Many people know Arnoldo Montano for his YouTube channel, Hey Arnoldo, where he has more than 525K subscribers. But some of his viewers don’t know that Arnoldo has more than 10 years of experience as a software developer.
YouTube creators have real jobs, Arnoldo said, adding that “being a YouTuber isn’t as fun as being a software developer.” Prior to beginning his current role as Frontend Developer with EasyKnock, a residential sale-leaseback platform, Arnoldo worked for companies including Autozone and Siemens Healthineers.
At Terminal’s recent Global Engineer summit, Arnoldo spoke with Vicente Plata, Tech Lead and Manager at Shopify, about their experiences with Terminal.
The host of the conversation, Vicente, said Terminal introduced him to healthcare startup Hims and Hers as a company with high-growth potential. He could be one of the first engineers on the team, and he might have the ability to grow his own team there.
“I was super-hyped by that, and I was hyped that Terminal would expand to Latin America,” Vicente said, adding that he wanted to be part of Terminal’s mission to help bring great opportunities to talent around the world.
Arnoldo, who is based in Chihuahua, Mexico, said he was working for smaller companies as a software engineer when he was contacted by US-based companies. He was working for near-shore companies, or companies that hire software engineers who are geographically close and can work within a few hours of their preferred time zone. A recruiter for Terminal contacted Arnoldo, and the rest is history.
“One of the main things I was looking for was to improve my development game,” Arnoldo said. Prior to companies like Terminal, Mexican developers had to make a cross-border move to the US or another country to improve their skills.
Arnoldo said having the opportunity to grow without leaving his hometown was “love at first sight,” adding, “This is the main thing I was looking for – some kind of growth without leaving my hometown. It was the thing that called to me.”
“Working directly with a company instead of working as a near-shore developer has given me the opportunity to work more closely with the product,” Arnoldo said.
Near-shore companies have their limits, Arnoldo said, including not having a lot of room to boost a company’s growth or make a significant impact on products.
“Working directly with Terminal and EasyKnock has given me the opportunity to make decisions that will impact the company,” he said. “All in all, [working with Terminal gave me] the opportunity to improve myself as a developer. I have complete ownership of my time and the things that I do.”
Arnoldo said he said he faced trepidation before starting with Terminal. Specifically, he mentioned fears would happen if he worked for two months with this company and then they said they would no longer need Arnoldo’s skills?
One thing that calmed his fears was talking with friends, including Vicente, who were working with Terminal already.
Vicente said that he had doubts about his personal abilities before working with Terminal, specifically regarding his startup and hypergrowth experience. He had to learn about wearing multiple hats and “just shipping the thing” on the job. He said he eventually overcame it when he saw colleagues come from similar situations.
Arnoldo said he wondered if he was at the technical level needed to work at a high-growth startup. “Here in Latin America, we have some very skilled engineers,” he said, “They just need to take a leap of faith and start working with companies.” If you don’t have the seniority needed, you can work with companies to gain that experience, and once you have the right skillset, you can work for any company in the world. “It has nothing to do with the place you live,” he added.
Where does Arnoldo see his career going? He said he’d like to explore a leadership role next.
“With the knowledge I’m acquiring here at EasyKnock, it would be easier to start my own company. This is the magic of working at these kinds of companies because you acquire so much knowledge about other things,” Arnoldo said, including managing people, communicating efficiently and how the startup world works.
Vicente asked the question that was on everyone’s mind – does Arnoldo ever stop what he’s doing to create YouTube videos in the middle of the day?
Arnoldo said no, he has to remain focused because if he jumped from his YouTube channel back to the product he’s working on at EasyKnock, it would drive him crazy.