Welcome to our Q&A series, where we offer you an exclusive glimpse into the remarkable individuals powering Sparta’s achievements. In this instalment, we are excited to present Ignacio Ferreras, our accomplished Staff Engineer, who has been an integral part of the Sparta team for the past 10 months. Join us as we explore Ignacio’s unique journey, his pivotal role, and the intriguing dimensions of his life beyond the workplace.
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH THE COMPANY?
I have been in Sparta for 10 months now.
CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR ROLE
I’m Staff Engineer for the Red team. My main focus is maintaining the architecture roadmap for the verticals developed by my team, look for improvements and any issue that may come down the road. I also provide help to my team and any other that may require it.
HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?/CAN YOU GIVE ME A RUNDOWN OF YOUR CAREER PATH UP UNTIL THIS POINT?
I initially started working during my bachelor’s degree at a small consulting company, where I engaged in various projects across different sectors, including the food industry, energy companies, and even in-house projects. As the projects diversified, so did the languages used and the required background. In the end, I found myself spending more time studying than developing. It was a truly enriching period in my career that helped me gain a deeper understanding of myself.
Afterward, I relocated to Luxembourg to join another consulting firm, where I had the unique experience of having just one client to focus on. This time, I found myself embedded within a major corporation, affording me invaluable insights into how large companies plan and execute projects from the inside. This exposure allowed me to design new architectures using the latest technologies. However, I also discovered that my true passion lay in smaller companies, where the impact is more tangible, and relationships are closer-knit.
As a result, I made the decision to return to Spain and embark on a new adventure by joining a Swiss start-up. During my tenure there, I assumed multiple roles, and in each one, I found tremendous satisfaction. I had the opportunity to learn about process creation, development techniques, and a myriad of other skills that have greatly contributed to my professional growth.
Eventually, I reached a point where I was ready for a new challenge, and that’s when Sparta presented an enticing opportunity with its remarkable team.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE OUR COMPANY CULTURE
In summary, I would describe our culture as ‘delivery-focused.’ At Sparta, all our teams are inherently driven to accomplish their goals. We understand that there are multiple paths to reach our objectives, each with its unique qualities. However, our constant aspiration is to achieve the highest quality within the given time frame. With this commitment in mind, every team member is empowered to speak up when they notice deviations from our standards or foresee potential future issues.
WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF WORKING AT OUR COMPANY?
My favourite aspect of working at Sparta is the genuine appreciation for every voice within the company. Regardless of one’s position, every individual can contribute valuable ideas, and it’s truly remarkable to be part of an organisation that not only listens but acts upon them. Many architectural enhancements have been born from these innovative suggestions. I believe this culture empowers people to think creatively and consider the bigger picture, not only focusing on their immediate tasks. It’s a spirit I always strive to maintain within the team because it fosters a better and more cohesive working environment.
WHAT’S ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT THEY WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?
One surprising fact about me is my deep passion for music, which spans a wide range of genres. I thoroughly enjoy exploring and discovering new musical styles. For instance, I recently stumbled upon Kenyan music, and I’ve fallen in love with it. Despite not understanding the language, I’m captivated by the rhythm and the stories it conveys. I firmly believe that within every music genre, there are songs that can resonate with everyone.
WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF
In the business world, I would advise my younger self to leverage the abundant free learning resources available, rather than investing in expensive courses that may or may not yield substantial returns. In my personal life, I would emphasise the importance of following the maxim, ‘there is no better decision than the one you’ve made; second-guessing adds no value.
WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?
That my door is always open and happy to give a helping hand when needed.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?
After some introspection, I’ve come to realise that what I’m most proud of is the diversity in my professional journey. Every job I’ve undertaken has involved a different focus, technology, and architecture. I must admit that there have been moments when I felt apprehensive about change, as starting something new seldom feels like the perfect choice. After all, we are creatures of habit. I’ve never once regretted any of these transitions. In fact, they’ve played a pivotal role in broadening my horizons and equipping me with a wealth of knowledge.
WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING PROJECT YOU HAVE WORKED ON HERE SO FAR?
Undoubtedly, Naphtha stands out as the most captivating project I’ve had the privilege of working on here at Sparta. When I joined the team, there was an ambitious plan to develop Naphtha with an entirely new architecture. This undertaking posed a genuine challenge, as we needed to finalise the definitions of various components while wrapping up the preceding project. Along the way, I acquired a wealth of knowledge about the commodity trading industry and gained insights into how a new vertical is nurtured and developed within the Sparta ecosystem.
WHAT’S ONE THING THAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ROLE?
What surprises me the most about my current role is its flexibility. I have the opportunity to work in various areas that are considered high-risk and require immediate assistance. It’s incredibly fulfilling to support both my team and other individuals in resolving issues within these challenging areas. While we don’t always find a solution, we explore all possible scenarios.
WHAT ARE YOU GOALS FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS/YEARS?
– Better the development of new verticals for Sparta.
– Increase automation to improve the quality of life of all the teams.
– Keep helping everywhere I can so we can make Sparta grow to its fullest potential.
HOW HAS YOUR ROLE EVOLVED OVER TIME SINCE YOU HAVE BEEN HERE?
My role was never fully defined as I transitioned to a new team to leave space to grow into my role. Prior to the establishment of that team, I found myself engaged in a multitude of tasks, ranging from investigations and architecture design to development and DevOps. This diverse experience continued until I received a promotion to the staff position, coinciding with the commencement of the Naphtha development project.
IF YOU HAD THREE WISHES, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?
Good health and economic stability for all my family and friends. And to be able to fly.
WHAT, IF ANYTHING, ARE YOU CURRENTLY BINGE-WATCHING OR READING?
I’m currently reading the book ‘Staff Engineer: Leadership beyond the management track,’ and in terms of series, I’m revisiting ‘Stargate SG-1.’
WHAT’S THE LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO?
The last song I enjoyed was ‘Paradise Lost’ by Symphony X.
WHAT’S ONE THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST
One thing on my bucket list is to obtain my PADI certification, allowing me the freedom to explore the deep sea. I love the water, and diving has been a dream of mine for quite some time.
Ignacio is our Staff Engineer here at Sparta and can be contacted at email@example.com
Sparta is a live, market intelligence and forecasting platform that enables oil traders, refiners, banks, hedge funds and wholesalers to have access to real-time and global actionable insights to capture market opportunities before others.
To find out how Sparta can allow you to make smarter trading decisions, faster, contact us for a demonstration at firstname.lastname@example.org