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A Day in the Life of Andrea Ramirez, Technical Consultant

A headshot of Andrea with a design that reads: A day in the life of... Andrea Ramirez

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.

Day in the Life is a series that brings the day-to-day experiences of working at Kin + Carta to light, all through the eyes of our Kin. And today, we want to take a look at the Day in the Life of Andrea Ramirez, Technical Consultant.

We’d love a quick intro from you!

I'm Andrea, a developer from Bogotá, Colombia. I've been a part of the Kin + Carta team for a year. Outside of work, I'm passionate about creating molded and scented candles.

Can you break it down for us — what is your role?

I work as a software developer, specializing in .NET and UI development using Angular. My role revolves around implementing and designing technologies for client applications. Right now, I’m involved in a project where we are migrating an old application to a new one, which involves a complete redesign.

I wear multiple hats, which includes providing technical insights and suggestions. I collaborate with different team members, such as UI and QA developers, to ensure the smooth progress of our projects. Additionally, I regularly meet with our clients, ensuring alignment and understanding of their goals and preferences.

What's a typical day like for you?

My daily routine often involves joining meetings, particularly sprint planning sessions, where we focus on developing and prioritizing tasks. I’m assigned specific tasks to work on during the sprint, and it becomes my responsibility to organize these tasks efficiently to meet our deadlines.

I also work on stacks requiring quick development and environmental deployment. Every day is different, depending on the stacks and sprints I am assigned. One aspect of my job I particularly enjoy is resolving bugs. That might be surprising, but if you have a bug, it's an opportunity to tackle a challenge and grow as a developer.

More specifically, what was yesterday like for you?

My weekdays typically involve a structured routine. Yesterday, for instance, began with reviewing tasks and setting priorities based on deadlines and project requirements. I usually have a brief 10-minute meeting in the morning, often a stand-up with the development team, where we discuss progress, blockers, and plans for the day.

The bulk of my day is spent in various software development activities. I engage in coding, debugging, and testing throughout, working on different features or addressing specific issues within the project. Collaboration is key, so I’m in touch with team members, whether it’s through direct conversations, Slack messages, or collaborative tools. 

Occasionally, I have longer meetings with the development, UI, or QA teams, which are more focused on specific project aspects. These meetings vary in frequency depending on the project phase but generally occur once or twice a week, lasting around 30 minutes. We discuss design implementations, test strategies, or progress updates, ensuring everyone is aligned and addressing any potential challenges.

In the midst of all this, I also allocate time for personal skill development or learning about new technologies to enhance our solutions. It’s a dynamic environment where adaptability and collaboration play a crucial role in our day-to-day operations.

How do your days change as you prepare for the final stages of a project?

As a project nears its close, it is essential to ensure every change is implemented in the appropriate environment and that all modifications are properly deployed. I do this through thorough testing using various user roles, permissions and different application workflows to verify the changes were successfully implemented in the environment.

Bugs can negatively impact the user experience and hinder the success of a release. That's why I proactively address those, aiming to resolve them as quickly as possible to ensure a smooth release.

What does wrapping up your day, every day, mean to you?

I like to start my days easily, so logging off, to me, means being completely prepared for the next day. If there's a bug, there is a problem. I really struggle to step away from this! So, before my day ends I try to resolve that bug or I prioritize a few solutions that I can action on the next day. Doing this lets me be ready for tomorrow, and enables me to completely disconnect. For me, that means going to the park with my two dogs, making a great meal for dinner, doing yoga or playing volleyball.

What skills are necessary to do your role?

It's crucial to exercise caution and not make assumptions about data processing. Every client has specific requirements and rules that must be followed. Pay close attention to these requirements and understand the reasoning behind them. This level of attention to detail ensures that any development work aligns with the client's needs.

Beyond this, passion is key. Development processes can be challenging, and not every problem can be easily resolved. It is important to approach these challenges with enthusiasm and dedication. Without passion, it can be difficult to find effective solutions.

What's it been like as a woman in a historically male-dominated field?

When you start as a female developer, there may be certain expectations or assumptions about you. Sometimes, there's a process that women in tech often go through where they feel they must prove themselves and earn their place on the team.

But from my very first day at Kin + Carta, it's been an incredible experience. They warmly welcomed me and supported my development along the way. They know that women bring unique perspectives and skills to the table. Working in tech can be challenging for a woman, but Kin + Carta makes it easy.

Andrea and her colleagues hosting a panel in a Kin + Carta event
Andrea and her colleagues hosting a panel in a Kin + Carta event

What advice do you have for someone considering going into software development?

Get into it as soon as you can! If you don't have a professional project to work on, develop your own. When you develop an application yourself, you can learn more about the code.

I’d also add the advice of flexing your communication muscles across all areas of your life. As a software developer, you need to have strong communication skills. This enables you to communicate your ideas and your questions. There is no such thing as a bad idea or question in technology.

What's the most important thing you've learned at Kin + Carta?

Kin + Carta provided me with the opportunity to learn and try Angular, which was a new technology for me. Initially, I expressed concerns, but I was encouraged to try it. Because my strong skills in programming were valued, my Kin + Carta leaders were confident I could adapt and learn something new. Then, they encouraged me to apply my new knowledge in client projects.

Learning a new technology is one thing, but being able to apply that expertise directly in a real project is a whole different experience. I’m grateful to Kin + Carta for giving me the chance to learn something new and apply it in a meaningful way. It has helped me grow professionally and expand my skill set.

In your day-to-day life, what inspires you?

I find inspiration in a variety of places. Generally, the movie Hidden Figures, the story of three African American women who worked at NASA, is very inspiring to me. It motivates me to reflect on how I can work every day to improve my skills. In my day-to-day, however, I am always listening to podcasts, especially ones about architecture or technology.

Ready to bring your passion to Kin + Carta?

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