Software Developers Journey Podcast

#272 Anna Sala Mercade from graphic design to saying yes to development



Introduction to Anna's Background: 24:00

Anna Sala Mercade began her journey as a graphic designer, a field she explored for four years. Her entry into the software development realm was rather unconventional. A chance meeting with a tennis player, who spoke highly of the development industry, intrigued her. Anna's curiosity led her to explore coding, and she was soon drawn to its creative potential, realizing it was similar to graphic design. Her **blend of design and coding skills** made her realize the value of having diverse skills in the tech world.

The Value of Diverse Backgrounds: 25:30

Anna highlights the **importance of diversity in the tech industry**. Having different backgrounds and perspectives can lead to more creative and holistic solutions. Drawing from her own experiences, Anna emphasizes that anyone, regardless of their background, can learn and thrive in the tech industry.

Challenges and Overcoming Them: 28:10

Starting in the tech world with a design background wasn't without its challenges. Anna felt the **pressure of imposter syndrome**, but she learned to navigate through it by reminding herself that everyone starts somewhere. She suggests that **seeking help, asking questions, and being open to continuous learning** are essential to growth.

Bootcamp Experiences: 29:15

Anna shares her experience teaching at a bootcamp. It was challenging because of the quick pace, but it was also rewarding. Teaching others made her realize that understanding the why behind concepts is crucial. For junior developers, it's not just about writing code but **understanding the underlying reasons** why certain solutions are chosen over others. This understanding ensures that they can **adapt to new problems** in the future.

Importance of Soft Skills: 33:50

Anna believes that while technical skills are essential, **soft skills play an equally important role** in a developer's career. She learned the significance of **communication, teamwork, and empathy** from her time in marketing and graphic design. Engaging with non-technical teams and clients taught her to explain complex concepts simply and effectively.

Fostering Idea Sharing: 37:15

In meetings, Anna noticed that some team members were hesitant to share their ideas. Drawing from her graphic design and marketing background, she stresses the importance of **creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable** voicing their thoughts. By giving individuals the space to express themselves, teams can tap into hidden, innovative ideas.

Continuous Learning and Evolution: 42:25

Anna highlights a core aspect of the tech industry: the **constant state of evolution**. Unlike static designs, technology is always advancing, which means professionals in the field must commit to lifelong learning. She encourages junior developers to embrace this aspect, emphasizing that feeling like an "imposter" is common but can be mitigated by recognizing that **everyone is always learning**. Adopting a mindset of continuous growth will help them keep up with the industry's rapid pace.

Concluding Advice: 44:24

Anna wraps up the discussion with some essential advice for newcomers in the field. She reassures junior developers that it's okay to be in a constant state of learning. In fact, it's beneficial. She encourages them to **be fearless in admitting they're learning** and to always stay curious. By embracing challenges, asking questions, and valuing both hard and soft skills, junior developers can carve a successful path in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

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Anna Sala Mercade 0:00
In this industry, even if it's great, super great today, tomorrow might not be. So don't be afraid of being a person that is still learning because everyone is and they will always be even if they are more senior than you and they have more experienced than you. They they are still learning. So you cannot feel as an imposter. Because everyone is in the same place as you they are still learning there is no perfect 100% Forever goat you will have to change at some point and work around it. So just go with it. Don't be afraid of saying I'm learning don't be afraid of saying yes as we as we mentioned before, and and keep learning.

Tim Bourguignon 0:49
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey, the podcast bringing you the making up stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. I'm your host team building. On this episode, I receive Anna Sala. Anna is a front-end developer at Volkswagen Group Services and she is joining us from Barcelona in Spain. After taking the direction of Graphic Design and marketing, she made a U-Turn toward development, and that's the story we are going to hear today. Anna welcome to devjourney.

Anna Sala Mercade 1:23
Thank you. Glad to be here.

