Developer Skills

Latin American Developers Strategies from Strava's Engineering Manager

Learn valuable insights from Strava's Software Engineering Manager, Elisa Valdez de Ramírez, on how Latin American developers can thrive in US companies.

I had the incredible opportunity to meet Elisa Valdez de Ramírez, a truly remarkable leader who currently serves as the Engineering Manager at Strava. It was during an event where she was a speaker that I had the privilege of asking a question. To my astonishment, she took the time to answer my question during a 30-minute call filled with valuable insights. Allow me to recount this unforgettable experience.

Elisa, a People-First Leader

Boasting over 20 years of experience spanning design, engineering, marketing education, and product development, Elisa's journey is one that could resonate deeply with aspiring developers.

Elisa graduated from The Art Center Design College with a Bachelor's in Graphic Design. She embodies the inspiring trajectory of transitioning from a non-tech career to excelling in engineering. This unique experience gives her a profound perspective on the challenges and triumphs of navigating different career paths.

Beyond her professional accomplishments, Elisa's passion for mentorship, especially for underrepresented populations in tech and individuals transitioning into the field, is truly commendable.

As a proud Latina and member of the LGBTQ+ community, Elisa brings an invaluable perspective to the tech ecosystem. Her dedication to the Albuquerque/New Mexico tech community showcases her commitment to nurturing local talent and fostering diversity in the industry.

Key Insights and Recommendations

In our conversation, Elisa shared insights into leveraging adaptability, articulating value propositions, and the significance of self-advocacy for Latin American Developers aiming to thrive in US tech companies.

Her emphasis on showcasing transferrable skills, optimizing resumes, and confidently presenting oneself stood out as invaluable advice.

Here's a quick guide from Elisa:

  1. Leveraging Adaptability as a Strength for Latinx Developers Emphasizing adaptability as a powerful asset in the competitive tech landscape, Elisa Valdez de Ramírez highlighted its significance during interviews. Latin American developers should focus on showcasing their adaptability and quick learning abilities when pursuing roles in US companies.

  2. Articulating Value Proposition and Alignment To stand out, it's essential for candidates to effectively communicate their value proposition and alignment with a company's goals. Elisa stressed the importance of confidently presenting developer skills, experiences, and how they align with the organization's mission.

  3. Showcasing Transferrable Skills and Commitment Highlighting skills from previous experiences that seamlessly transfer to new roles demonstrates a serious intent to adapt and contribute. Elisa advised developers to showcase this transferability, portraying a commitment to growth and learning.

  4. Optimizing Resume Writing and Presentation Elisa highlighted the importance of a well-crafted resume and presentation. Latin American developers might benefit from focusing on fundamental aspects of resume writing to enhance their chances in the application process.

  5. Overcoming Hesitancy and Bold Self-Presentation Encourage Latin American developers to overcome hesitancy and self-doubt. Elisa stressed the need to stand out, confidently showcasing projects and achievements without downplaying their worth using phrases like: “If you don’t pick me I understand.”

  6. Showcasing Projects as a Differentiator Emphasize the significance of showcasing projects or portfolios to demonstrate skills and dedication. Elisa emphasized how having a project can significantly impact the application process.

Addressing Application Disparities and Building Confidence

Elisa also offers valuable insights for recruiters and companies seeking diverse talent. She highlights the disparity in applications and encourages these organizations to acknowledge the unique perspectives and contributions of Latinx individuals. By fostering awareness of marginalized identities and promoting self-advocacy, companies can create an inclusive environment where Latinx developers feel confident in sharing their skills and experiences.

I am hopeful that these invaluable insights from Elisa Valdez de Ramírez will greatly contribute to Latin American developers securing positions in US tech companies. Personally, they have not only boosted my Latin pride but also enhanced my sense of self-worth.

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