Tag Archives: Community

Internship Abroad

Our German intern, Paulina, tells us more about what brings her to Argentina and what her plans are for the future.

  • Why did you decide to come to Argentina for your internship?

For school, I have to do an internship abroad. To improve my Spanish skills and also get to know a completely different culture, I decided to travel to a Latin American country. A few of my friends had already been to Argentina and all of them were very fascinated by the country and its people. After collecting some information about the country, I decided to spend my semester abroad in Argentina.

  • What would you say is the biggest cultural difference between Germany and Argentina?

There are many differences, but one of the main obstacles was getting used to the Argentinian eating habits! In Germany, we usually eat dinner around 6 or 7 pm, in contrast to Argentina where they eat much later. The same applies to the nightlife.

Furthermore, the people are very different. The Argentinians are way more welcoming, open and sincere. We Germans are much more reserved and don’t open up to people immediately.

  • What do you think about the work culture at Santex?

Since my first day, everybody was very kind and welcoming. Whenever I am having a problem or need support with anything, someone always takes the time to help me. At Santex there is a very relaxed working atmosphere. People are always in a good mood and it is fun to work there.

  • Which parts of Argentina have you been to? Which ones would you like to visit?

So far, I haven’t seen that much of Argentina since I’ve spent a lot of time in Cordoba. I have already been to the Sierras and to Mendoza, both of which I liked very much.

I definitely want to go to Buenos Aires and of course to the waterfalls in Iguazu.

  • What are your plans for after you finish your internship here?

After my internship I am travelling back to Germany in order to take some exams at my home university. Afterwards, I am starting my next semester abroad in Finland.

Arepas ‘con Cariño’

Diego Del Aguila recently joined the Lima Team, and thus far has been impressing everyone with his awesome arepas! Diego once lived in Venezuela, and brought the recipe for this typical dish with him when he moved to Peru. Not quite sure what an arepa is? Let Diego tell you about it.

Tell us what goes into making a GREAT arepa.

Arepas are easy to make. The key ingredients are corn flour (precooked, which is common in Venezuela and Colombia), water, and salt. But what makes arepas great is that you can fill them with different kinds of ingredients, like beef, chicken, cheese, etc. Common combinations in Venezuela include la reina pepiada (avocado, chicken, onion, pepper, mayonnaise), el perico (egg, tomato, onion) and la dominó (black beans and white cheese).

Aside from that, the most important ingredient is the care & love that you put into it.

How long have you been making homemade arepas?

For almost 20 years now, back to when I lived in Venezuela. Sometimes I would be home alone and had to make something for breakfast or dinner, and a good option was always the arepas.

Do you have any fun memories making arepas?

When I first started making arepas on my own, I didn’t know the exact amounts of each ingredient that you needed, so I had bad ratios of flour to water and salt, and my first batches came out very hard, bland, not salty at all or with too much salt! It took a lot of time and practice to achieve the perfect recipe. Years later I realized that the bag of flour includes instructions on how to make them!

Are there other things you like to cook as well?

I love to cook different things. I like making Mexican food, pastas, salads – I make my own lunch almost everyday. Every once in awhile I’ll invite my friends or family over for lunch or dinner. I think it’s a nice gesture to cook and provide food to your loved ones, bringing everyone together around the table, enjoying something you made with your own hands.

Keys to get a job as a Junior Developer

By Lorenzo Sauchelli – PHP Developer at Santex

What makes a good junior developer and why do companies look for them?

Getting a job when you have no experience can be hard. Nowhere is this more true than in the field of computer science. Usually, a company does not look for a junior Developer. This is not just because they lack the required coding skills needed to work on a project. The employer has no way of knowing if the potential employee has the abilities required to grow into a senior developer, whether or not they have the right work ethics to fit in at the company, or if they can carry their load on their shoulders without constantly having to ask for help.

Here at Santex, we have a created a training program to help junior developers excel in these areas. There will always be 12 junior developers on the team working on exciting internal projects. The idea is that they will get real world experience, evolving into Full-Stack Developers, basically someone who is familiar with each layer of development, from front-end to back-end, business logic, and everything in between. At the same time, they can work on a product that can be useful for the company.

The skills required for a junior position are completely different than those required for a senior one. When we look for senior developers, we look for people who are not just knowledgeable, but also experienced. Junior developers are expected to need a guiding hand, especially in the beginning.

