Meet the Team: Ignacio Costantini, LATAM Community Manager
To kick off our new Meet the Team series, we sat down with Softensity’s Nano Costantini to talk about software engineering, building a community and the IT industry in Latin America.
This year, Softensity expanded its presence in Latin America with an exceptional team that’s growing every day. The region was the missing piece of a global puzzle that allows us to offer clients true 24-hour development capabilities. With IT professionals spread out over seven Latin American countries, building community is crucial. We’re excited to launch our new Q&A series by introducing a community manager that’s busy leading the charge in LATAM.
Ignacio Costantini, who goes by “Nano,” has always been interested in the technology world, but never saw himself as a leader. Until recently, when the challenge of a new experience motivated him to join Softensity to help build the Latin American community. Nano fell in love with software development at university, and started his career shortly after graduating as a CSS assistant.
As the Latin American IT industry grew, so did Nano’s experience, and he soon became a software engineer solving problems for large, multinational companies. In his opinion, the expansion of remote work has provided huge opportunities for Latin American tech workers like himself. He hopes his work shines a light on the talented IT industry in his region, which he believes is full of opportunities for both software engineers and businesses.
Q: What is the role of community in the IT world?
I believe a community in the IT industry is similar to a community in the normal world. We work together to solve problems in our day-to-day work lives. We are especially focused on knowledge sharing because you may not know of one technology, but you have someone in the community that does and vice-versa. The community is also a great resource for when you’re unsure about a project; you can always just go to our community chat and say, “Hey, I’m working with this technology. Does anyone have any tips?” and we are all there to quickly respond.
I also really appreciate the team support when no one knows a new language or technology. We start from zero and all jump into researching. Everyone ends up learning a new technology, and we get to help out a team member, it’s awesome.
Q: Speaking of your role as community manager, what is the most exciting part of community building?
I think it’s really cool to gather people from the same technology, that face the same challenges, the same kind of clients or projects to help each other. As community manager, I really enjoy staffing new members, meeting with community members, and setting them up to accomplish their personal career goals. I also liaise between the client and community members to make sure everyone is comfortable and confident in their role on a project.
Community building isn’t just about work, it’s about forming real relationships with coworkers. We like to host after-office chats and events where everyone can relax and spend time together. The other day, we split into groups and did a virtual escape room, and it was a fun way to get to know each other on a more personal level.
I think it would be great to share our community model with more people in the LATAM tech industry. Hopefully, we can start hosting Softensity keynotes and conferences where we can share about Softensity as a company and our community’s knowledge with the IT industry. For now, some of our community members attend conferences as Softensity’s representatives.
Q: What are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced working in the IT industry?
A: The first challenge to international work was the language barrier. I found out how difficult communication could be when I worked with my first multinational client, but with practice — and lots of American movies — I was able to push past that barrier.
The other main challenge is when a client uses a technology that I’m not familiar with or even one that I’ve never heard of. Of course, technology is always evolving, so you run into this from time to time. In my experience, I just have to keep studying and learning new languages to accommodate whatever the client needs. Having a community to go to with questions really eases this burden.
Q: What are your favorite types of projects or clients?
A: I really enjoy clients that let our team take the lead and choose how to approach the project. Also, I like to jump right into a project, so it’s great when a client has less red tape to cut through before we get to work.
The best clients, though, are the ones that not only want you to work but also want to see you grow professionally. They give you the time to figure out the project or learn a new technology because they trust you to do a great job in the end.
Q: What are the best things about working for Softensity?
A: For one, we have really cool clients, and each client challenges you in a different way. But more so, I think it’s the diversity. We have people from so many different countries and cultures working here and helping each other and sharing knowledge, not only about the technologies we work with, but also each others’ cultures in small ways. For example, we have a LATAM group chat, and the other day we were just talking about what each country calls popcorn. Because in Latin America, popcorn has a lot of names. That’s the best part of being the Latin American community, not just the Argentina community or Mexico community.
Q: Has Softensity helped support your growth and development in any way?
A: Absolutely. As a software engineer, I’m working in a new role right now as an SRE for a client, which is something I’ve never done. But more so I’ve grown in my role as a community manager. If you asked me a year ago, I would have never seen myself as a leader, but Monika and Nicole put their trust in me to build this community, which has helped me grow not only professionally but also as a person.
Q: Do you have any tips or advice for others who may want to get into a career in IT?
A: My biggest piece of advice would be to come into this ready to practice. This is a “practice” career more than just reading. When you try and fail is when you get the necessary experience to be successful at this. And after doing a weekend of exercises on a new technology, it becomes something you start doing automatically and mechanically.
“Nano” has been a Full-Stack Software Engineer for 8 years, and a Team Leader since 2020. He started his career as a Junior Developer at Accenture before moving on to Softvision, where he gained experience working with multinational enterprise clients like PWC and EY. He is always looking for new challenges, and ways to help Softensity’s developers reach their full potential.