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PSL's Daily Standup with Carlos Zuluaga

Cutting-edge technologies are part of our core projects. In fact, learning is a central part of our development process.

Carlos Zuluaga, Head of Performance Engineering

At PSL, we love complex challenges and state-of-the-art tech, and we delight in finding creative solutions to the most demanding IT requirements. We surround ourselves with people that are passionate about learning, excited to innovate and try new things, and eager to positively influence their projects, clients, communities and societies through world-class engineering.

And, we'd love for you to meet them!

Meet the Team

As a community of over 650 people spanning two countries and offices in Bogotá, Medellín, Calí and Mexico City, it's important to us to highlight the individuals that make up the PSL community. So, we've created the PSL Weekly Standup Series in which we will feature a different member of the team each week. Our goal is to provide an inside look at PSL community while highlighting the diverse talents, hobbies and approaches each individual takes to working in their respective role at PSL. Through these interviews, we hope to demonstrate how the individuals that make up our community clearly represent PSL's values and principles.

To begin our series, we sat down with Carlos Zuluaga, Head of Performance Engineering at PSL. 

Carlos Zuluaga, Head of Performance Engineering

How long have you been working at PSL?

I started at PSL 18 months ago. I'm head of performance engineering at PSL.

How would you describe your day job to a child?

The simplest way to talk about performance engineering is that we are trying to make our client's applications faster and use resources more efficiently.

Of course, when not talking to a child, performance engineering is much more complicated. We are working with optimization and making comparisons, we run tests and experiments constantly as we are measuring how well our client's applications are performing in high-load environments.

What's the coolest, newest, most interesting thing you've recently learned?

I would say, Python. From an engineering perspective it is an ugly language, but the capabilities of Python in relation to data analysis are outstanding. I also think what we are seeing with machine learning and statistics for data analysis is one of the most exciting things I have seen. On a day-to-day basis at PSL, I have to be able to analyze a huge amount of data, but since I'm just a human, I can only do so much. This combination of Python and data-oriented languages that allows you to completely automate the analysis process is a huge advantage for performance engineering.

Machine learning is also very cool because we can provide data to the machine and ask the machine to create conclusions. It sounds super cool, but it's also really hard to train a machine to get the results that you need. In the end, machine learning and data analysis are taking us beyond human capabilities in a number of ways. We are using technology to do what we are not able to do ourselves. 

Within the very DNA of PSL, you will find this approach of people first. After that, the focus is on finding the most exciting projects we can, where we are really challenged to excel.

Carlos Zuluaga, Head of Performance Engineering

What would you say to a person that is considering working at psl?

Come here. I spent 9 years of my life at another company, I loved that company, and I was hesitant to move to PSL. But, I took a chance, I jumped to PSL and it has been an amazing decision. Of course, I was afraid at first, but I'm so glad I made the change.

This company is awesome, you will be surprised at how a company can take care of people and, at the same time, provide you with the most amazing engineering challenges. First, you need to be happy. If you are happy you will do the best that you can and be very productive and do awesome things. This isn't an idea that was just implemented. Within the very DNA of PSL you will find this approach of people first. After that, the focus is on finding the most exciting projects we can, where we are really challenged to excel.

Cutting-edge technologies are part of our core projects. Part of our job is to be learning everyday. In fact, we learn as part of our process. A company won't survive if the teams aren't evolving.

Those are not simply words, people here at PSL practice these ideas. It's exciting. We are not afraid of technologies or projects. We approach projects without arrogance and without assumptions, but at the same time, we don't underestimate ourselves.

What's the latest app you downloaded or the best tech purchase you've made?

In terms of apps: Health applications. I've learned in the last few years that with technology you can control the way your body is working. You have the ability to keep track of what you should be eating and drinking, or your physical activity.

The latest technology device I acquired was Echo dot from Amazon. What is interesting about it to me is how we are dealing with the user interfaces. We started with keyboards to interact with the machine, then the mouse entered the market, and now you have touch screens for the user interface. But, for sure, we are moving towards talking to the machine because that is the most natural way to do it. Like in my car, I can answer calls or tell the car to turn on music. That is simple but powerful.

Voice recognition is going to change the way we see technology. The voice will be the main interface. Because of that I like Alexa, but to be honest, I don't find it very useful right now. I ask Alexa to play music on Spotify or ask "Am I going to need an umbrella today?" It's more about curiosity, but I think there is a lot that can be developed on top of that.



Stay tuned for our next installment of our interview series with another of PSL's many amazing team members. Can't wait to meet them? Let's start a conversation to discover how our team of world-class engineers can help you achieve your goals.
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Thursday, 21 March 2019

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