Tim Bourguignon 1:25
But before we come to your story, I want to thank the terrific listeners who support the show every month, you are keeping the dev journey lights up. If you would like to join this fine crew and help me spend more time on finding phenomenal guests then editing audio tracks, please go to our website, Dev journey dot info and click on the Support me on Patreon. But even the smallest contributions are giant steps toward a sustainable dev journey. journey. Thank you. And now back to today's guest. Anna you know, the show exists to help the listeners understand what your story look like and imagine how to shape their own future. So as is usual on the show, let's go back to your beginnings. Where would you place to start if you'd have journey?

Anna Sala Mercade 2:15
Well, to be honest, I think I have a turning point. Somewhere like two three years ago, three years already, oh my god. That as someone really introduced coding to me, I did some coding while studying graphic design, as you said, the university. But I never really thought more of it. I just it's some courses that I had to take. And I did. And I remember thinking that I liked it. But I never even thought that it would be something that I would be doing in my career. And then after a while someone just said, Why don't you pick up programming. It's actually a funny story. Because I was I was playing tennis, I was already working as a graphic designer and Mark digital marketing creator. And I was playing tennis one day and this guy approached me and said, Hey, can you help me get better at playing tennis? And I said, Sure. I remember seeing that guy coming to tennis with a Tesla like a super cool Tesla. And I said, Only if you tell me how can I get a Tesla like yours? And his answer was straight up. Just become a software developer. That joke made me be where I am today to be honest, because I said okay, if it is this is a way to go. Let's just do it. And here I am. Three hours later. Yeah.

Tim Bourguignon 3:53
I'm okay. There's quite a bit went back there. So, you you went all in right there or how did you transition to from from this idea? Okay, if you want to have a Tesla, you need to start developing and actually getting toward it.

Anna Sala Mercade 4:12
Okay, so yes, I I actually started laughing obviously. Haha, yeah, sure. Let's start let's, let's get you some some lessons going. And I remember at the time I was in a job that I didn't really like it was my first job after college. And as a graphic designer, obviously. And I remember getting out of work every day being like, this is not for me. Like I love graphic design, but I don't like working as a graphic designer. And I remember after a while of doing lessons like we would be talking he would be asking me how is the day and he would say, Oh, well as a software developer. I have Jima at the office and I can do that as like can do that I was like, Oh my God, this cannot be so good. It just like the perfect job, you know? And I said, at one point I said, Okay, let me just try it. And he said, Sure, let me help you. I will guide you to what courses you can take or what languages you can learn first. And so at first, I just, well, then the pandemic hit. So I had to go back to Barcelona. And that was while I was in Florida, so I had to go back to Barcelona. But we kept in touch. And I said, I think this is the perfect time, like, you know, I had to just leave that job and go back home. I have, I'm in between of what do I do now. So I started taking the courses that he mentioned, he was helping me correcting the exercises, looking at my code. And I just loved it. I loved how it was a challenge, but at the same time, like you would feel five minutes, you would feel like you are the worst programmer ever. And five minutes later, you're like, I can't believe I did this. You know. So I just went with it. I found a bootcamp. And I, a year later, I was working as a as a developer.

Tim Bourguignon 6:23
Wow, that that is amazing. And a nice, timely combination. Indeed, the pandemic hit indeed, it changed all our lives. And you seem to have made the most of it. That's really cool. That's super cool. Yeah. How would you summarize this this year of learning enough, or maybe not this year, this time of learning and getting ready for changing careers and being professionally in the development world?

Anna Sala Mercade 6:52
Well, for me, it was a lot of uncertainty at first, because, you know, I, it was four years of learning one thing that I thought it would be what I would do for the rest of my life, and all of the seven just because of a joke of mine, I am just thinking of changing my entire life into a completely different type of work. And it was, it was uncertainty. But I just loved so much the learning process of all of this. Every day, I felt like I learned so much and so little at the same time. It's like, I know how to lay out an entire page right now. But I would have no idea how to make a website if you asked me, you know, and it was just like, I know so much that I didn't know yesterday. But at the same time, it feels like nothing compared to everything that it's out there. So I at first, it was hard to be in that moment of what am I doing? But then I learned that this is how you feel your entire career. That's what people would tell me all the time. So I just went with it. Okay, that's how am I supposed to feel? I'll just go with it. And that's it.

