Evo January Spotlight

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Evo January Spotlight

Why I’m glad to work with Angel Alvizu

Evo January Spotlight: Angel Alvizu. Image credits: Evo Pricing (CC with attribution)

Evo uses AI to help businesses reduce waste and make better decisions. But our AI doesn’t build itself! The EvoFamily helps us design, structure, support, run and improve our AI and its underlying infrastructure to provide the best possible recommendations to our clients.

Because our team is critical in making Evo tools a success, we want to celebrate the diverse team members worldwide that help us fulfil our mission. Each month we highlight one of our outstanding team members and allow them to share a bit of their day-to-day contributions and accomplishments. We couldn’t be more grateful to have these awesome people on our team!

Meet Angel

This month, we’re going to get to know the person who built out our scrapers to be the robust data collection engines they are today, Angel, a bit better.

Tell us a little about yourself, Angel.

I’m from Valencia, Venezuela, and I am a coder at heart. I’ve always been interested in the IT world, mostly programming. I discovered programming about 12 years ago and used to program little games or hacks for games. That’s how I entered the programming world. Eventually, I studied programming formally, and I graduated as a computer engineer in 2015.

What keeps you busy when you’re not programming?

I have a few hobbies that I like to do. Two years ago, I discovered mountain biking. It keeps me in a better condition than I was before. I was kind of inactive; I was always playing video games. I still like video games, but I don’t have that much time to play them currently. I made an exchange: video games for mountain biking. It’s fun, and I can keep myself active. It was a good decision for me.

Besides that, I like going to our beautiful beaches here in Venezuela and doing the usual activities. I like to go to restaurants and have good food. My favourite foods are anything grilled out and french fries.

What do you do at Evo?

I first started as a scraper developer for car rental, grocery, wine, and sports websites. Then I migrated to other roles, such as dev ops. I also get to work with Edo on some automation and infrastructure tasks in the company. Mostly though, my job has been centred around data scraping, developing the bots for collecting data from different websites. Currently, the most important scrapers are the rental ones. It’s the most active. There are many others, though, some that are just experimental projects.

Soon, I’ve been told, I’ll be working on some redesign of the evopricing.com landing page. That seems like an interesting project, taking me a little out of my comfort zone. Although I have some experience with website development on the backend, I haven’t done it for Evo. This will be an interesting way to expand my tasks.

How’d you end up at Evo?

I originally found Evo through Upwork. I’d been freelancing for the past four years, and I’d take projects from there. I had been working for local companies here in Venezuela, but due to the economy, it wasn’t practical anymore. I had to move to a freelance role. I had built up a profile doing projects for other companies when I found a small task related to the rental scrapers offered by Evo.

I did a couple of projects tasks there, and, well, the rest is history! They offered me a more significant role that grew from there.

What do you love about your job?

This is my first experience working as a real team. Before that, I was kind of a lone wolf in a lot of smaller companies. It was a pretty solo job. Here, no.

What I like about Evo is the team. The environment is one where everyone works together. They allow you to communicate with all sorts of other people to help you solve the problems at hand. It’s a pretty cohesive team. I especially like the communication between all the departments and the ability to have a more organized form of work using that communication and GitLab.

What’s the biggest challenge you’ve faced at Evo?

I think the biggest challenge on the technical side was trying to develop better scrapers and better techniques to avoid countermeasures. It was a real challenge to improve and make our scrapers the best.

The other challenge was related to the soft skills part of my job. Although I knew English before, this was a really good experience on the practical side. Before, I didn’t have much experience talking to other English speakers around the world. I used to chat a lot, but I didn’t speak much, per se. It was a challenge to put into practice that spoken English.

What excites you about Evo’s future?

There’s a lot going on with Evo, and it’s really growing fast. The good thing about Evo is that there’s the opportunity to be a part of many different areas and interact with many different teams. It’s a good opportunity for my career to grow in the same way in the data analysis part of the team. The growing opportunities are really present, and I’m glad to have the opportunity to be part of a bigger and more organized team.

How has your experience at Evo differed from your other working experiences?

I would say working with the Evo team (and in particular the tech team that I’ve worked mostly with) has been a pretty enriching experience. I’ve learned a lot from you guys, especially through doing things.

I’ve noticed that in particular in the technical side of things you use a lot more prebuilt solutions compared to Venezuela. When it comes to some things, we buy instead of build, saving time to focus on more critical and creative things that I really like and also on the business side of things. It increases the impact of our efforts.

What is it like working on the Evo team?

The communication is really great between teams, and that’s really important. In programming, that’s actually one of the most important things. It’s not just about coding away; it’s mostly about knowing what to do to get results and knowing how to communicate. We have to know how to interpret what the client wants and share critical information with each other. At Evo, it’s a priority.

What advice do you have for anyone interested in becoming a part of the EvoFamily?

Keep an open mind, and always be eager to learn new things. Do not be scared to do research, even outside of your work hours. Embrace the full learning experience 24/7 because you can fall behind really easily with today’s rapidly changing technologies. The most important thing is to not be scared to read a lot, and always keep learning. And Evo really helps you do that.

Also, develop your soft skills. That’s one of the most important things for your career. Don’t only focus on the technical side of your job.

Thanks for being part of the EvoFamily, Angel! Do you have any other news for us?

I wanted to come to Italy for the EvoCon in 2020 and then last year, but the pandemic stopped me. It would have been great to see you all and also travel in Europe because I’ve never been there even though I also have Portuguese citizenship. In the future, I’m really looking forward to traveling over there and sharing with you all in person. Hopefully, I’ll be there with you all for this year’s EvoCon!


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