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Meet Martin Casado, mission-driven development

Headshot of Martin with a design that reads Kin+ Martin Casado

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.

There’s a sort of magic that happens when one can align work with passion. It’s as if suddenly there’s alignment to be fully you and even the most daunting tasks simplify. This was exactly the energy we felt when talking to Martin Casado.

Martin’s a Senior Technical Consultant at Kin + Carta based in Buenos Aires. At a young age he found his passion for computers and this interest led him straight to Kin + Carta where he leans into mission-driven work and continuous growth. We’re honored to introduce you to Martin, our Kin who is using every day to build a better world.

Headshot of Martin with a design that reads Kin+ Martin Casado

When I was ten years old, I made my first computer program. This, for me, was a life-changing moment and I remember it like it was yesterday. My father came home with a PC and no one in my family, including my mom and three older sisters, knew how to use it. I quickly became obsessed with that computer, and since at the time we didn’t have the internet, I started browsing the directories. I would spend time going file by file, learning basic programming languages.

It was through looking at those example files that I taught myself how to code. A few weeks later, I made a simple menu with different hotkeys to open the applications so my family could also use the computer. This started a spark inside of me, and it’s when I realized that by typing code, you could change people's lives. You could increase accessibility to important resources and bring ease and feelings of delight into simple tasks. Ever since this moment, becoming a computer programmer has been my life goal.

It’s when I realized that by typing code, you could change people's lives.

I attended a high school that specialized in computer studies and my path felt pretty defined. But, before enrolling in college I thought, “I know a lot about computers; I want to know more about people.” So, I ended up studying psychology. It was massively different from computer programming, but without knowing it back then, it prepared me with just the right tools for my career. With a psychology degree in hand I left to go back to the world of computer programming.

I’m mindful of the ways that my psychology degree has impacted my technical career. When I first started working as a software developer, my employer at the time realized that my people skills were strong, so at a young age I stepped into leadership positions. This, to me, has been personally rewarding. It’s allowed me to practice empathy for others’ points of view, whether if they are a teammate or a client. My technical expertise paired with my understanding of how people think has allowed me to flex skills from both fronts — as a software developer and a leader.

Martin presenting an app at a conference
Martin presenting an app at a conference — showcasing his technical and leadership skills.

Across all roles, you have to be aware that people have concerns you need to address. It’s not always just IT problems, but also personal difficulties. The world of work and delivery has changed, and the lines between work and life continue to blur more and more. I see this as a good thing, as it brings opportunities for teams to support one another and individuals to feel comfortable bringing their whole self to work. 

For me, I’m a family guy. I have a wife, two kids, and a dog. They are my support team. When my kids were born, I realized that I was a workaholic. I quickly understood that I didn’t need to stay late every day, but I just needed to be very efficient during my working hours. Now I appreciate the balance I’ve built between my personal and work life. Kin + Carta is supportive of this decision, and is a workplace that’s allowed me to prioritize what’s important for me. If I want to take my kids to school, I don't need to ask for permission. I feel empowered to make the choice that’s best for me. And, I make sure to communicate this with my team so that they are also reminded of the importance of balancing their time between life and work.

Martin with his family at the beach
Martin with his family on a recent trip to the beach.

What I most appreciate about working at Kin + Carta is the emphasis placed upon training and the opportunities I have to work on diverse teams. Learning, to me, is fun and in IT you need to continuously learn because the field changes nearly every day. Leaders and mentors across the firm have helped me understand where to invest my time and energy into development in order to best achieve my personal career goals.

And it’s the multicultural team that I work on that has enabled these career goals to become all the more better. All I need to do is simply look around in our Buenos Aires office, in a zoom call, or over Slack to find a new and different perspective. For example, I drink mate and was recently on a call with one of my coworkers who is based in Chicago. He’s originally from Romania and started asking questions about mate, as he’d never heard of the drink. After this, he ended up buying mate and drinking it himself. This simple occurrence made me realize how easy it is here to learn something new and expand your circle. I love this as it’s not only benefited my own career development and my own project deliverables, it’s also transformed how I approach the world.

All I need to do is simply look around in our Buenos Aires office, in a zoom call, or over Slack in order to find a new and different perspective.

The multicultural connections and training opportunities are amazing, yet where I truly find my passion is in Kin + Carta’s mission. We are building a world that works better for everyone, and I truly believe this. I get the chance to make everyday tasks more accessible for our client’s customers. It's not fair that throughout much of life, there are people left behind. I keep this in mind across every project and deliverable I touch. 

  • With one of our clients, we’re migrating their e-commerce website to a new one. While doing this, we’ve been very mindful of the user experience, as this client has nurtured customer relationships for nearly an individual’s entire life, and they don’t want to impact this with this change. Our client’s customers need to be comfortable using the new e-commerce process we’re building, so accessibility is at the front and center of our work. 
  • For another project I was on, the client was eager to only roll-out a mobile application, however our team at Kin + Carta helped them to understand that they also needed a website. It is not inclusive nor a great user experience to force users to download a new application if this is something they are not used to. It’s through this coaching that we are now building a website and mobile applications for Android and iOS.

As a consultant, I am empowered to shift the bias of our clients and I see this as a huge opportunity. Companies often want to continue working as they are, yet I see my role as one that helps them to see easier and better ways to accomplish their goals. This is purposeful work. It goes beyond simply saying, “okay, let's go to a cloud-based application.” Instead, it’s a collaborative process and one that I rely upon my psychology skillset for. I see this as a win-win situation because all while I’m assisting my clients in achieving their paperless goals, I’m also helping the environment through reduced carbon emissions, making the process more efficient and intelligent, and creating products that are more accessible for all.

Ultimately, building a world that works better for everyone comes down to the day-to-day actions that as a consultant I have the opportunity to take. It’s a wonderful feeling and one that I cherish — just like the spark that started inside of me at the age of ten. By typing code, you truly can change people’s lives.

Ready to learn, grow and create mission-driven outcomes alongside Martin?

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