Tim Bourguignon 8:16
Wow. Indeed, all Korea can really feel like like pulling a thread and just pulling, pulling, pulling, pulling, pulling, and it keeps on coming. And and instead of seeing the ball getting smaller, you actually see it getting bigger, and you keep on pulling it. That's the best metaphor I have found for our side of the world in continuous learning. Until we die probably. Yes, definitely. So how did you go from learning into getting ready for first job?

Anna Sala Mercade 8:52
Well, I actually, I was lucky, because the same place that I went the bootcamp to learn all of this. They actually asked me to stay as a system professor for three months. So I had a time in which I was able to keep learning because I was still in the classroom with the professor teaching everything, but at the same time, they would let me do classes myself, so like, Hey, Anna, do you like CSS? So would you like to give them this class? I would say like, Sure, why not? And you would. I knew I had the support of the professor being behind me. Every time I needed something that I wasn't sure a question that maybe I didn't know because you know, I had been programming for three months only. And, and that really helped me a lot it it made me realize that I could actually explain People what I knew. And that got me the confidence that I needed to go into interviews because I could say, I taught this to 20 more people that are in the boot camp the same way I was three months ago. And then they actually asked me to stay three more months. So it ended up being six months. And I had time to work on my personal projects, and just keep learning a little bit more, and building up that confidence. And just the preparation was just thinking that I was able to tell them, because I already told other people what I was doing. It was not just I did this, but it was just a classroom is I taught this, you know, that thing of like, see one do one teach one. That's always like what I started my interviews with, because I could say that. So that's that's good to know. I think

Tim Bourguignon 11:01
that is awesome. In being confronted with this, at the very beginning of your career, this is absolutely fantastic. As you said, See one do one teach one is really a way to, to supplement your knowledge and really find where it's logical in your brain and not where it's not yet logical, where there's a crack, and then being confronted with this after three months. This is amazing. And insane thing is, this is something I've seen quite often with younger developers that I mentored and who say, well, but I'm not ready to give some talks at the meetup and stuff like this. They said, Yes, we are. You just say you have a head start. You've been working on this framework for two weeks, three months. Just tell that to the audience, Hey, have been working with this thing for two weeks, three months. And I'm gonna give you what I learned during the process. And I'm not an expert, I just have three months Headstart. And that's it. And that's how you give your first talk and being confronted with this. After just three months. This is golden.

Anna Sala Mercade 12:06
Yeah, I've always been, you know, when when I had to go to the United States, because I, I moved there to get my degree. And I was 18 years old. And that for me was the start of just you have to not be afraid. Because there's no way you're doing certain things. If you are afraid just because of the you're scared, it will stop you from from doing it. So for me, like I knew I wanted to do that I knew I wanted to go to the United States, play tennis, get a degree and all of that. And I wanted it so bad that I left my my fear behind. And I learned to do that would be like, just okay, I'm scared. I know I'm scared. But last time I was scared, I was able to do it anyways. So just put it aside and go with it.

Tim Bourguignon 13:06
This other so now you say yes, more than no and jump in stuff. With nothing right.

Anna Sala Mercade 13:15
100% like I, I would, every time someone says why don't we do this? Why don't we refactor the entire application? I'm like, Okay, let's do it. I will leave hell but if you say it's good, it's a good practice or it's a good thing that we have to do for the application. I'm in

Tim Bourguignon 13:36
Britain, you yet?

Anna Sala Mercade 13:39
Um, not too hard. I mean, obviously, like I've we all made mistakes and I've done a few but I think it's always it always comes out as a better thing that it was before so it hasn't been a disaster ever so far knock on wood. But so far, it's been good.

