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Meet Beto Dominguez, building a Colombia that works better

Headshot of Beto with a design that reads "Kin+ Beto Dominguez"

Our name is intentional. “Kin” refers to family and “Carta” refers to maps. When together, we’re Kin + Carta — a group of connected makers, builders and creators, who come together everyday to help our clients build experiences and plot a clear path forward in today’s digital world. Carta is what we do, Kin is who we are.

Kin+ is a series that uncovers the experiences, stories and lives of the people who make our collective “Kin” exceptional.

Discovering what you love and connecting that to action throughout one’s life makes for an amazing journey. It takes intention and motivation, paired with just as much passion. And when we hear of this alignment between discovery and action, no one comes more top-of-mind than Alberto Dominguez, or Beto, as we know him as.

Beto is the Managing Director for Colombia. Based in Bogotá, he’s used knowledge and experience to inspire individuals across the globe to pursue a future in technology. Beto combines his introverted side with an outgoing personality, always ready to motivate those around him. And it’s been an intentional path for him to get here. We’re happy to introduce you to Beto, our Kin who is using every day, and every interaction, to build a better world.

Headshot of Beto with a design that reads "Kin+ Beto Dominguez"

I fell in love with coding when I was just a kid. The beginning for me was when we moved from my grandmother's house to our own, and as I was searching inside a closet I found a bunch of old boxes full of stuff. Within one, I discovered an old computer.

My dad, being an architect, was a big gadget guy so he let me play with the computer. And it was by the age of nine that I was coding basic programs. I’ll be the first to admit that it was a little unusual, because most kids in our neighborhood were playing guitar or riding their bikes for fun. For me, I was doing something else in my free time that I loved — coding. So there was no surprise to anyone that as I grew up I followed the path toward becoming an engineer. This felt like the easiest decision of my life, with coding something that I still love, even to this day.

Headshot of Beto with a design that reads "Kin+ Beto Dominguez"
Beto as a kid and his EPSON HX-20

While professionally working as an engineer, I also became a teaching assistant. I saw this as a way for a shy guy with big glasses, like me, to meet more people. Little did I know that this would become an important part of my life, even 25 years later.

I jumped at the opportunity to move from a teaching assistant into the role of a teacher, and I will admit that it wasn't always easy. I vividly remember one of my first bosses telling me that I wasn’t good at teaching. I was completely taken aback by this! He said, "You think that just because you are a good coder, you're a good teacher. And that's not true." He wanted me to see that knowing well and teaching well are not the same thing.

So I started practicing to become a better educator. I worked on my class materials and how to use stories and experiences to connect with complex coding concepts. I improved how I speak to students and, most importantly, how to utilize silence. I learned to wait for my audience to answer in order to hold stronger conversations. I found myself becoming more extroverted and comfortable talking to new people. It’s helped me grow exponentially, especially as a leader, and it’s something I’m continuously working on — a never-ending process of learning that has helped me hone-in on improving every part of myself.

Teaching, to me, has not only improved who I am, it’s also given me passion for empowering those around me. I think of it in terms of bubbles. If you push bubbles into water, it creates this dynamic that pushes everything up. That's what it feels like with teaching - you're putting all this energy in, and the bubbles rise to the top. When you teach, you have 30 people in the classroom, and you know that 29 aren't paying attention. But if there's just one that takes notes, asks questions, makes an effort and rises to the top, it's the best payment in the world. 

Beto speaking at a conference
Beto speaking at a conference

After formally being a teacher for a few years, I felt ready to push myself further — to take on larger audiences, in different places, with people who have different backgrounds. So I accepted offers as they came in to be a speaker, later finding myself with opportunities to travel around the world. 

This has been so much fun for me, and if this is something I can do, I truly believe that anyone can put the work in to make it happen. It's not easy and requires a lot of practice, but it's possible. Even if you are the shyest person in the world (which is how I had always seen myself). You just have to find the space in your world where you are re-energized. For me, this is with my family — my wife, my son, and my daughter — they are my safe environment. 

From left to right:  Beto's son, wife, daughter and Beto
From left to right: Beto's son, wife, daughter and Beto

In another life, I was probably a politician, because I've always been invested in improving people's quality of life, security and surroundings. That's likely why I'm so happy when I'm teaching. And, probably why joining Kin + Carta was such an easy decision for me. When I heard about the company, it felt like there was an opportunity to improve things for many people. I read the mission — building a better world that works better for everyone — and I immediately felt like it was magic. I thought, "this is the place I have to be." I wanted to be the one building a better world instead of someone just complaining about it. With Kin + Carta, I have that opportunity.

Now, as the Managing Director, my focus is on my team and building a better Colombia. We recently hit the milestone of 50 employees. When I see those numbers and the results of the work we are collectively driving, it's hard to deny we're rocking.

Beto with his team
Beto with his team

We're a big company that behaves like a startup, where everybody is looking for improvement. It's the spirit of not being satisfied with what we have and a hunger for accomplishing more. And that really makes me love what I'm doing right now. But it also gives me perspective on my mindset about how I've gotten here.

I’d say that IT isn't for everyone, but if you feel comfortable researching and solving problems, you have what it takes to be part of this world. It's not the coding or the language that's the hard part; it's how you feel trying to solve problems and work around complex situations. It makes sense to me to relate it to cooking. Sure, you can take courses and learn the basics. But sometimes, it's better to find a recipe, research the ingredients and see what you can create in the kitchen. It's a lot of trial and error, but the best way to learn is by doing it. My advice is just to try it — jump in and create a program that calculates what you need or makes your life easier.

It's not the coding or the language that's the hard part; it's how you feel trying to solve problems and work around complex situations.

When you grow up, you realize that life isn't always good and it's not always bad – it's just life. There’s a moment every day that can decide the person you will become the next day. Of course, the hardest ones are the ones that build you up stronger, so you know how to stand up when you fall — these moments shape you. Like when I found that old computer in the closet, I took the challenge of teaching, or when I decided to join Kin + Carta.

Surround yourself with Kin, like Beto, who are always striving to see the potential.

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