The String and Key Crew: Vanessa Gomez
As part of our ongoing employee spotlight series, we’ll be profiling colleagues who inspire us. Today, meet Vanessa Gomez.
Company Role: Senior Software Engineer
Most likely to: Dance randomly throughout the day
Secret talent: Super organizer
Our senior Software Engineer Vanessa, plays a very important role in our innovative R&D studio. This Caracas, Venezuela native graduated high school in her hometown at only 16 years old. She then embarked on a career in business and administration but, after her move to the U.S., decided to switch her job focus. She got a degree in graphic and interactive design while working as a production coordinator for a 2D and 3D film conversion studio. After that, she made her way to Colorado, where she went through a rigorous seven-month software engineering boot camp and settled in Denver, where she still lives today. After connecting with a friend and now String and Key colleague who spoke highly of the company culture, she happily joined the team in September 2021.
Let’s get to know a little more about Vanessa.
What do you do, and what does your typical workday look like?
I’ve been a back-end software developer for almost seven years but I don’t jump right into coding in the morning. My day usually starts with checking emails, answering Slack messages, and then checking the Trello board. Once all that’s done, I start my fun day writing code to solve problems.
What’s your favorite part about working at String and Key?
The no-drama, supportive, and inclusive culture. I love my team and I think everyone is so smart and collaborative. We strive to write high-quality and maintainable code and we help each other grow.
What excites you about your job?
For starters, I love to solve complex problems that will provide solutions to a user’s needs. It feels less like a job and more like a game where I get to play around all day to come up with creative solutions to solve a puzzle where I can constantly learn something new.
What do you find most challenging about your role?
A work-life balance can be challenging because programming can be addictive. Hours can go by quickly when you are having fun deep-diving into code. Also, learning about domain knowledge and business logic can be hard to understand when dealing with complex systems. A fun aspect of the job for most developers, including me, is coming up with meaningful functions and variable names.
What are the values that drive you?
Seeing what colleagues bring to the table and being able to see positive qualities in everyone. In a team environment, it’s important to be respectful, learn and share knowledge, and make each other grow.
How do you stay on top of your game?
I would say the keys are to be flexible and always strive to learn new things in the tech industry. In an evolving environment, there are constantly new versions and patterns of tech. It’s super important to have a flexible mindset that’s willing to grow.
What drew you to tech and what excites you about the industry?
Tech gives me the opportunity to constantly use my analytical and creative skills. It caters to my need to learn something new, to think outside the box, and to come up with creative solutions. I love this industry because it is always evolving and it doesn’t get boring.
What’s one thing — either industry-related or not — that you’ve learned in the last month?
I’m constantly reading about many different things: politics, software development, economics, world news, parenting tips, and Buddhism. Most recently, I got really excited learning how to cook in my air fryer, which I thought was amazing. I made some breaded chicken and the third time was the charm. My next next endeavor is to make a cake.
If you could swap places with anyone at String and Key, who would it be and why?
Our founder, Alex Matjanec. Maybe not so much swap places with him, but learn from him on how to start and develop a company and what the ins and outs of being an entrepreneur are. I think you can learn faster from someone who has the experience.
What unexpected subject could you give a one-hour presentation on with no advance prep?
I could talk about Tibetan Buddhist meditation, which I have been practicing since I was 17 years old. It’s such a big part of my life that it’s interwoven in everything I do and how I see and experience the world.
What keeps you busy outside of work?
Mostly my nine-year-old daughter and my dog, Yoshi. Lately, I have been decorating and doing small projects at home which was the catalyst to buy my first drill. Yay! By the way, I was happy to discover that Home Depot doesn’t sell pink drills. When the weather is warm, I go hiking a lot, I travel, and then immediately after, I start planning the next trip. Most of my weekends are spent going out with friends and trying new places to eat.
Can you list five hashtags that describe your personality?
#Organized, #Patient, #Perfectionist, #LatinDancing, #Xennial
Go grocery shopping in person or online?
100% in person.
Read a book or listen to a podcast?
Read a book.
Vacation at a beach or another city?
Always at a beach.
Hip hop or R&B?
Cook dinner or do the dishes?
Interested in working at String and Key? Join us!