After talking with members of the Marketing, Content and Overseas teams, it was time to talk with one of the guys of our IT department! A cheerful person with a strong Cuban accent, Alain has been with us since August 2014. He explains us what working at FXStreet is for him, but also why he came to live in Barcelona or how the Barça soccer team is doing recently. Meet Alain, one of the six software developers of the leading Forex information website.
Alain at work
How does a day in the life of an IT guy at FXStreet look?
Every day at 9h30 am, we hold a Stand-up meeting in the IT department: each staff member explains what he’s been working on, what problems he encountered in his tasks and what he will do today. This is a short meeting we do in the middle of the IT space in the office, and as its name implies, we all remain standing to make it more agile.
The best part is that if someone is late at the meeting, he has to bring donuts to the whole team. I hope someone will be late every day, but, to be honest, I’m the one who has to pay for the round most of the time 😉
Then during the rest of the day, we collaborate and help each other to keep the best workflow possible and ensure that nobody stays stuck a long time on the same task.
What are your specialities as a website developer?
We are not just website developers. We could be called something as “Full Stack Developers”. This strange name means we implement everything from database, to server and frontend code. Although all our products are exposed through HTML, the biggest and hardest part of our work is invisible for the user. But that’s precisely where we dedicate most of our time and where we have to be the most careful… which makes things very exciting!
What do you like best about your job?
That I always learn new stuff and I have to turn things over in my head a lot to find the best solutions.
What do you like least about your job?
That other people think we are weird and freaky people… you don’t flirt easily when you say “I’m an IT guy”… 😀
Joking aside, the great amount of working time and extra hours that you spend working on things that can eventually fail (as it happened to us recently with our attempt to launch the new version of FXStreet). It can be a very frustrating job.
If you were not a website developer, what would you like to do for a living?
It’s a tough question… Mobile development maybe?
When I was a child, I loved to look at the stars in the sky at night. It happened often since there were many power outages in my city, La Habana… that brought me to consider studying astronomy, which I didn’t in the end obviously!
Animated gifs are often used in internal emails among collaborators at FXStreet… share with us a gif that you particularly like!
From time to time, we go for a beer after work with the team to relax for a while… my favorite gif is this one:
We almost all put our headphones on when working here at the office… What do do you usually listen to?
If you ask to my IT colleagues, they will tell you that I listen “La Gozadera” de Gente de Zona, a Cuban reggaeton band, but it’s not true! 😀
Depending on the mood, I listen to El Cigala & Bebo Valdez, BB King or any other type of music. The band I used to listen a lot when I was a teenager is Metallica, but I don’t anymore…
Any weird habit you have when working?
When I’m focused on something, I have the bad habit to touch and play with my hair…
You are one of the ping-pong aficionados that play a game from time to time on the meeting room table. And you won the Ping Pong tournament that took place last summer! Another tournament has been organized by Javi, our CTO… the 5 worst players will have to pay a dinner to the 5 best players. How are you doing so far? Afraid to have to pay dinner to your colleagues on top of donuts? 😉
In this new tournament, the level of all participants increased very much compared to last summer. We are still at the very beginning so I don’t know my ranking… the only thing I can guarantee is that I will give my all to win this one again or at least to be among the ones that get a free dinner!
Alain in his personal life
You are from Cuba as we can see you proudly show on the picture above. Why did you choose moving to Barcelona?
Work, beach and nice weather. My other options were Madrid and Bilbao (Basque Country) but they were dismissed because they were not meeting the 3 criteria.
What do you typically do when you finish your working day?
When I arrive home, if there is not any pending household task :(, I like to go to the beach for a walk or a run.
What are your vacation plans for 2016?
This year I have to go and visit my family in Cuba. And if I finally get my driving licence, I’d like to do a short escape of a few days to discover the local areas around Barcelona.
What are your favorite websites? Do not say FXStreet 😉
I’d say the ticket buying page of the Spanish airline Vueling, a project I worked on years ago.
And I could do some shameless self-promotion with Havaning, a website to rent luxurious houses in Cuba that started like a joke 4 years ago but that seems to take shape now!
A sport you like to practice?
I like cycling by the beach now that the weather is mild and pleasant here in Barcelona.
What is the last movie you’ve watched.
The last movie I watched was The Revenant, with Leonoardo Di Caprio.
Would you recommend it?
I would only recommend it if the other option you had was Titanic, hahaha!
Everyone here at the office knows you are a real Culé (Barça soccer team supporter). How often do you go to the stadium?
This year I was lucky enough to have a seat to go to all home games at the Camp Nou (Barça’s Stadium).
If you’d asked me if I’d recommend it, I’d say no, because the public is a bit boring and you have to organize all your weekends in accordance with the matches, even if you should not be that extreme I guess 😉
What was the last match you saw? How was it?
The last match I went to was against the Sporting de Gijón. Barça won 6-0, it was not a great match but better than the last ones. The most important is that we can still win the Spanish League!