Each week, 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 twelfth blog post, get to know Julian Vidal Catuc our Senior Software Engineer at Signol and Head Puzzle Solver.
Hi Julian, let us start with your background before Signol.
I was born in Argentina, where I got my Engineering degree at the ripe old age of twenty-two. Since then, I have worked in a variety of industries, including but not limited to real estate and anti-money-laundering. When I joined Signol I had 5 years of experience.
After joining Signol, I also went back to university for a year, but this time as a teacher.
So, how did you get involved in Signol?
While in real estate, I worked with another software developer named Geronimo. A year after leaving that team, Gero contacted me and introduced me to Signol, where he had just started working and the burgeoning development team could use an extra pair of hands.
At the time it was an idea and a scientific paper, but it was easy to see the potential of the proposed system. Within a week I was finishing the very first “demo” version of our system’s website.
How has your role at Signol evolved over the past 2 years?
As anyone that has worked in a startup can tell you, roles are pretty fluid to begin with, and on top of that, being a Full-Stack Software Engineer means I get to do anything related to computing, which in our case is pretty much everything.
As part of my work, I’ve done data analysis, design of UI and UX, technical design of the backend services and the overall architecture of the system, and I have even built AI.
As the team grows, new people join in and take ownership of different tasks, so currently everything data and UI/UX is being managed by my amazing coworkers. Soon more will join, allowing me to focus on what I am best at, which is software architecture.
You mentioned teaching, how was it and how did it impact your work at Signol?
It was great! I taught both “Programming II” and “Information and Communications” to 3rd year engineering students, which means they are all knowledgeable on the subject and eager to learn more, so it was very interesting to spark discussions and, over the year, see them apply the concepts I explained to them in new and exciting ways.
Coming from that experience, I’ve taken it upon myself to share my knowledge of the system I’ve helped to build at Signol, and to teach everyone in the company not only how it works, but the reasons behind it. I have seen it happen in big companies, where people who work outside of the product don’t really understand what it does and that leads to all kinds of issues.
I have heard the term “code monkey”, what is it and does that happen at Signol?
My very first job was as a “code monkey.” As a code monkey, my only task was to write the code my direct boss wanted me to. If I dared to change a single thing, it was reason enough to get a meeting with him.
At Signol, we are very far from that. Everyone's input is considered and discussed in the design stage, and then each member of the development team has the liberty to implement that solution their own way, as long as we keep in mind the other people who need to work with it.
What is your biggest achievement at Signol?
That’s a hard one, we’ve built many solutions that are, dare I say, brilliant.
One thing that comes to mind is the constant evolution of our system. Despite the challenges that come with building one system compatible with multiple industries. We have not only met the needs of those industries with new functionalities, but we’ve vastly improved the baseline functionalities of the system.
Finally, here's a little trivia with Julian:
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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.