How I chose my career at VTEX or, better said, how VTEX chose me!
Paulo Soares, Software Engineer, tells us how he joined VTEX and talks about his short but exciting career at the company!
Who has never heard about someone who chose a college major and then didn’t know what to do with it?
That was my case. While studying at university, I never worked in only one area. Instead, I tried many of them. As a Computer Science student at Universidade Federal de Campina Grande (UFCG), I tried as many projects as possible to figure out which one I liked the most, so I worked with low-level programming languages, data, and, finally, web.
As I was getting to the end of my studies, I began to look for alternatives. The anxiety, fear of making the wrong decisions, and my worries about the future did nothing but stress me out. Should I get a master’s degree? Should I keep on working with data? Should I try other fields?
I had several friends working at VTEX, and they always mentioned what a positive and challenging experience it was. So, I plucked up enough courage to apply for two positions at the same time: as a Software Engineer at VTEX in Rio de Janeiro and for an open position at VTEX Lab in UFCG.
Shortly after, I was called for an interview with Bruno Dias, head of VTEX Lab at that time, and with Professor Matheus Gaudêncio. Everything happened so fast!
VTEX chose me! I left the interview with a scholarship offer to work at VTEX Lab. That was when the challenges and rewards began.
Trust to be trusted – trust each other to deliver good work.
The working pace at VTEX dazzled me and keeps amazing me even today.
At VTEX Lab, students have the autonomy to develop their tasks at their own pace. Trust to be trusted is one of the core values in our culture. Basically, it means that I trust your work, and I know you are committed to delivering your work and will do your best; you also trust I’ll do my best and do my part.
By doing my part and trusting everyone would do theirs, I started to work on StoreFramework and actively contributed to developing the product when I was barely on my second week at the job.
I took on new responsibilities, such as fixing bugs that went to production for some selected clients as StoreFramework was not working for every VTEX client at the time.
One month later, I was invited to work with the Payments Team. The invitation brought a new challenge along; this time, it was related to the back-end. During that time, I had the opportunity to work with Node, GraphQL, and Typescript.
The challenge of communication
By then, I had polished my skills as a developer and was able to deliver all my tasks. However, VTEX Payment exposed a hidden barrier that was interfering with the quality of my performance: my communication skills.
I was unable to abstract implementation details when talking to people outside the technical team. When I acknowledged the need to improve, I received help from the team to evolve.
During that period, I got all the necessary feedback and support. That was crucial! I started being more present; I started being myself and showing who I am. As a result, I was able to communicate in a more efficient way.
Another take-away from this project that is fully related to communication has to do with aligning expectations, especially in relation to deadlines.
Whenever a delivery is delayed, the developer usually has many different feelings, such as frustration for not being able to deliver, shame, and wanting to hide the reason for the delay, just to mention the main ones.
In that project, I learned that transparency is always the best path.
After that challenge, in October 2019, I was invited to join the Payments Team at VTEX, where I began to face even more complex challenges.
I’m currently a front-end engineer in the Payments Team, where I develop solutions that facilitate the enablement of payment methods within the VTEX ecosystem. I’m also part of the Diversity Committee, but I’ll leave that story for another post.
Challenges are present all the time, but I believe that the knowledge I acquired during my time at the Lab has given me the right tools to face new ones.