About me

I've worn many hats over my young professional career: front-end developer, back-end developer, database administrator, engineering teams leader and mentor, solutions consultant, digital marketing technologist, creative technologist, chief technology officer, and co-founder. Some of these hats I've worn for curiosity and others out of necessity, but I've always worn them with passion and drive.

I simply love how empowering technology can be, directly and indirectly. The process of creation, going from a blank document and adding lines and lines of code and potentially creating worlds is so stimulating and satisfying. We have the best profession in the world.

I'm 31 years old and finally learning to appreciate and understand what things are most important to me, such as family, quality friendships, being a compassionate human being, treating yourself, the importance of hard work, health and work-life balances. With these discoveries, I find myself in a phase of reflection. Do I desire to continue climbing the managerial ladder or do I want to return to my roots as a software engineer? Stay tuned!

I love learning and building things

Rolling up my sleeves and executing outside my comfort zones is something that I look forward to. I might not be the best and brightest engineer but my drive and perseverance will help me achieve viable resolutions to the challenges. It's not only about being successful, it's also about the learning process and the collaboration involved in facing new things and discovering your gallons.

My academic background is in computer science. This permits me to jump around languages, frameworks, design patterns, and the such, with what I think is relative ease. One must choose the correct tool for each situation and for this reason my tools, processes, and methodologies are always evolving and under scrutiny.

I'm eternally grateful to my parents and college professors for instilling what has become a passion for learning. In our field of work, continuous education must be a serious commitment if one seeks to be a valuable team player and contributor. I also strongly believe that our learning focus should not be limited to tech. We should study a little something about everything to become well-rounded human beings. One can be a genius at functional programming but without some fundamentals on, for example, empathy and communication, one could miss out on many good things.

Stop the violence

Can we truly work solely with someone's skills but not with their being and emotions? Sometimes we can, and that's cool. But sometimes people want to go to work and develop professional relationships based on trust and kindnesses. This is why I attempt to have an empathy-based approach to communication and the overall management of things throughout my teams.

Just check out the news and see how the strictly "performance-based" or "elitist" approaches in management and leading are working out... I don't want to discredit these styles, but my opinion is that we have to achieve a balance. As human beings, we have to seek to avoid violence and judgment. We have to seek for our coworkers to work with desire, commitment, and being proud of the products that we build. There's nothing powerful that an engineer that is inspired, empowered, respected, and well paid.

I also try to encourage my teams day in and day out to try the next and the previous thing. Make a proof-of-concept. Let's philosophize a little bit of this approach versus that one. CSS-in-JS is dumb? Why? Let's try it out. Oh, you love it now; that's great. Still dislike it? That's ok too. Share the learnings with the rest of the teams. Write some docs about it. Let's do it!

Working at a marketing agency

Working out of a marketing agency is fun! Without going into the innate craziness of the culture, clients, pace of work, and the office's spaces... We get to pick our tech stacks and solutions with virtually no restrictions (in most cases) and get to build whatever crazy shit we can think of! My teams ship out hundreds of projects each year, each with variable scopes of work, difficulty, and duration. And while our top deliverables are websites, promotional web-apps, chatbots and a ton of custom tools, we build a sweet range of things.

My favorite projects, at the moment, are our MINE data platform and anything that has artificial intelligence and customer-facing interfaces. MINE is a huge analytics, insights and reporting engine that consolidates data from hundreds of concurrent media campaigns using Talend, BigQuery, custom management tools written in Python, and Tableau for visualization, from over 36 data sources of media, social, traffic, placement, revenue and other third-party sources for each client. I consider this data platform the heart of our agency.

Something extra

  • I'm happily married and currently living in Miami, Florida with my wife and our 13-year old son.
  • English is my second language.
  • I may or may not be a horrible writer.
  • A regret I have, one which I hope to remedy soon, is my lack of work on open source projects.
  • Two of my recent business ventures have been acquired but the experiences have been more educational than lucrative.
  • This year I've been focusing my efforts on React, GraphQL, NodeJS, the Go programming language (as a hobby) and improving my writing, team leading and project management skills.
  • Before college I was an avid athlete, practicing Shotokan and gymnastics competitively! Nowadays I partake in pick-up basketball and MOBA-style games, such as DOTA2.
  • I love playing guitar.
  • While working as a network specialist at the University of Puerto Rico's main precinct, a friend and I challenged the Dean of Technology to let us rebuild the aging website... he accepted and I quickly became the Lead Web Developer for the whole precinct! I built a suite of web-based student services: enrollment, tuition payments, online grades, schedules, academic progress evaluations, and other services. These web services are still in use to this date, hopefully with updated source code 😅!
  • During "the big 2010 student strike" at the University of Puerto Rico, I built the first secure electronic referendum system employed by any governmental or educational institution in Puerto Rico. It was called the "Sistema de Consulta al Estudiante". It was a glorious disaster.
Antonio Rodriguez - leader, web developer, dad, husband, knows what he's doing 60% of the time
Antonio Rodriguez - leader, web developer, dad, husband, knows what he's doing 60% of the time