Nansen Developer Alex Garza Navigated a Pandemic to Pursue His Professional Dreams

Nansen Developer Alex Garza Navigated a Pandemic to Pursue His Professional Dreams

Meet our developer Alex Garza! When Covid-19 upended his plans for the future, Alex decided to follow his gut: he put other plans on hold, and sought out the community at Nansen that had made him feel welcome and supported. Hear more from Alex on his unorthodox journey to our team, and what he’s loving about our homebase of Chicago.

What do you do at Nansen? How did you come to be part of the team?

I started interning with Nansen last June when I was still attending college. Then the coronavirus hit, and that changed my whole plan. I took a little bit of a break, and when I came back I started training to be a developer on the back end, and working on QA as well. So I'm doing QA while training to be a back-end developer.

Was there something that drew you to Nansen for your first tech role?

The community at Nansen is just absolutely great. I love the people; they're so encouraging; they want to push you. As soon as I was there, I realized that if you're willing to put in time and effort, they're willing to help support you. The team at Nansen sets you up so you can help them more in the future, like encouraging team members to pursue more new certifications and so on. I enjoyed my internship so much that I put other things on hold, wanting to be more a part of this community. Instead of being an intern part-time, I wanted to become full-time and put more hours into the company. It's just a great place.

What kind of certifications are you getting, and what are you learning right now?

I was planning to do a bootcamp on the side, but I decided that the training that I would get from Nansen directly would be more beneficial.

I'm working with the front-end team right now, and we’re figuring out what certifications I’ll need. I'm currently training in basic front-end development, JavaScript, CSS, HTML, and other broad topics, and I’ll be able to apply my current training to certifications in the future.

Outside of work, what do you like to do?

Besides coding, to figure out what areas I need to improve in, I would have to say board games right now. I've just gotten into a game called Scythe. You have seven or eight different factions and players, and you're trying to get resources, move up, and collect six stars after six achievements. At the end of the game, you count who has the most money.

I’m also getting used to Chicago. I just moved up here, so my other current habit is figuring out how to dress for winter.

What are you liking about Chicago so far?

I'm from Texas, where it takes 45 minutes to an hour to get anywhere: to the grocery store, to get medicine, to go to a bar. Walking is so much better. I'm doing trivia night in a local bar, and it's so nice to walk and just immediately be in that city vibe. So it's a really nice change.