From Spanish Teacher to Full-Stack Developer: Irene Mateo

Juan Gutiérrez
Juan Gutiérrez
Published: 03.03.2021

Today we will turn the spotlight into Irene Mateo, one of the developers in Soamee. The most senior developer in the company after the CEO and COO, Javi and Juan, she will tell us about Soamee and the most exciting plot twist in her life: how she became a Full-stack Developer after being a teacher for 7 years.

Irene during one break at office in Madrid

Why did you join Soamee, and what has kept you here?

I would say that my relationship with Soamee started as love at first sight (and I'm not a romantic person at all!) I remember reading the job offer and thinking to myself: “I want to work in this company.”

It seemed a place where people could express themselves and learn from each other in a friendly environment. Moreover, they offered the possibility to work with a wide range of technologies, both in front-end and back-end. That was a huge learning opportunity!

By talking to the CEO and COO during the job interview I confirmed that they were leading an exciting project with a great potential. So I just crossed my fingers after the interview and waited for my “Irene, would you like to join Soamee?” And it happened!

What is your role at Soamee?

My role at Soamee is Full-Stack Developer.

I had a background in front-end development when I started working at Soamee, but from the beginning I had the opportunity to also be involved in back-end tasks. I discovered I loved that too! So that's how I achieved my current versatile profile.

What do you find to be the most exciting aspect of Soamee?

First of all, at Soamee I've had the opportunity to work in many different projects: from a simple landing page to a complex application managing sales. There is always a chance to face new challenges.

Secondly, working at Soamee allows me to take part not only in the technical decisions but also in other company-related aspects. Javi and Juan (CEO and COO of Soamee) are always open to feedback from the members of the team, which makes us more involved in the company's progress.

Last but not least, the working environment in Soamee is great, which is not always easy to find. Team members are always ready both to face project deadlines and to have a relaxed chat about the latest movie release.

What is your proudest moment at Soamee?

My proudest moments at Soamee are when a client congratulates me for my work. That is the best way to know that I'm doing a great job and that my effort is having impact in someone else's project. For me, that is the biggest satisfaction.

At one of Irene's trips, this time in Tarifa, the spanish village closest to the African continent.

Before working at Soamee, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Before working at Soamee I used to work as a Spanish teacher. I gave lessons to students from all around the world: US, UK, India, China, Bangladesh, etc. Also, thanks to that job I lived in different countries such as Belgium and Portugal.

However, I decided to become a developer on my brother's advice. He introduced me to the tech world and right away I realized that I would love to do it for a living!

Now I'm lucky: I can enjoy coding and also teaching others how to code thanks to the communication skills I got from my previous background.

How do you spend your time outside of the office?

I love going to the countryside and walking around, breathing fresh air, and having a cold beer in the sunshine. I also enjoy reading while having a hot cup of tea in winter. But the thing I like the most is traveling and meeting people from other cultures.

Irene enjoying nature during one weekend getaway in the north of Spain

What did you want to be when growing up?

Not sure why, but I wanted to be a ballet dancer. Sadly, life decided that the furthest I would go in dancing would be to dance at karaoke.

If you were an animal what would you be?

For sure I would be a koala. One of my favorite things in life is sleeping, and koalas can sleep up to 22 hours a day! Although I would have to train a bit to get to that level, I think I could succeed with not too much effort.

If you had to eat one meal, every day for the rest of your life, what would it be?

If I could only eat one meal I would choose pizza. There is a wide variety of them so I could make different pizzas each day, including sweet ones. But I would surely miss Spanish omelette (or “Tortilla de patata” in Spanish).

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