Let’s Meet the Multitalented Denisa, Front-end Developer at Salt & Pepper
Denisa Sicoe is a Front-end developer at Salt & Pepper and the go-to person for everything artistic. She has successfully balanced her creative part with her technical skills and she’s living a life where she combines these two sides. She’s a talented developer who loves drawing, photography, photo editing, driving, and she’s known to be an animal lover. Everything she touches resembles her completely, a mix between functionality and aesthetics. She’s a great person to be around, and we often find ourselves confiding in her when in doubt. Do you want to meet her too? Then stick around!
Why did you join Salt & Pepper?
Basically, I started working in S&P after finishing my internship here. I joined the internship because I really wanted to start working as a developer as soon as possible, having the certainty that the front-end would fit me best. After the internship, which I loved, I happily joined the team.
How did you know this is the perfect opportunity for you?
It’s like the planets aligned (laughs). I was looking for a place to develop my skills, and I really felt like I fitted into this team quite well. I loved the atmosphere at the office, and I just knew, day by day, that I enjoyed coming to work. It wasn’t a struggle, I didn’t feel the need to say things like ‘Isn’t it Friday already?’ (laughs). So, I would honestly say that the planets aligned.
I felt like I was ready after I finished my Major. I didn’t quite get a Bachelor’s degree in this specific domain, but I had a knack for the technical area.
Denisa enjoying some one-on-one session with her peers
What’s the most memorable moment at Salt & Pepper so far?
Oh, that’s a good one! It’s so hard to choose because there were many moments that are now dear to me.
I’ll have to say the day I officially joined the team. It was a certain transition that went on, from intern to teammate. I remember having a pleasant talk with my mentor, then with Cristin (CEO of Salt & Pepper), and I think that’s a memorable day because everything changed for me.
I do have lots of memories that are related to projects, though. Surpassing milestones brings a lot of joy. Of course, with every project, I feel like I make another step towards the goals that I have. One memory that will also stick forever with me is the moment when, after working for months on an events ticketing platform, we printed a ticket for testing purposes.
I remember feeling very emotional over the fact that I contributed to this and that I am able to physically touch my work. But from my personal development point of view, I have to go with the feeling that I had on my first day in Salt & Pepper.
What’s the biggest challenge you had to face so far?
The biggest challenge so far was to develop a one-man show project, which was small yet interesting and was focused on displaying students’ works of art (it fit me like a glove, to be honest).
The challenge was the fact that I had to take care of most of the phases through which a project goes from an idea to being live and accessible to the public. There was no backend involved, except the integration of the Google Drive API, which was fun too.
It was like solving a riddle, but I enjoyed the whole process, especially the moment when I was able to navigate through the works of art displayed on the website.
What does a day in the life of Denisa look like?
Ahhh, Denisa’s day starts very early! (smiles) Even though I’ve never been a morning person, I discovered that I really enjoy this routine of getting up earlier, making a cup of coffee, and eating my breakfast. After that, I just pick up what I’ve left the day before in terms of projects, and then I take a look on my calendar to see what’s next on my day. I probably focus for two hours on coding before anything else.
I don’t take enough breaks, that’s for sure. My back is probably upset with me, but that’s how I roll. I feel like I tend to get really focused and be very productive for a couple of hours in a row, and I just don’t want to ruin that with a break.
I always have my daily status meetings, and some days are pretty much meeting-free after that. Some are more full, and I spend quite some time getting in sync with teammates. Sometimes I also enjoy short catch-ups with my colleagues because they are always a really nice company.
After I finish my workday around 5-5.30 pm, I am either completely lazy, and I just relax, or I am super hyped and get all chores done in no time. There’s no in-between (laughs).
What’s your biggest passion besides coding?
Ah, this is a tough one! I am not the person to have one big passion that I’m all about. I have multiple passions, like music, drawing, and interior design. I also love animals, photography, and photo manipulation.
I had piano lessons when I was younger, and my parents also wanted me to be a vocalist and pictured me as one for a long time. But I guess I just discovered that I am more prone to the technical side. Now, music is still an important part of my life and brings me a lot of balance.
I enjoy drawing, especially crayon portraits, and recently I got an iPad for digital drawing too, but it doesn’t come close to the crayon on paper feeling.
Time for some pottery class!
Do you have any other hobbies or interests that you pursue?
I actually really like cars and driving. I think that maybe in another life, I was a race pilot. I also play games of driving simulations.
I know it’s not necessarily a hobby, but I often find myself being the psychologist of the people around me. I really enjoy talking to people, listening to them, and empathizing with whatever they are going through.
A breeze of fresh air, anyone?
Who’s your favorite artist of all time?
This is very, very easy! It’s Justin Timberlake! I think I just recently calmed down about it. I used to draw his portraits exclusively, I cried my heart out at his concert, and everyone around me simply knows that I am a huge fan of his music.
Funny story, right before having to present my graduation thesis, I received Justin Timberlake tickets. The concert was in Manheim and him coming to Europe is something rather rare.
Obviously, I couldn’t miss that for the world. But there was a moment in which I thought that if anything graduation-related overlaps with his concert, like my thesis presentation, I was absolutely ready to skip it. (laughs) I figured I could always give my presentation, but I can see Justin Timberlake live only then! Luckily, it wasn’t the case.
If you could be anyone for a month, who would you like to be and why?
Saying Justin Timberlake would be too predictable, and I don’t like to be predictable. But I think I would like to be someone who produces music or a DJ, something in that area.
There was a time when I wished I was a sound engineer—someone whose life is surrounded by music and always looking for the next concert. I would like to be a music producer or a sound engineer for a day, just to see what that’s like (smiles).
I have a strong musical ear, and if I had the technical skill, I honestly imagine that I’d do a great job (laughs).
What’s something you couldn’t live without?
Ohh. Music! It gets me out of many thoughts, and many things in my life relate to music. I love driving because I can listen to the music I like quite loudly. It’s refreshing. Music can always lift me up and get me out of whatever is going on.
Meet Denisa and the rest of our team!
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