We are bringing forward the humans behind the Signol app - they're a bunch of incredibly talented and diverse people that we hope you'll be pleased to meet. In this ninth blog post, get to know Geronimo Perez Salas, our VP of Engineering and our brilliant efficient solutions builder.
Hi Gero, let’s start with your background before Signol.
I have been working as a Software Engineer since 2013, working across many industries such as e-commerce, real-estate, and healthcare, which has given me an understanding of different processes and the opportunity to work on diverse technical challenges.
So, how did you get involved in Signol?
Almost all my previous companies were big enterprises. I had never worked for a startup before, until one day, a dev friend contacted me to introduce Signol and told me about the potential impact. I was excited by the mission to reduce carbon emissions, so I was very motivated to join and start contributing to what Signol is now.
How has your role at Signol evolved over the past few years?
I joined Signol almost 3 years ago, in a very early stage of the company. We had a very green “demo” site to present to potential customers and accelerators, but nothing was really functional. In the beginning of a small startup, everyone digs in to do whatever is needed, but slowly more people come on board and take over specific jobs - allowing us to really look at our strategic plan and focus on those areas that need more definition and expansion.
From a technical point of view, my role as Principal Software Engineer hasn’t “evolved” too much. Since I joined, I’ve always been very involved with the codebase and the technical implementations we deliver. From the first day, I started designing an initial version of the architecture, setup our cloud infrastructure from scratch, designed the critical core components of the system, and developed a real data-driven application that interacts with backend services. At that moment, airlines were our sole focus, so the idea was to build something that met their needs.
Then, we started engaging international maritime customers and that introduced new challenges, like supporting a multi-industry and multi-language user interface, and adapting notifications depending on the business.
Obviously, this demanded more “coder hands” so we hired another software engineer and all our roles continue to refine as we grow.
What was it like moving into “Startup” culture?
It is very different from the companies I worked with before, but I really love the culture at Signol. There is more freedom to make important decisions, and whilst having that level of responsibility can be intimidating it’s also really exciting. Here there is constant iteration, aiming to find the right direction of success. Certainly, there is more speed and agility than in big companies.
You mentioned building a “multi-industry” solution. Was that one the most difficult engineering challenge at Signol?
Absolutely. Building a B2B product is not easy. Every new customer is a new challenge since there are many differences between the structure of the data they manage, the mechanism they use to gather that data, and varying data privacy regulations to consider as well.
We had a lot of engineering sessions in order to design a system that was flexible and capable of supporting those differences between customers. To be a bit more technical, we refactored our entire ETL (data collection) pipeline so now it performs much better than the initial version, and we built an internal system to handle dynamic content depending on the industry and the preferences of each customer. This allowed us to show more personalised content in the customer-facing app and email notifications.
As a Software Engineer, what is the best thing about working on Signol?
To build things from scratch is incredible. I was part of the first launch with Virgin Atlantic Airlines, and I can see the real impact we have. I also have a lot of input into the direction and development of the entire system, and can incorporate the thinking of the new engineers we onboard, with the goal of improving and scale it according to our needs.
And here's a little trivia with Gero:
Get a demonstration
Signol is a software platform that draws on insights from behavioral economics to encourage employees to make more efficient decisions. Signol provides personalized feedback through multiple communication channels, as well as data analysis for managers. In aviation, Signol aims to use behavioral "nudges" and incentives to reduce pollution and fuel waste and cut operating costs.