Tim Bourguignon 14:06
Okay. Okay. knocking on wood ladies stays this way. Yes. I wasn't I was never a yes only person I was a bit more cautious. But I realized when I when I graduated to worm toward more senior roles and more management roles, that it became harder to say yes, because the decision was on me to not just perform the work but also decide for others what we will do and this this tendency to say yes and reflect still on the risks but but try to say yes and and be more more proactive and things I had a hard time with this. So I wonder how it's gonna go for you in in in the next years how that will evolve because probably you I've heard stories of people who remained Yes, people for their whole career. So maybe that will be the way Hey, so So after six months or three months of bootcamp and then six months of Assistant Professor ng in in the bootcamp, how did you find your next job? I don't want to say first job was next job. The first one was already there?

Anna Sala Mercade 15:16
Well, it was, you know, I had this company that I knew a few people from the bootcamp, actually, just at the time, it was just one person that it was in the boot camp, like three years before that was in our company. And I knew it was, it was what I was looking for. And I'll tell you why. When I, when I decided to make the change, like official being like, okay, let's leave graphic design behind, or just put it aside for now, and actually get a career on this, I knew I was, I was gonna be happy with the choice because my idea of a good place to work, it's not the actual job. It's the people and the environment and the culture, I, I take special look into that. Because I feel that you're always going to be like, Oh, my job sucks. Everyone says that every once in a while, and you're going to have better days or worse days. But if you have the people around you that support you, even if you had the day full of meetings that you don't like to go to, but you can stay later and have a chat with your coworkers and just have a pleasing environment, you're gonna be happy, it doesn't matter if you're a graphic designer, or an architect or a software developer, you're gonna enjoy going to work every day, because the people that surround you are are great. So for me, I was looking for a company that I knew would match that for me. I knew at that time that I was looking for a job, I think it was end of 2021. I, I knew there were a lot of jobs available. For not right now it's a little bit harder for juniors to find a job, I feel. But at that time, it was it was a good place to be. And I just wanted, I wanted to be picky to be honest that at first. And they allowed me to be because they offered me the job. And I said yes, I had I had really great feedback from this person telling me how the culture was how they were growing as a company. And but the feeling was just like startup but not crazy startup as if we were all in everybody's working hard, hard, hard. But just like more familiar, you know, like the family, that you get your own team. But at the same time you have other teams that you meet up, you they they do like chapters where they gather at, I felt I felt it was the right place to go for what I was looking for.

Tim Bourguignon 18:12
Awesome, awesome. And how did they structure their onboarding? Natural onboarding is the right word. Because I mean, I mean, the first month of your employment, to be able to to get a bootcamp graduate up to speed somebody who's who's in professional reconversion and doesn't have professional experience with air quotes. Could you had some, some experience before but some professional experience under their wing how to get this person going with all the bring and and come up to speed?

Anna Sala Mercade 18:52
Well, it was actually a lot of just sit down with a goat and read it over and over try to change things just because you want to. And and just asking questions, a lot of questions. I'm also not afraid ever to ask questions. I sometimes ask questions people don't expect I sometimes we would then be in meetings and be like, Okay, that was not a question that I expected. But here's the answer. But I I always try to not not not as the question because then I would be with a doubt and when I have a doubt I it gets into my mind as a thinking over and over and over and over. So I actually do it for my own mental health. But it was if I didn't have just like courses or anything really they just gave me the code. They just gave me the guidelines of what we were doing and just Sit down, learn some pure programming. At first, it was kind of a special situation, also, because the project was a project that was coming to us that it was legacy code. So the team was building up just to take on that project. So the senior at the time that I was going to work with, actually started on the same day that I did. So it was a learning process together instead of her to teaching me how to do things. Because she was also like, new to everything. And I actually, I think I liked it that way at the time, because it was not just I was not afraid of asking her even more because she knew everything, and I had to learn it. But sometimes it would be like, Okay, I don't know, either. Let's sit down and find out how would we do this? Or how would we do that? And I liked that to see a more senior person being like, fine with saying, I don't know this either. And being like, okay, so instead of being Oh, my God, I'm a senior, and they're supposed to be relying on me on this. But I'm fine with saying, I don't know it, let's find out. Instead of I don't know, oh, my God, what they're gonna say, you know. So, I enjoyed that process a lot. I learned a lot. It was a crazy legacy code as well. It was, it was a lot. I'm not gonna I'm not gonna lie, because it was a code that was done two years ago for an external company. And they, when we took it in, we had no idea why were things that shouldn't weigh done. And we had no one to ask. And we just had to figure it out. And then whenever we wanted to change something, because we thought this would was the better way to do it, it would explode somehow. And it was because we there was a microservices somewhere that was doing something that we didn't know it existed. And it was a lot of doing and rolling back and undoing things. Until Until we kneel, it was a thing that we had to touch, just little by little, because it would go crazy. Like it was in production. So we literally could not break things. And it was it was fun.

