Staff Profiles: Pedro
This is the eighth in a series of posts to help people get to know the Chess.com team better. Today, we meet a guy who's probably never even seen the "website part" of Chess.com, Pedro Bolaños!!
Where do you live?
I currently live in Buenos Aires, Argentina, but I was born in Quito, Ecuador (we are famous for the Galápagos Islands in case you didn’t know). I came to Argentina to study Game Development and Game Design 8 years ago. Here, I met my current girlfriend — and the rest, as they say, is history.
I was enchanted by the vibe of the city, the architecture, and the cultural options. Also, and as important, I was enchanted by the beauty of the girls and the quality of the meat (as I write this, I'm cooking a juicy steak!). I'm sure that many will agree with me that Argentina excels in both of these regards (if you don’t believe me ask Matías)! Obviously, I still miss my family, and occasionally I still crave for traditional Ecuadorian dishes such as ceviche de camarón and an icy-cold passion-fruit juice!
How long have you worked for Chess.com?
I started working for Chess.com on October 2012, so this year it will be 3 years.
What do you do at Chess.com?
I work as an iOS dev! I joined when we started working on the redesigned version (v3)! My job is to make sure that the iOS app is the best it can be both in the outside and in the inside. I’m also responsible of making sure we are always using the latest technologies!
Also I’ve noticed that I enjoy and have certain ability organising stuff, so I’m sometimes responsible for organising and assigning tasks to my fellow devs and work closely with Michael. I also enjoy thinking and finding ways of how to improve things (processes, workflows, etc) that are not working so well.
Last but not least, I guess I’m also a bit responsible of the user experience of the app and like to suggest improvements to problems I see within it (no matter how small they are).
What do you like about working at Chess.com?
I can think of a ton of things, but I’ll try to choose the three most important ones...
First, the “work from everywhere / anytime” scheme, as my partner-in-crime Faisal mentioned, perfectly aligns to how I like to work and my current conditions (living in Argentina but having family in Ecuador). It makes me feel like I’m really the owner of my time and decisions. Chess.com spoiled me in the sense that if I ever have to go back to an office with strict schedules and rules I would suffer immeasurably. For me it would be like being forced to use Windows / Android, after you’ve seriously used a Mac / iOS (and you wondered why I work as an iOS dev).
Secondly, the work environment helped me develop both professionally and economically at incredible rates. I’ve never before cared so much about a project / product, and it’s the first time I feel so involved and responsible about my work. Also I love how it’s a company where the voices of everyone can be heard!
Last but not least, it helped me realise that a group of people regardless of their nationality, religion, political beliefs, favourite soccer team (or whatever other variable that causes hatred and violence in the world) can work together towards a common goal and achieve amazing results!
What are your other interests and hobbies?
I really enjoy playing soccer though recently I was diagnosed with an osteochondral injury in the talar dome in my right ankle (I translated that literally from Spanish so hope it makes sense), so I’m not sure when I will be able to play again :( I also enjoy watching matches mostly of the big cups (the World Cup, Copa América and the UEFA Champions League).
I also love to watch / read anything I can find about whatever subject interests me at the moment. I particularly enjoy the nature documentaries narrated by Sir David Attenborough. I recommend one named “Africa” where they show a beach in Congo that has scenes that I would have never imagined that existed (c’mon, elephants and hippos on the beach!). I also enjoy reading and watching documentaries about the universe to try to make sense of it all! I’m a huge fan of Brian Cox, Bill Nye, and of course of Neil deGrasse Tyson. Speaking of which also enjoy hearing his podcasts (StarTalk)!
Also I love music. From Blues (Keb' Mo’) passing through Funk (Tower Of Power) and Jazz Fusion (Victor Wooten) to Progressive Rock (Rush). Just last week I went to see Extreme live! (the guys who wrote “More Than Words”). My all time favourite band is Living Coloür (just look at this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WhMuGPMzvS8. So groovy but at the same time powerful! So unique!).
If you could have any superpower, what would it be?
I think we discussed this in the company chat with some of the team members some time ago, and my answer is still the same: I would love to have a superpower to be able to detect mosquitoes. It just amazes and annoys me how they buzz in your ear just when you’ve fallen asleep, and when you try to find them they've completely vanished! Sometimes you see them, manage to follow them with your eyes for one / two seconds, and after that they just disappear into thin air! (when they vanish like that, I pictured them laughing at me with squeaky voices). So yeah, it’s kind of a ridiculous superpower, but I would love to be ahead of them.
[Worst. Comic book. Ever. — Editor]
0-0 or 0-0-0?
What is that? I should know what those mean by now. Probably next year…
Thanks for tuning in! Check back next week for another staff profile.