Header image: Stitch of panel A and B of the Carta Marina map.
I joined CartoDB (now CARTO) in 2014. There, I learnt about web mapping, raster tiles, vector tiles, PostGIS, geospatial data, database optimization, mapping frameworks… A whole new world, full of smart, talented people at all levels, from software developers to cartographers. For me, coming from consultancy firms and public sector, it was a life-changing job. I will never be grateful enough for those 5 years.
Thanks to all that I learnt there, I was recruited by Tierra. They were building an analytical tool, and they had geospatial challenges. Those were some of my happiest years, and shutting it down is one of my saddest memories, but I’m glad of keeping good friends ❤.
After Tierra, I joined Felt with a déjà vu feeling. It was like going back to the coffee shop where I was interviewed by Saleiva and Javier de la Torre 8 years ago, talking about “democratizing map creation on the Internet”. Same mission, different decade, context, tools, and people. I brought something to the table (MVTs! PostGIS! Respect about complicated infrastructure!) and I also learnt a ton (Tippecanoe! Lambda! Step functions!). The déjà vu also came with some fun challenges. Paul Ramsey expresses one of them it better than me:
Will be very interesting to see if Felt, having apparently decided that Carto gave up on mass-market map-making too soon, ends up making a pivot to the enterprise in the end, or proves their hypothesis. https://t.co/HnUyIjfL5j— Paul Ramsey (@pwramsey) January 26, 2023
I really hope that Felt succeeds. It’s a group of exceptional engineers that are delivering at an incredible pace. Geocoding and geomatching were recently released, getting close to feature parity with the must-have tools for mass-market maps that CartoDB had when I joined. I’ve heard many people missing CartoDB at that stage, and Felt is definitely easier and funnier to use. I’m going on a “Jane Jacobs walk” soon with a reading group from my favourite library, and when I built this map in front of them, even faster than them on paper, they were truly impressed:
Yes, it’s not the map that will be featured at NACIS keynote or at Ráfagas, but it covers the need of building shareable maps easily and collaboratively. And, of course, you can do actually impressive, data-oriented maps.
I joined Felt as an Individual Contributor. For most of my career, I’ve had mixed roles that can be defined as “coding and managing”. From large junior teams in consultancy firms to smaller, extremely senior ones in product startups. At Felt, I missed the management side of things since day one, and now I’m all in.
I’m getting out of maps and diving into an unexplored territory.
I’m starting a new position as an Engineering Manager.
Being unexplored territory is not accurate, though. If you see what an Engineer Manager is, I tick all boxes. At CARTO, I became a Tech Lead of a team of 8 senior engineers, and that’s essentially a full time job. And at Tierra, my job ended up being 80% management, 20% SQL optimization. Now, I’m just getting the title and dropping most of the coding part. Alrocar recently nailed what I’m going to feel (translation: “switching from IC to manager”).
Cuando pasas de IC a manager pic.twitter.com/pNjEsSQw5k— alrocar 🥘 (@alrocar) January 30, 2023
I wanted to share this because it’s an exciting moment 🤗. I’m more than open to advise, ideas, hints, or whatever you think can help me. Many authors talk about joining a “manager cabal” to learn and share. Let me know if there’s one around 🙇🏻.
I’ll miss you, Felt folks ❤. Wish me luck!
A personal update: https://t.co/MOixyhOD8m. Featuring tweets by @alrocar and @pwramsey 🤗— Nacho Sánchez 🤷♂️ (@juanignaciosl) February 3, 2023