Tim Bourguignon 22:42
I'm sure it was I'm torn between two questions. Let's squish them together. That makes sense. I'm very interested in how this process of learning alongside a senior who has no idea either about the code went so you hint it as well. I don't know, either. Let's let's figure it out. Did you discover ways of looking at the code that you didn't know about? or ways to going at it that you didn't know about? And I would be interested in a couple of examples? If you do?

Anna Sala Mercade 23:17
Yeah, sure. I actually did learn a lot, mostly and how to navigate code. You know, when I was in the boot camp, both as a student and as a system professor, we would have small projects because they were projects to learn react, for example. So you would build a project and learn like the typical grade read, update and delete project and to do list, for example, you know, and it was small, you had like, three folders and six, seven components at most. And I realized, obviously, that there was many, many, many more complex ways of of structuring projects and a lot of components and how they interacted. And how would you control certain things re renders blah, blah, when I'm talking about React, I work with React. And I would find that for me, I would see something that I didn't know what was going on, and realize that I would stop there instead of Okay, so if I have this function, that I have no idea what it's doing, instead of going finding out okay, what does this mean go back and get this part and what this other part means and like just building from there, I would just be like, Okay, I don't understand this. And learning with her. For example, I learned that you don't stop anywhere and say, Now, I don't know what's going on. She would just like okay, what is this? Okay, now we know this is a constant They didn't now we know this part does this calculation. And now we know this is to do that. And it helped me realizing that there's no stop anywhere, it just it can go until the end of time, but you just have to keep building piece by piece. And and, and just gathering like your puzzle, I will say. So, so yes, that actually helped me a lot sometimes, like even today. Well, even today, I've been working there for like a year and a half. But I feel that I can. I can continue and not stop at some point. Or even if I have a question for my current senior, because I'm working with another awesome programmer. I don't stop at some point, I say, Hey, I'm not sure what this is doing. But I know this part does this. And this other part does that. But I'm not sure how this all works. So So yeah, that helped me.

Tim Bourguignon 26:10
That is awesome. That's awesome. That's something I realized as well. So I worked in firmware engineering before and C and C++. And they are the obfuscation was was way harder. So you really embedded some time libraries that were in binary form. And in order to get what they were doing, you had to go above and beyond. But so that that was a bit different. But when I when I moved to the website, everything is there. Yeah, sometimes some JavaScript is obfuscated, and it's hard to read. But still, it's here. And you can kind of reverse engineering what it's doing. And you can kind of understand, and when it's your own code, and you can go ahead with it, you can really find everything. And so did this, this buyer to, as you said, I don't know, I just stop and raise your hands just, it doesn't exist anymore. And you have all the details, you just have to take it one piece after the other one step at a time, just piece by piece. And at some point, you understand what's what's going on. That is really cool. It was really cool. And use some some some techniques to make sense of what you were, what you were finding, for instance, a lot of writing tests this UK, we think this is the way it should be. This is what it's doing. So now let's write a test about this. Or even different put some assertions in production. And I've seen it done as well saying, Hey, we think this is what should be happening. And we think there should never be this case. So let's put an assert. And if if this case ever happens, well, no. Use some simple tools like that.