Another common issue is that companies have much less reliable ways to separate the good junior candidates from the not-so-good ones. With senior developers, we can immediately tell whether or not they fit the criteria we’re looking for. With juniors developers, it’s another story. We need to discern some key aptitudes that help us detect the great candidates:

  • Life Experience. Since we can’t really measure their work experience, we need to rely on what they tell us about themselves in other areas. Accomplishments that, at first glance, have little to do with software development can be telling about how they might act in our industry.
  • Humility. We’re talking about unproven developers here, so arrogant behavior raises a red flag. And not just in a “who do they think they are?” kind of way. It can also be a toxic attitude that breaks teams and company culture.
  • Confidence. While this might sound contradictory when put on a list next to humility, it’s also important that the candidate shows that they’re capable. If they are afraid to speak their mind or unsure about their abilities, chances are they will never grow. They are of little use to a company that’s looking to nurture them into senior developers.
  • Ambition. While the right mix of humility and confidence is necessary, if the desire to learn and grow is not there, then it doesn’t matter how much humility and confidence they have. No matter how smart the candidate is, if they don’t want to learn, then they’ll never be capable of expanding their expertise.
  • Logic. Of course, to be successful at coding, any developer needs a good head on their shoulders. They need to be able to think about a problem and come up with a useful solution to it. This doesn’t mean they need to know everything about the programming language they use, but they need to be able come up with creative solutions themselves. If they can’t even get past a FizzBuzz, then they’re not likely to get past the junior moniker.
  • Communication skills. We don’t look for people that sit all day long coding, keeping to themselves and never talking with anyone around them. We want people who talk, share, and are willing and able to explain themselves. Communication builds teams and improves individuals.

Getting hired
Now that we know about some of the key aptitudes companies look for, we can focus on how to show these qualities to an interviewer. Remember, the company is not just looking to find out what you can actually do today, but what you might be able to do a few months, or years, down the line.

  • Talk about what you know. It’s obvious when someone talks about something they have no idea about. People who do this are wasting the interviewer’s time and their chances of getting hired decrease quickly.
  • If you don’t know the answer to a question, say so. Even saying “I don’t know that yet” can do the trick. It can lead the interviewer to ask the candidate to use logic to come up with an answer. This brings to light how well the candidate works under pressure.
  • Learn from as many sources as possible. Blogs, books, and github repositories help developers to improve themselves. Remember: You don’t need to know all the corners of the programming language you’re going to work with, but you need to show that you care enough to learn as much as possible.
  • Ask questions, and learn to ask “the right questions.” This is key for any project, since a client might want something but not be able to articulate exactly what they’re looking for. The interviewer might talk about something that assumes some background knowledge to see if the candidate will ask about it.
  • Practice, practice, practice. If you claim to love your craft, you can’t be expected to not know how to write a single line of code. You will have to take a coding test or two and you’re expected to solve them. Usually it’s nothing major, but if you can’t solve these, then the employer will wonder how you’d ever work on a real-world project.

Nurturing Passion: The road to the Full-Stack Developer
Okay, so you got past the interview and were hired. Good for you! But it’s far from over. Your goal now should be to continue improving yourself and continue showing the qualities that got you hired in the first place.

At Santex we say “WHERE TECHNOLOGY MEETS PASSION” in big, bold letters. And to make that a reality we need to nurture this passion, to help the younger developers who want to become experienced. The best way to become a Full-Stack Developer is to take steps forward to grow a passion for the craft.

Passion makes perfection. If you don’t love your work, then you won’t care for it, and if you don’t care for it, it will surely suffer from that lack of caring, making it of a much lower quality. And in the world we live in, quality is a great divider. Clients don’t look for companies where the only thing that’s valued is how cheap the service they give is, they look for quality, even if they don’t know they want it.

So, to get that much requested quality clients look for, we need skilled workers. Not just skilled workers, actually, but skilled workers who love their work. People who, when making a commitment, feel good about a job well done.

Earlier in this article, I mentioned the Santex Trainee Program and for good reason. It’s a moralizing idea that helps instill this much needed passion into people. Developers don’t love what they do just because they liked writing little programs when they were kids. Managers need to trust the developers and nurture their passion by creating a great workplace. They also need to identify when someone isn’t happy with what they’re doing. This program aims to help not just the new hires get involved in the field and grow them into Full-Stack Developers, but also to help Team Leaders become actual leaders, and create an idea of a team that, in turn, helps future hires land on softer ground and grow much more quickly.

About the Author – Lorenzo is a passionate, experienced PHP developer who is always in search of new challenges. As a high-skilled developer for Santex, he is always looking for new ways of contributing.

Be Green! Be a Changemaker.

By Roxana Morano

Small habits that help us build a better world for future generations.

Do you want to be a better person? Do you want to leave a better world to your children? You can save the world with your daily actions.

At Santex we encourage you to be green!

Reduce the use of resources, Re-use them as much as you can and Recycle them.

Santex is a green company, and we are Sin títuloproud of that.

Santex Changemaker Program is a global program that focuses on three main topics:

A) Recycling

B) Responsible consumption

C) Community

2

A) Recycling

Here at Santex we recycle:

Plastic:

Empty plastic bottles and bags are put into the grey container next to the kitchen. When it is full, they are taken to a big container we have installed on Velez Sarsfield Square, in front of Patio Olmos. CEIPOST Foundation takes all that plastic, process it and sells it to different companies to use it in construction, clothes, etc. This company is giving jobs to many people in Cordoba and also helps to reduce trash and improves the environment. You can find more information on www.ceipost.org.

