My first day at OCI

Yesterday I joined OCI Grails team. I am thrilled!. What better place to continue developing my Grails career. But let me reflect how I got here.

6th of July, 2011. This was the first time I heard about Grails. I was organizing a local meetup called Iniciador Guadalajara. We had the pleasure to be joined by Ángel María. The event’s talk followed by networking in the nearest bar. While drinking some beers I met Mamen González. She struck me as a great programmer.

At that point, I was running my own company developing websites and web applications. On particular, I had developed a Struts 1 web application to manage local municipalities. It helped those entities to manage their website and with local paperwork such as permission forms, taxes etc. I wanted to hire or partner up with someone to help me develop the product further and try to reach more and more local governments. After the event, I decided to contact Mamen to see if she would be interested in joining me. I remember we meet in a Mc Donalds close to where she lived. I explained her the product, what where my plans etc. She, in the most polite way, told me I should check Grails. It should allow me to develop faster and better. She told me there was a guy called Alberto Vilches who knew a lot about Grails and who organized a conference called Greach. Needless to say, Mamen did not join me. Who could blame her for dogging the Struts bullet.

4th of November, 2011. I attended my first Greach conference. I have attended every Greach conference since. As promised, I was pleasantly surprised by how much Grails simplified development and how magical it seemed. That conference attendance certainly lit a fire under my belly. I began to check Grails and obsess about it.

Luckily enough, early 2012 a client approach me to develop a Web application to sell concert tickets. The project scope was big and I decided to pitch the use of Grails to develop it. They accepted and I got my first paid Grails gig. I was a Grails newbie and I asked for help to Álvaro Sanchez and his company Salenda. They were already pushing the envelope in the Spanish Grails ecosystem back then. That project completed successfully and it is still online and selling tickets. After that, I adopted Grails as my backend tool.

During the next years, I worked in several other Grails 2 projects. I worked in a really interesting VoIP integration project, in a software as service solution to manage boutique hotels and often found myself using Grails as a backend for mobile application projects.

November 2013, I joined a startup called Shoptimix. I initially joined as the iOS developer. Early 2015, I became the CTO. My first call was to start using Grails in the backend to speed up development. Our initial plan was to hire someone to help me out in the backend but to hire a good Grails developed and convince him to join a startup turned out to be difficult endeavor. I was still convinced Grails was the right framework for us. So we changed gears and I moved completely to the backend where I spent the past two years developing a Grails 3 backend which powered both iOS and Android applications.

In 2015 Greach conference, I attended a marvelous talk by Andres Almiray where he discussed the richness of the Groovy Ecosystem. Again, I went home with an idea which I could not shake off my head. I decided to start writing a newsletter about Groovy which will serve two purposes: a) it will make my personal brand more public and thus allow me to hire more easily in case we need to recruit someone for the startup b) it will force to write and thus learn about Groovy every week.

17th of April 2015, I sent my first Groovy Calamari. A weekly newsletter about the Groovy Ecosystem; Grails, Gradle, Geb, Ratpack etc. If you ever need to learn about a topic, force yourself to curate 6-10 links every week. No doubt, It will give you a deeper understanding of a topic. At this moment, I have sent 63 issues with an encouraging opening and click through rate and a decent subscriber base.

2016 was the year I started speaking in public. I spoke in London, Warsaw, Copenhagen and Madrid. Speaking in public is another thing I will recommend any developer. It forces you to go deeper in a topic to avoid looking like an idiot. And there is no better learning motivation.

2017 is the year I join OCI. What a privilege to work in the same company as Grame Rocher or Jeff Brown or any of the hyper-talented developers they have assembled in the Grails OCI team. Looking forward to the years to come.

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