Anna Sala Mercade 27:43
Yes, I've always been a big fan of testing. Let me put it this way. Not a big fan in terms of that I liked it. To be honest. When I was learning it, it was like, Oh, my God, what is this, I hope I never have to do this. But when I actually out of boot camp, because they they taught me how to do unit testing and stuff. And when I actually started working, I realized how important it was, you know, at that point, I thought it was the worst thing ever. But I also was learning how important it was to to realize, hey, you change this now, your app is not behaving the way you expected before is that, are you sure you want to do this? So for me, I I've learned that always, at first, I was only testing the happy path. You know that everything goes great. And you know, you don't get any value on the phone or no and it's nothing is gonna break ever. But I have learned now that you have to test the happy path a little bit. Yeah. But tried to test that the other cases, any other case that you can find out? What happens if I receive new or what happens if the back end? Doesn't work? Are we having everything tested in terms of, hey, if something breaks, anything, at whatever point, what is going to happen? What is the user going to see? Are they going to see a screen and notification pop up? Whatever. But always have that in your in the back of your mind because it can happen even if the back end says because that has happened many times. We were working with with a team that always said no, no, no, we have this control in our end, nothing crazy is gonna happen. And then the craziest thing happened that they would we were expecting strings and then they would give us numbers and we're like, what I was expecting no law and the fine but not not numbers, you know? And, and I've I feel like I've gotten better or at testing those cases at being ready for what may happen? Because now cases that a year ago would not occur to me. Like that will never happen, or I just didn't even have it in my mind. Later on, I feel like let's just stay that late try this weird case, that may never happen, but just in case, so I'm ready for that.

Tim Bourguignon 30:27
It will never happen. Famous last words. Exactly. Yeah, I agree with you that testing is the worst, until you've worked with a legacy code base that has no tests. And that is not the worst.

Anna Sala Mercade 30:41
It is the best thing.

Tim Bourguignon 30:44
It is, I feel there's there's a learning curve with with testing the beginning, you just as you say, you don't want to test then you test only the happy path. And then in my experience, then you go wild with it and taste way too much. And taste and create tests that are either brittle, that is the bridge easily, there is one change in the software and just breaks everywhere. And then you create a lot of tests that are redundant, actually testing the whole the same thing again and again. And if this thing breaks, then you have 25,000 tests that goes right. Okay, where do I start? And then at some point, you graduate out of this and find, okay, now I know how to test at create tests that are actually not breaking the whole time it breaking when there is really something that is breaking. And when something breaks, I only have a couple of tests that goes red, because I know exactly which ones and not the rest. But this is really a learning curve that takes years.

Anna Sala Mercade 31:43
I think I'm still in the process of testing everything building from a lot, a lot a lot. I'm gonna get to that point that what you're saying? Probably you're gonna have to go back a little bit.

Tim Bourguignon 31:55
And you have to stick to it. Because I've seen sometimes it's really discouraging. You just see okay, off and it just just doesn't work. And I've been I've written this this, and they've done so much. And it's just not helping. Yeah. After you find the right. The right tweaks and right, the right screws. It's a journey, back everything. One thing we didn't talk about, you said you started this company in 2021. Is that correct?

Anna Sala Mercade 32:22
Yes. Well, it's, it's a little confusing, because a month or so ago, the company split into two. Okay, so I was working for set code. And now I'm working for both buying group services. But I'm actually working on the same exact project with the same exact people. So I keep saying that it's the same company because for me, nothing has changed. I actually started working on one project. But in January this year, it changed to this other project. And now this project is moving to this new company, but it's the same my bosses are the same. Everything is the same.

Tim Bourguignon 33:01
Okay. But when you started, it was full panoramic still, wasn't it?

Anna Sala Mercade 33:07
Yeah, it was January 2020. Wait, when was it 2021. year because I was not 2022, January 2022. I started here. And because I all 2021 I was doing the boot camp. And then being a system professor.

Tim Bourguignon 33:29
I assumed the boot camp was in person. That's probably a small group. But still during the pandemic, you could you could meet Yes. Yeah. How was your onboarding in this company? Was it on site? Was it remote, partially remote? How'd it go?

