Employee Spotlight: Pablo Ledesma
WordStream has some impressive employees in our ranks: from industry influencers to marathon runners, from analysts to authors. The Employee Spotlight series aims to highlight the talented individuals who work here. Each month, we’ll be featuring an interview here on the blog and on our social accounts.
For this month’s Employee Spotlight, we talked with Pablo Ledesma. Originally from Salamanca, Spain, Pablo learned to code in a Launch Academy program, after studying business and environmental science. Pablo joined WordStream as a software engineer about a year and half ago.
What’s the most challenging project you’ve worked on during your time here so far?
A couple of months after I started, my managers asked me to create a very specific feature for the Facebook component of the product. Users needed to be able to select multiple items and collapse a whole list—this kind of crazy automation stuff. It was extremely difficult, mostly because it took weeks of working on the code and product without knowing if would actually work. When you’re creating product features from scratch, that’s the process. It worked out, though.
What’s your favorite project that you’ve worked on here at WordStream?
I like working on the 20-Minute Work Week alerts! For these, I work from scratch on the backend to generate the alert all the way through to the front end with user testing. To create a new alert, you have to create an algorithm that actually works and learns, and that people will find useful. Then, you have to figure out what’s working and what isn’t. If our customers aren't finding it helpful, is it the user flow or the function of the alert itself that isn't working? It’s a really creative process trying to follow the user flow. When you get it right and create something completely new, it’s one of those brilliant, ah-ha moments.
That sounds very collaborative.
It is really collaborative. I work with product managers, UX designers, other engineers—creating a new alert involves a lot of preparation because it needs to be useful. We could just make something cool or new, but that wouldn’t necessarily be helpful to our customers.
What’s the best thing you’ve learned on the job?
I’ve learned that there's always a solution for everything. As an engineer, at least, it’s always possible. It’s just a matter of time and resources. This a combination of WordStream support, the systems that we use, and where I am in my career and my skill.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work each morning?
The first thing I always do is put my headphones on and start a playlist.
Do you have a go-to playlist?
Oh, it depends on what I have to do and how much caffeine I’ve had. If I have to build something difficult and get it done quickly, heavy metal. If I have an easier day, I listen to my favorites playlist on Spotify for a mix. I’ll choose rock or country if I just need to change it up.
What’s your workspace aesthetic like? Minimalist? Homey? Neat?
Messy. I have three big screens, cables everywhere, piles of notebooks that probably don’t have any pages left. I also have some toys—a couple miniature goats and teddy bears that I’ve just collected over time. But I’ve also had a decent amount of luck with my desk. I haven’t moved, and I have a seat next to a window.
If WordStream announced a last-minute day off for tomorrow, what would you do with your suddenly free day?
Actually, I’m not working tomorrow, but I have to move, so not a fun day off.
Okay, pretend you didn’t have anything you needed to get done. How would you spend your day off?
I’d probably go hiking. I really like to go to Lincoln, New Hampshire, and hike in the White Mountains.
If you didn’t work here, what would you be doing?
I’d want to work in a startup, probably for a mobile app. But I’d want it to be a successful one—and I’d want to join, not start it myself.
What was the last movie that you saw in theaters?
I went to see Alita: Battle Angel a few days ago. It’s a great sci fi movie.
Do you have any secret talents or hobbies?
I used to be really into photography. I used a Leica, and I really liked taking landscape pictures. Which made sense, because I like to hike and be outdoors.
What was the first concert you went to?
It was this band called Dover. Oh, it was bad. It was in Spain, and the group was trying to sing in English, but they didn't actually know English. It was very funny.