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Interview tech teamX: "The trend is to promote collaboration"

The coronavirus pandemic has changed the world and the way we live, work and relate to one another. In this new normality, life withoutt technology and digitization is unthinkable. These two aspects are now shaping our future.

We've interviewed Oscar Pérez, CTO at TravelgateX and Eduardo Gomes, Head of Product, about how the tech & product teams adapted to the new normality, from those long confinement months to the slow return to the offices.

TravelgateXAs a tech team, how was your experience before, during and after Covid-19? If you had to write on a timeline, what would you say has changed both personally and professionally.

Oscar: for me everything has been like a roller coaster. From one day to the next the team started working from home. At first, with a bit of agnosticism, people had to assemble their equipment and use digital communication tools and over time we adapted. On the other hand, we were aware of the news and updates that came out every day because we had to adapt. The forecasts that we made from one week to the next stopped making sense and we had to work on new ones.

Edu: In my case, what has changed the most both on a personal and professional level has been a fairly considerable increase in the ability to adapt to change. I think a large part of the team has also felt the same.

Can you guys expand a bit on what has been the most positive and the most negative parts of this experience? What have you been able to learn from this?

Oscar: For me, the most positive thing has been the reaction to the change and that we all continued working as if we were in the office. That has been the positive part. The negative is that as time goes by, you realize that the physical presence factor is important. You cannot do without social contact. I believe that in the field of business and personally doing one hundred percent telework is a utopia, in the sense that the human contact of being with people, talking things face to face is irreplaceable. Although we are in a computer environment, human contact is important, since it allows us to better understand the projects and contribute to their progress.

Edu: I think the same. I am sure that our company is a privileged company. We were already very used to digital environments and working remotely. The leap has been to do it one hundred percent. So as a positive once again, it's the idea that you don't have to be afraid of change. Negative, moving forward in the midst of this uncertainty that can affect both health and the industry in which we are. So we have to adapt.

Oscar: we also reflect that working remotely, many times there are misinterpretations. Texting is sometimes "carried by the devil." So any communication that is not face to face is always liable to cause misunderstandings by the receiver, since there is no expression. That is what we have to learn, that the messages must be launched. The tone of voice or the way you handle messages on a call or conference is very different from what you treat in person, because misinterpretations are drastic.

Do you think they are good tools to work with? Would they continue to implement them?

Oscar: I think we have to go in that direction. I think we've learned a lot, however, there are a lot of non-remote collaboration tools that we don't yet do. We have tested them, but we have not defined them as a standard within the organization. We use mainly slack and google meet.

Do you think they are good tools to work with? Would they continue to implement them?

Oscar: I think we have to go in that direction. I think we've learned a lot, however, there are a lot of non-remote collaboration tools that we don't yet do. We have tested them, but we have not defined them as a standard within the organization.

How has the company's technology team advanced in terms of new programming languages, projects, tasks, and how has the technology team been distributed?

Oscar: This is basically due to a reduction in our work capacity. Regarding new programming languages, to be honest, none is worth it. During this season, our top priority was to keep our level of service correct. Basically what we have done has been to give up new developments, and we have focused on maintaining what we had.

Oscar: Above all, we continue with many processes, procedures and automations that we didn't pay attention to before. These six months have helped us to work better. We have defined the way we work with our tools, from how we communicate, for example through Slack. I have personally learned to write better and less. I know it's better. Text messages have to be clear, concise and schematic and this communication is very important. We have learned to make better use of the tools that we already had previously by the mere fact of being able to relate in another way. We weren't getting that much of it. The philosophy of the company is to make the communication little verbal that we say and very effective. We have learned to put fewer people in copy and hopefully we can reduce the sending of emails to the maximum to be more efficient with other tools.

WhatIMG_0460 would you recommend to our partner technology teams? Any important questions to consider?

Oscar: we live off our partners. Our strength is in documentation. We want them to use our communication channels, such as Slack, the Knowledge page, so that they can look at everything we have and take advantage of what we do.

Is Graphql the most optimal technology for connections?

Oscar: it is a technology like any other, it is equal to or better than any type of REST communication, TravelgateX has gone from being a connector to giving our partners our entire range of products.

Edu: we are a technology company but our commitment is not with technology but with our customers. The technologies we will use to solve in the best way the problems of the clients.

How do you see the long-term future in terms of technology?

Edu: the trend is to promote collaboration. We have seen that the sector has come together to try not to disappear and the fundamental lesson has been this. All the technologies that serve to enhance collaboration, whether within the industry in which we operate or in any other, will be the ones that will stand out.

Oscar: what we have to do is play with what is currently available and adapt to what is presented.

On a technological level, what is the growth forecast for TravelgateX?

Edu:Our growth is closely related to the growth of the industry in which we operate. On the other hand, we have always positioned ourselves as the engine of this growth. This means that we are not passive and that we are permanently taking the necessary measures to influence as this catalytic force. It does not depend exclusively on us, but we are sure of our position as an actor in the sector and not as a spectator.