Anna Sala Mercade 33:44
Are you I'm lucky to be nervous, like I live like 30 minutes car ride to Barcelona right now. And they, they tell me I can go any day at the office or none at all. So at first I was going a lot but then my, my team at that time was mostly from everywhere. But Barcelona, in Spain. So I was alone, in terms of my team was not there. I was meeting and going to lunch with other teams and stuff. But But I stopped going for a while and now I go I try to go once a week, at least just to see the people and just get out of the house a little bit. But I get like for example in the summer, I'm not going because it's too hot. And it's like we work on the six hours a day. So it's not really there's no point really.

Tim Bourguignon 34:50
How was this experience compared to to what you did before I assume as a graphic designer before you were full time in an office. That was the old world And now you have the full flexibility of going wherever you want your, if you go there, you will meet some people, but you probably have online meetings the whole day, because your team is not there. How is this this switch between before and after?

Anna Sala Mercade 35:16
I think it's something that has to happen everywhere. To be honest, in all, like even graphic design or anything, you know, I understand graphic design. You need to meet with a client and sometimes even be there in person. But working from home gives you a freedom, that, that you feel better at when you're actually working. So let me explain this. When you're when I'm working, for example, I feel sometimes I get frustrated because you know, this is a job though, you get a lot of frustration when something doesn't work, or it doesn't go the way you're expected to go. And I feel that being at home allows me to be just like, let me stand up, go for a walk five minutes and come back. When you're at the office, you know, at least my office, your your boss is right next to you. And even though in this case, she has never said anything wrong about standing up, like the opposite. Like we have ping pong, the office and we have like such a cool kitchen and all of that. But you don't feel the same way of standing up and feeling like you're doing nothing. And at home, you you get the freedom of doing that. And just because you feel they allowed you to do it, you're gonna stay after like 20 more minutes being Oh, I feel bad because I went on a walk. And this is what happens to me. I went on a walk for five minutes. So let me work like 50 more minutes today to get up on that. But you're more productive, I feel I'm more productive because I can work my own way I get the distractions I need when I need them, not whenever everybody else needs them. So, so my productivity, I think it's much better. When when I'm at home.

Tim Bourguignon 37:20
Did you leave graphic design completely behind you? Or did it intermingle in your life? I need your video.

Anna Sala Mercade 37:27
It's still there. I'm actually a freelance as a graphic designer still. i At first I took on a lot of clients, while I was still unsure if if this was going to work. And when I found that this was something that was going to be great for my life. I I left some clients behind I'm just sticking with the ones that I really liked people that value my work and all of that. And but yes, I still do some some graphic design on the site.

Tim Bourguignon 38:03
And how does this work on graphic design back then, and still has influenced the way you work daily as a front end developer.

Anna Sala Mercade 38:12
You know, as a front end developer, it has helped me a lot in mostly one point, which is the way things look are really important. And if the margins are not the same on both sides, I get OCD and I have to fix it. I'm like, Oh my God, why is this not exactly centered or something like that, and I feel this is an attention to detail that is comes from my graphic design, of course. And I feel also another thing that I I got from it is, as a graphic designer and freelancer, I have to talk to clients a lot because you have to get what they need and let them explain you and try to find a way through their thoughts to actually get the stuff out because some people are not sure what they want and you have to take it up from them. And I learned a lot how to communicate with people how to get ideas out, to be honest, I think that's like get ideas out of people. Sometimes I feel that we're in meetings and someone says like it feels like they're gonna talk but they never say anything. And I'm like wait, I think you have an any an idea and they have no other option but just to say it and it's they're awesome ideas. But they just don't feel like saying it or they are not sure if their ideas right. But if you if you give them the space to give you your to sell the idea. You can work around it or just like, give it some shape in order to become a thing. So I feel that that comes from my background as a graphic designer and marketing.

Tim Bourguignon 40:15
I am nodding heavily during the whole before and before I ask you for an advice, I have a final question that I have to ask. So do you have a Tesla yet?

