smallest of all seeds when it grows it becomes a tree, and even the birds nest in its branches.

How important is it for you to help others, both in technology and in other contexts?

I may be an idealist, for me it is about making a better country by our influence. This volunteer work is to form a better Colombia.

My desire is that the 500 students of SENA, who know us and dream of a career in IT, and others from several universities that are arriving from Globant, grow up to one day those trees that shade others.

If today you had to start back with technology, what language would you choose? Where would you start?

We tell SENA trainees that “every Glober has their own style”. That they are open to learning several languages ​​and trying to become good at some of them to access their first job as developers. 

I mean those who like to code, because there are also apprentices who are trying to focus on being BA, QC or maybe some UX is there, you never know. The truth is that this first job is what usually determines the language with which one builds a career in IT.

Therefore, if I started back like any of these boys, I would heed the recent call I had from Big Data. With the SENA initiative, I was able to wander around this study a bit and it has been like a rediscover of things that I love and that I also have some talent for it, such as data visualization, then can process large amounts of information. 

I love all this. On the project I am currently working, I had the opportunity to explore it through ElasticSearch + Kibana with some control panels. So, if starting with zeros was possible, I would probably choose Python.

My desire is that the 500 students of SENA, who know us and dream of a career in IT, and others from several universities that are arriving from Globant, grow up to one day those trees that shade others.

If we mention the following questions, what is the first thing that comes to mind?

Chill Out: FIFA, friends and fresh fruit!

Technology: A means, never an end in itself.

Passion: Christ.

Has Globant been as you imagined?

It has been better than I imagined. It is a privilege to work, have fun and grow in this company. While there are a lot of us now, I would like many more to have the same opportunity I’ve had here. As the Country Manager, Andrés Giolito said, “hopefully one day we will fill a whole stadium.”

Why Globant and not another place?

For years I believe that one must have a purpose when arriving, staying and departing. Behind the purpose comes all the growth and the good that happens. As long as there is a purpose and a path to follow at  Globant I will continue to be here. Of course, I will be attentive if some higher purpose leads me to take new directions. For now, simply: let’s keep rocking!

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