Plastic Caps are taken to a big container in Hipermercado Libertad, to help children from a Hospital in Alta Gracia.

Technological Trash:

Batteries and technological trash are also collected here. They are taken to “Municipalidad de Cordoba”, who disarms and classifies technological trash to be re-used as part of new devices, and put batteries on safe cells to avoid contamination.

Paper and cardboard:

All paper and cardboard collected in the brown boxes are sent to Cotolengo Don Orione to help children over there.

B) Responsible consumption

Our first initiative was to educate about the use of water and paper.

We have some great stickers everywhere. Next to a water tap, where you can see: “Save Water”, just to let you know, we should not let water run unnecessarily.  Some other stickers said: “Don’t throw away too much paper!” Everything is just part of the same program.

We should reduce our consumption in order to conserve trees and drinkable water.

C) Community

We have given computers  that  are not in use anymore to low-income  school. We also have given IT lessons to children and adults through all year 2013. On 2015 we are planning to start again with a similar program.

NOT ENOUGH FOR YOU?

If all these is not enough for you, and you want to do more for the environment, here you have some ideas you can follow:

  •       Plant a tree. Even if you live in an apartment, you can plant trees in big pots on your balcony, or you can grow seedlings and gift them to friends, as I do.
  •       Grown you own vegetables and create as many plants as you can. If you don’t have enough space you can make them and give them as a gift.
  •       Make a worm farm for compost, there you can recycle organic waste. If it is made properly, it should not smell at all. You can buy Californian worms on the Internet. They are not expensive and 3work for you creating the best compost for your plants.

 

 

 

Change your habits, change your mind, change the World.

 

Roxana Morano is a Java and Python developer for Santex. As one of our volunteers, in this article she explains how we live the Santex Changemaker Program.

Embracing Corporate Social Responsibility

By Nes Lopez

Corporate Social Responsibility refers to the way a corporation “gives back” to society. This focus usually includes contributions of time and money, a duty to provide environmentally friendly solutions and services and a desire to improve the way the society is living on a global and local stage. Socially responsible corporations see to it that this belief filters to everything they do.

Corporate Social Responsability

Social responsibility can be effectively incorporated with effective strategies to advance goodwill, while building sustainable and impactful businesses. They provide the leadership to demonstrate how employees can pursue both objectives simultaneously. As such, socially conscious companies have stepped up their efforts with increasing effectiveness and productivity. It is an impressive movement and one that invites society at large to do even more.

Corporations that are serious about undertaking a socially responsible and sustainable approach often have to battle the fact that other corporations have used this approach as a ploy or as a marketing scheme, or have questionable motives to engage in corporate social responsibility by jumping on the bandwagon and take advantage of the fad.

Another issue is that corporate social responsibility is far from being consistent and universal. There are many non-governmental agencies that are taking an increasing role in pressuring major corporations to behave responsibly. Even though there is no consistency in government regulations regarding social responsibility and legislation can vary vastly between regions, it is really up to the company to go on its own and find a strategy that works for their individual line of business or needs, either by following in the footsteps of other businesses that have successfully adopted social responsibility and sustainability approaches or work with consultants and subject matter experts.

One of the main reasons corporate social responsibility and sustainability has become such a “hot topic” is the issue that other topics such as global warming, pollution, carbon emissions, and deforestation are a daily and common occurrence in our media outlets. Even though these aspects are highly important, there are also other features regarding social responsibilities that are often not as well publicized and communicated, such as ethics, diversity, and disabilities in the business environment.

If a business is dedicated to really being socially responsible and sustainable, the company culture will carry on to its employees and society will take notice. There will be no need to auto-publicize or fabricate marketing ploys to show how “green” they are, or how many carbon credits they’ve earned; or how hiring minorities and disabled individuals makes them more socially responsible and aware, if an individual is capable of effectively performing their role, it should not matter if they come from a different background or if they have a disability.

Every business can find ways to be socially responsible, just by making the earnest and sincere decision to take on this challenge.

Nes Lopez is a Senior Account Manager with a technical background in web and software development. Considerable experience managing projects from start to bottom with direct client interaction.

 

Minding the Tech Gap: Internet and technology penetration in the world.

By Gonzalo Fernández, Market Analyst

We spend so much of our time online using our phones and laptops that is can be easy to forget that there are still plenty of people who are not connected to the internet or who do not even know what a computer is. Not every country in the world is as connected as North America, or other first world countries. Even though we are so used to hearing about income and economic inequality, we often overlook the ever widening gap between the rich and the poor people of the world, a gap that is brought about by technological progress, also known as the technological gap.

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