How Rita stars on the development stage at Z1

Rita Iglesias
Rita Iglesias
Published: 17.12.2021

In the past 6 years, we've shipped over 60 amazing experiences —most of which we crafted from the ground up with our partners. We shape their vision into a Minimum Perfect Experience, delivering future-proof designs, scalable architectures, and a solid foundation on which to transition the work to their own teams.

Time to meet the Front-end Developer at Z1, Rita!

What do you find to be the most exciting aspect of Z1?

Unlike other companies, in Z1 we work on many different projects at the same time. Each one that we take on is unique to itself and always brings new challenges to overcome, allowing you to gain more experience and acquire new skills. In addition, we usually develop applications from scratch, without having to face legacy code, so we work with a state-of-the-art technological stack, something that is always very interesting for a developer.

Another interesting fact is that in Z1 there is no real hierarchy. In the development team we talk about everything horizontally—we are all equal in standing. That is, if someone discovers a component library or anything else, we talk, our opinion is taken into account, and, if necessary, the proposal is carried out.

a web developer and an actress, is helping to create beautiful products from zero to one at Z1.

How has Z1 helped you in your career development?

Basically, Z1 has shaped my professional development immensely. I was trained in a self-taught way, studying on my own while working in a bar and an escape room. I worked to survive and in my spare time, I programmed. I managed to do all of this without neglecting my career as an actress since during those times I had my own theater company.

When I knocked on Z1's door, I was looking to be part of a team where I could gain invaluable experience while working on real projects. No matter how many classes I did on my own, I knew that doing real work would be the best way to learn. 90% of a developer's work is teamwork and it was clear to me that I wanted to be part of one.

Z1 opened its doors to me, they trusted me despite me not having an official degree and I began a three-month internship in their studio. This allowed me to continue learning in a unique environment where I felt empowered about what I was making. I was lucky to shadow my colleague, Pablo, whom I learned a lot from, and soon after, I began to participate in large projects. Z1 provided me with a framework and a knowledgeable support network of people, something truly valuable.

In your opinion, what are the hallmark traits of a great Front-end Developer?

On the one hand, a developer should have an abundance of curiosity and enjoy the learning process that one must go through. If not, you will be very frustrated in your day to day since it is impossible to know everything in this sector as new technology and procedures come out every day. It’s completely normal to have to train every day in the world of software, so you have to enjoy learning and solving problems, which is what our work as developers is defined as.

You also have to be a creative person and have the ability to look for different solutions to problems. That is why I think that people who have different backgrounds, who have not followed a linear path to become a developer, work well.

Other fundamental virtues are soft skills such as patience, empathy, and knowing how to manage stress. Developers sometimes believe that they can work alone and that’s not really the case. 90% of the time you work as a team and if your code cannot be read and maintained by another person then it’s not effective enough. Period. No matter how good a hacker you are.

What advice do you have for prospective Z1 candidates?

Don't be afraid to seek out new opportunities. Some time ago I saw Reshma Saujani in a TED talk where she said: “Women do not apply for job offers unless we meet 100% of the requirements. However, men always apply even if they don't comply”. After speaking with my colleagues, I can confirm this happens more than we imagine.

My advice is: ‘jump in the pool!’. Many times companies ask for more requirements and, perhaps, what they really need is someone decisive with a desire to learn. If you apply and it doesn't work out, at least you've done the test and get that experience.

Another tip I would offer is you should get used to being told ‘no’ and don't feel humiliated. This is something that we actors and actresses have learned well. Failure must be normalized because it is part of the learning path and programming is something that is learned, it’s not as difficult as we are often led to believe.

Finally, look for role models, someone who has had a path that you would like to follow. Don't be afraid to ask other people, even on social media, what they did to get where they are.

Rita started on a three-month fellowship at Z1 and became an essential part of the team shortly after.

Regarding this, how important has been for you to have inspirational role models to inspire or motivate your journey in tech?

Truly important. When you start in the world of technology, I consider it vital to look for references close to you that inspire you, help you, and motivate you. In my early days, I was lucky to have two ‘senseis’, as I call them, who have undoubtedly guided me and inspired me to become a front-end developer: Jorge Lería, Engineering Manager of the Data and Security team, and his partner Rosa Gutierrez, Lead Programmer at Basecamp. They are both senior programmers and convinced me to apply to Z1. Without their support, I would not have entered this world or been able to apply. They sponsored me from the first moment, recommending very useful courses and supporting me during tough moments. I am truly grateful to both of them.

Before working at Z1, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

Running a theater company called "Noche de Repálagos". It was a lot of fun because we created a new hour-and-a-half show every week. We took great pride in filling the hall each performance with 200 people and being able to bring the theater to young people. I did a bit of everything: production, costumes, meetings with actors and actresses, rehearsals, the living room bar, and finally, I also acted. It was a very rewarding experience that taught me to manage stress.

Get to know Rita and the rest of the Z1 team!

We’re delighted that Rita decided to join Z1 – it’s been great having them on board! If you have any questions or want to get to know Rita or one of their colleagues from the engineering team, we can put you in touch. Don’t hesitate to reach out!

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