For our 4th Staff Spotlight, let’s get to meet one of our leading software engineers, Sandy, who has been with Akubo for a few years now. She’s been working with several projects and have stayed on top!
Name: Sandra Mae “Sandy” Salazar Job title: Software Engineer Has been in Akubo since: February 2014 Educational attainment: BS Computer Science, De La Salle University-Dasmariñas, May 2010 Three words to describe herself: outgoing, patient, realistic
Tell us about your career so far. What did you do before you came to Akubo?
After finishing my college degree, I started working as a Content Developer at an eLearning company, my job primarily was to assist the editor in creating contents and materials for software development. After a year, I was promoted to Software Developer where I started coding and learning new languages and also able to work with different teams. I stayed there for more than 3 years before moving in to Akubo.
What originally drew you to apply to Akubo?
Ren, our Development Manager here in Akubo is also a colleague of mine in my former company. She told me about a job opening and it felt like a good opportunity for me to experience something different than what I usually do. A completely different system, new industry clients and a more relaxed working environment.
What projects do you work on?
Currently I’m working on a new email editor for Akubo. We received requests from some of our clients to improved our current email editor, so we decided to create a drag and drop version, an easier way to design emails and newsletters.
How did you decide to become a software engineer? If you studied a different course in college, why did you change paths?
I have always wanted to be a doctor when I was a kid, it never crossed my mind I’ll be a programmer, so I always say I’m a frustrated doctor. LOL!
After finishing up High School though, I was still undecided on the field I really want to pursue. My father suggested I take an IT related course. I figured that as technology progresses, the demand for IT professionals will also increase – so why not. While studying, I learned to love it.
What do you like about being a software engineer?
I love puzzles and I like the challenge of solving a problem and learning something new. Even the headache inducing parts where you keep getting stuck on a project or you’re spending too much time debugging a simple code, once you found the solution and it worked well, that’s a totally a satisfying feeling. Also, being a programmer or a software engineer is a never ending learning process, you’ll get to learn new stuffs every now and then.
Tell us about a typical day at work
I usually check my email first thing in the morning so I know if there are concerns I need to address once I start my work day. If there are clients I need to visit within the day, I prepare the agenda before I do my usual programming stuffs. There are cases that I get multiple phone calls a day from clients asking for technical support. We don’t go out of the office much during breaks, we usually have our food delivered but we make it a point to go out at night, walk around, eat someplace else for dinner. Our typical day ends at around 8 to 9pm because we usually let traffic pass by before going home.
What’s the most rewarding part about being a software engineer / being in Akubo?
Akubo CRM is really a big help to different organizations, especially to NGOs. Seeing things work for them and being able to help out clients is extremely rewarding.
What do you look forward to learning?
Recently, I started learning mobile development particularly React Native. It’s something new and different than what I’ve been doing the past years so that’s the field I would want to focused more in the future.
What things are you excited about in programming / work, or life in general?
Next month I’ll be travelling with my cousins outside the Philippines for the first time. I’m excited to experience new culture and to try out some of the local dishes.
What’s the key to managing / completing a project successfully?
Establish a realistic timeline and know which task should be prioritized. Also involve the whole team in the planning process. The people who will be working on the project have insights on how tasks are done, how long will it take and who’s the best person to do it.
What do you find most challenging about your work? How do you deal with it?
The challenge for me right now is staying motivated on my work. I’ve been working on the same project for a while now and I find it hard to stay engaged. Learning a new skill somehow helps me to keep motivated.
How do you define success?
I have always lived by Jaime Escalante’s quote – “Success is not measured by the number of times you fall but by the number of times you stand up when you fall”.
What are you passionate about outside of work?
Food. Adventures! I love reading and collecting books so much that I turned our storage room into a mini library / office. I am also a foodie, I like to try out different dishes and new restaurants from time to time. Trying out new things and going to new places is something I enjoy as well.
What is your philosophy in life / motto / mantra?
Nothing is impossible as long as you put your heart and mind into it.
Tell us about three career lessons that you have learned so far.
- Grab opportunities as they come.
- Listen and pay attention.
- Make time for things that make you happy.
If you could swap places with someone else for a day, who would it be?
Kate Middleton. Who wouldn’t want to live like a royal even just for a day? haha!
If you were a crayon, what color would you be?
Pink! It’s sweet, playful, romantic and very feminine just like me. LOL!
What’s your favorite song?
Rise Up by Andra Day
Harry Potter series