Silicon Valley, New York… but what about San Diego for example? Today, Carlos, Josema and Antonio will share with us their experience working at Ebates, an online Cash Back Shopping platform part of Rakuten. This company has hosted a few of our jóvenes on this edition: Antonio – Software Engineer, graduated from University of Seville, and Josema – Software Engineer from University of Murcia, that are part of the team in San Francisco; and Carlos – Software Engineer from Valencia, that is in San Diego.
Although Jóvenes con Futuro is mainly focused on the San Francisco Bay Area and Greater New York City, it might happen that a host company is located somewhere else in California for example. This is the case of Carlos Maycas, one of our jóvenes that is part of the San Diego team at Ebates. The three of them are telling us their own stories and experience in the U.S. Keep reading!
From left to right, José Manuel Cruz, Antonio Caminero, Carlos Maycas
First of all, let’s meet each of you. What are you doing at Ebates?
Carlos: I am working as a Software Engineer at Ebates, developing on back and front ends. I am part of the In-Store Cashback team of Ebates, the system that lets the users receive cashback even when they go the physical store instead of buying online. We have recently launched a major release, so it is exciting seeing the stats and improvements on the users In-Store purchases through Ebates!
Antonio: I am working as a Data Engineer in the Business Intelligence team. Unlike software engineering, we don’t really develop complex applications, instead, we define pipelines to digest a huge quantity of data coming from different sources so the Analytics team can query the data and make the statistics that they need on a daily basis.
Josema: I’m a Software Engineer, working full-stack. I’m in the Engineering Team, and I was assigned to a project that has not yet been released, so I probably should not discuss it 😉 I’ve been working in this project since my first week, as part of a smaller group than is in charge of ebates.com, which helped me to get to know the workflow and the codebase faster.
Carlos, you are actually the first joven interning at a company in San Diego. Why did you decide to move there? The JcF community is getting bigger and bigger every year, and is mainly located in the San Francisco Bay Area and New York City, how have you adapted to this city? How do you like living in San Diego?
I entered the JcF program having in mind that in case of being selected, I would travel to San Francisco or New York. Therefore, initially, I had my doubts but I finally considered more the challenge and the fact that I’d learn a lot about the project Ebates offered me in San Diego. It’s turned out I ended up in love with this city since the first day!
After moving from Madrid to San Diego, it took me some weeks to settle in. Things work a bit different here, public transportation does not abound around and distances are much longer. However, I was lucky to find a place to live close to the office, we are located just a few miles from Pacific Beach. Being new in a place is not usually easy, but Ebates workmates were a great support since day one, showing me around, going to different events and giving a hand with any doubt I had.
I love sports and being outdoors, so San Diego has the perfect environment and weather for me. Moreover, I started to practice surf in Spain last year and here I can jump into the water almost every day. Now, I understand why San Diego is named America’s Finest City 🙂
You guys are in your fifth month of internships. How is this experience going so far? What about after your internships, do you think you will stay longer in the U.S.?
Carlos: So far, the experience has been fantastic! Since the beginning, I have been really integrated in the team, learning lots of things from my workmates and contributing with new ideas and points of view. I would underline the support provided by them, I have been able to expand my knowledge in software development and e-commerce technologies.
Moving to the West Coast of the US had been in my mind for quite a while, since I learned programming at high school for the very first time. Regarding software development and the technology business in general, there are several things that are done differently here than in Spain. Having the two perspectives is important to try to keep the best of both.
So far, I think I have acquired lot of knowledge but there is a long way to go of learning and improvement, so Ebates and I are going to extend the J1 Visa for one more year, I am eager for what’s coming!
Antonio: Regarding the office, it is being a great experience because I am learning many things about Big Data. My schedule is pretty flexible, and this is something that I’ve always wanted. Yeah, I would rather say that my dream is to travel California more than being stuck in the city. Hopefully, I will stay here for six more months.
Josema: The experience has pretty much fulfilled every expectation that I could have before coming to the U.S. I was very excited to come here and start this experience, and I didn’t feel disappointed at any moment. San Francisco is great, very lively and with many different things to do and places to visit.
Working at Ebates has also been great so far. I like the atmosphere here in the office, and I feel very motivated in my day-to-day at work. Despite being an “old” company (considering the standard for tech companies) you can sense some kind of start-up feeling too, and there is always room for new ideas, improvements, etc. I have already started the process to extend my J1 visa so both Ebates and I would love for this to last longer.
Plus, on the funny side, since one of my passions is football, I wanted to continue playing it here in San Francisco and I joined a mini league that they have here at Rakuten. So I’ve been playing with them since I moved to California; my team has been winning and we’ve kind of become the “soccer stars” of the league! Haha.
How did JcF help you to come to California? Is it an experience that you would recommend to other young engineers?
Carlos: I heard about JcF from a friend. From the first moment all the steps of the process were very clear, that is something that one really appreciates when you are looking for work abroad, specially in the United States.
I have had the support of the StepOne team on all the phases of the process, solving any doubt or getting introduced to companies. I would underline how useful was that they put me in contact with former JcF participants, so you can hear from first-hand what is like being an intern in Silicon Valley or New York.
Definitely, I would recommend the JcF program for those who want to live an incredible working and traveling experience in the States.
Josema & Antonio: coming to the US is not an easy thing to do, and not many companies are willing to go through the hard process of hiring foreign people because of all the paperwork required. In this sense, JcF was of great help, we think that for both companies as well as for us as employees. It makes everything easier, since it exposes you to a great variety of good companies and simplifies the whole hiring and moving process, guiding you through it and providing a lot of useful information.
We would definitely recommend the experience to other engineers, and similarly we would recommend JcF as a great way to make it happen!
Now you can make it happen too! Apply for the next batch of talented jóvenes until April 30th here.