Esteban Solorzano: Senior Software Engineer
This month Renovatio shines the spotlight on Esteban Solorzano, a senior software engineer who works out of Renovatio's Costa Rican office. Esteban is another key player who enables Renovatio to stand out among its competitors with his passion for technology solutions and unparalleled talent.
Meet Esteban Solorzano:
"There are few things more pleasurable than cooking a perfect steak or watching your code work."
Can you describe a typical work day?
"I wake up at 7:15 am. The alarm goes off at 7 but the snooze button is my guilty pleasure. I cannot function without a shower, so that is the first thing on my list. After a light breakfast I start up my computer. Hearing the CPU fans is my calling to work. I get into “coding mode”. I know what needs to be done; the list comes up in the shower. I do my thing until 11:30am, while listening to whatever music strikes my mood. At that time I start cooking lunch. I cook every day. It is cheaper and healthier. My “cooking mode” is my favorite, so cathartic… I eat watching the news, always. That is a very important ritual in my day. After lunch, the usual battle to start “coding mode” starts. I catch up with any objective that is unfinished with the motivation of knowing that as soon as I finish, I can go work out. There is nothing like ending a work day at the gym. So, at 4 pm, it is off to the gym!"
How did you get involved in software engineering?
"I grew up in the 90s with an old 486 CPU, with no windows, only DOS. I remember that I started messing up the computer trying out commands at a very early age. To me it was fascinating that with simple commands, the computer did things. Problems arose when I started messing with the “format” command. I grew up and a friend’s older brother gave me a program to code with Delphi. I made a horoscope thing where you wrote your birthday and it gave you some made up destiny. It was very funny. After that, I learned about Java and it was a match made in heaven."
What are some important traits that software engineers should have?
"First off I have to say “thinking outside the box”. Lateral thinking is very important. Some issues cannot be resolved by a straight-line thought process. You have to be creative and come up with not obvious solutions. This goes hand in hand with another trait that is mathematical thinking. You need to be rational and organized, even when coming up with creative and wacky solutions. Last but not least, patience. This is a field that can get frustrating easily. But with patience and the aforementioned traits, you will defeat the frustration to receive a big reward."How would you describe the Renovatio team?
"It feels like you are working with a close group of friends. Even though we are working in different countries, it feels close. We share the same passions, we like similar things and we are all geeks! Everybody is always willing to help. The leadership team is always on top of your needs and keeping us in the loop of things. If we were working in the same place, the group could grow to be like a second family. It just feels right, you know? It is a place that brings out the best in you, and you are willing to give it happily."
What things have you learned so far at Renovatio that you would tell a new team member?
"The most important thing I would say to a new member is that the communication channels are open. It is not just a saying, it is actually true. The team will listen and take your opinion into consideration. I learned that you can ask about anything and the answer will come, fast. Renovatio actually cares about how you are feeling. The second thing is that Vincent is almost a bottom-less pit of coding knowledge. Holy cow this guy knows a LOT. He does not only know about coding actually. If you like good conversations, go to him. He will amaze you. Last but not least, I will say: don’t burn out. Raul (Renovatio CEO) gave me this advice very early on and it was great advice. Don’t feel like you have to burn out. Work hard, but not against your personal well-being. The team has good expectations that we can meet, so don’t over do it."
If you could tell someone one thing they didn't know about your job, what would it be?
"That coding is not sitting in front of a computer typing endless amount of lines. Sometimes coding means taking a walk and then coming back to write one single line of code that solves everything."
Hobbies and interesting facts about Esteban:
"I am very serious about cooking. I love to cook different styles and experiment with new ingredients. I am starting with molecular gastronomy which is a very cool side of cooking. It is about using chemicals to change textures and deconstruct classic dishes. Another passion of mine is music. I have worked a lot as a sound engineer, not only in studio but also with live music. I have recorded a lot of music styles like traditional music, metal, rap, reggae, classical and rock. I have composed music for theater and publicity spots. It is really rewarding working with music and at the same time, helping the industry here in Costa Rica."