Anna Sala Mercade 40:26
No. It's still a goal. Not so much. Now. To be honest, I feel Tesla has changed a lot. And I try to not be so like what the news are saying or what is going on in that sense, because if I like it, I like it. And that's what what happens. But I feel, you know, I work for both organs. So I cannot really to say that I want to test I love by two. But no, it's something that has been on the site for a while, and I feel at someday, someday I'm gonna get it. I have no doubt about that. But I feel it's gonna be later on.

Tim Bourguignon 41:10
Another last question. Are you still in contact with this? This tennis player? Slash mentor?

Anna Sala Mercade 41:15
Yes. Yes. Actually, like, I gave a talk back in May. And I said, I explained the exact same story because I feel this is like, the funniest start off of career. And I every now and then I meet him and I tell him how it's going. He's like, super proud, like, Oh, my God, I can't believe you're doing this just because I told you. And, and it's, it's cool. It's cool. Because he gives me so many advices as he's a senior back in the States, and he has a super cool job that I always feel like it's my go to. And, and he he's super proud. And I'm so glad that he introduced this to me.

Tim Bourguignon 42:08
That was awesome. It was awesome. It goes full circle, and you're able to tell him this. Yeah. Cool. Fantastic. Is there any advice that you've been giving to your students, boot campers to help them start their story? Is there something that you would like to highlight?

Anna Sala Mercade 42:25
Yes, I, I think in this in this career, you're always gonna feel like an imposter. You know, being at the bootcamp almost 100% of the people that go there come from different backgrounds, like I've met people coming from like, veterinarian, and I don't know, like people that were just waitresses and just want to change their life and for the best. And they're always afraid they're not going to be up to the standards of this. And I feel because this is a place that you can learn every single day. You know, when I was in graphic design, I always put this example then the Nike logo, the swoosh is a logo that was done years and years ago, and he hasn't changed a bit. And it just works because it's, it's great. It's great design and great design, you don't have to touch it because it will work forever. But in this industry, even if it's great, super great today, tomorrow might not be so don't be afraid of being a person that is still learning because everyone is and they will always be even if they are more senior than you and they have more experienced than you. They are still learning. So you cannot feel as an imposter. Because everyone is in the same place as you they are still learning there is no perfect 100% Forever goat, you will have to change it at some point and work around it. So just go with it. Don't be afraid of saying I'm learning don't be afraid of saying yes. as we as we mentioned before, and and keep learning.

Tim Bourguignon 44:24
Don't be afraid of being someone who is still learning because everyone is that is quotable. Thank you so much. It's been a fantastic ride.

Anna Sala Mercade 44:36
Thank you for having me.

Tim Bourguignon 44:37
I love it. Where would be the best place to find you online and start or continue this discussion?

Anna Sala Mercade 44:44
Sure. So you can find me on LinkedIn. And assala Merica there. I think like the extension is just that on Twitter, as well. Same thing on Isola underscore you will find a duck next to it, we can talk about ducks another day.

Tim Bourguignon 45:05
You mean rubber ducks, rubber ducks. Yeah. Those two links to the show notes. Anything else you want to highlight before we

Anna Sala Mercade 45:13
had to get just thanks a lot for for having me and I enjoyed a lot this conversation.

Tim Bourguignon 45:19
Fantastic. Likewise. Thank you. And this has been another episode of their buyers journey. We see each other next week. Bye bye. Bye bye. Thanks a lot for tuning in. I hope you have enjoyed this week's episode. If you liked the show, please share rate and review. It helps more listeners discover those stories. You can find the links to all the platforms the show appears on on our website, Dev journey dot info slash subscribe. Creating the show every week takes a lot of time, energy, and of course money. Will you please help me continue bringing out those inspiring stories every week by pledging a small monthly donation, you'll find our patreon link at Deaf journey dot info slash donate. And finally, don't hesitate to reach out and tell me how this week's story is shaping your future. You can find me on Twitter at @timothep ti m o t h e p porker email info at Dev journey dot info talk to you soon