Sparta News, Staff Spotlight

Staff Spotlight – Javier Fuentes 

Welcome to our Q&A spotlight featuring Javier, a seasoned Product Manager at Sparta for nearly a year.

Javier’s role extends beyond conventional boundaries, orchestrating product roadmaps and fostering seamless collaboration across departments. His two-decade journey in software development, from consultancy firms to start-ups, reflects his adaptability and diverse expertise.

Join us as we explore Javier’s insights into Sparta’s vibrant international environment, his passion for nurturing lasting connections, and the challenges and rewards of being a Product Manager at Sparta.

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WITH THE COMPANY?

I’ve been with the company since January 23rd. It’s been an exhilarating journey, marking nearly a year of contributing to Sparta’s vision and growth. The experiences I’ve had and the projects I’ve been involved in have truly shaped my professional trajectory within this time frame.

CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR ROLE?

As a Product Manager, my role extends beyond just bridging business needs and technical specifications. I’m heavily involved in creating product roadmaps, ensuring alignment with market demands, and collaborating across departments to achieve seamless product development cycles.

HOW DID YOU GET STARTED IN THE INDUSTRY?/CAN YOU GIVE ME A RUNDOWN OF YOUR CAREER PATH UP UNTIL THIS POINT?

My journey in the software development industry spans over two decades. Starting in consultancy firms provided me with a strong foundation. Transitioning to collaborating with start-ups of varying maturities has been an excellent experience, offering me diverse perspectives and challenges.

WHAT’S ONE THING PEOPLE DON’T KNOW ABOUT YOU THAT YOU WOULD BE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT?

In my downtime, I’m passionate about growing a variety of vegetables. Spending time nurturing plants not only relaxes me but also teaches me patience and the beauty of nurturing something.

WHAT’S ONE THING THAT HAS SURPRISED YOU ABOUT YOUR CURRENT ROLE?

While it wasn’t a total surprise, delving into the world of the trading commodity market was genuinely eye-opening. The sheer complexity and multifaceted nature of this domain were astonishing and provided a fresh perspective on the dynamics at play.

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE OUR COMPANY CULTURE?

At Sparta, the culture revolves around an ethos of ownership. It’s inspiring to witness how every team member takes initiative and responsibility, fostering an environment where innovation thrives.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE PART OF WORKING AT OUR COMPANY?

The international environment here fosters a rich tapestry of cultures, ideas, and approaches. Engaging with colleagues from different parts of the world brings fresh insights and widens my horizons, making every project a dynamic and enriching experience.

WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD OF IN YOUR CAREER SO FAR?

Beyond accomplishments, I take immense pride in nurturing lasting relationships with the incredible individuals I’ve met throughout my career. These connections have not only enriched my professional life but have also shaped me personally.

WHAT PIECE OF ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO YOUR YOUNGER SELF?

One valuable lesson I learned early in my career was, ‘do interesting things and interesting things will happen to you in.’ This advice, imparted by a former boss, has been pivotal in guiding my decision-making process, especially during crucial moments in life

WHAT’S THE MOST INTERESTING PROJECT YOU’VE WORKED ON HERE AT SPARTA?

My current focus on the development of the Crude vertical has been both challenging and rewarding. This project’s strategic importance for the upcoming year fuels our excitement to deliver a ground-breaking tool to the market.

HOW HAS YOUR ROLE EVOLVED SINCE YOU’VE BEEN HERE?

Navigating the complexities of the Commodity Trading market has been a profound learning curve. My role’s evolution into understanding and strategising within this area has been both challenging and immensely rewarding.

WHAT’S ONE THING YOU WISH PEOPLE KNEW ABOUT YOUR JOB?

Being a Product Manager involves navigating complex territories within a company (Sparta is no exception). It involves a delicate balance between assessing needs, feasibility, and prioritisation among multiple initiatives. At times, decisions need to be made without complete information. However, if one finds comfort in such environments, it’s a role that provides immense fulfilment and opportunities for growth.

WHAT ARE YOU GOALS FOR THE NEXT FEW MONTHS/YEARS?

On a personal level, my aspirations are to continually evolve and excel professionally. I’m keen on contributing substantially to Sparta’s objectives, particularly in the successful launch and execution of new verticals within the commodity market. This aligns with my drive to push boundaries and explore innovative avenues within our industry.

WHAT, IF ANYTHING, ARE YOU CURRENTLY BINGE-WATCHING OR READING?

I’m currently watching ‘The Blacklist,’ finding its intricate storyline and character development captivating. Simultaneously, I’m delving into ‘Shape Up,’ a book offering insights into how product management is executed at Basecamp, enriching my understanding of innovative approaches in the field.

IF YOU HAD THREE WISHES, WHAT WOULD THEY BE?

I’d stick to the classics: good health to relish life’s adventures, cherished moments with family, and fostering enduring friendships.

WHAT’S ONE THING ON YOUR BUCKET LIST

An imminent excitement for me is attending a concert by ‘Sidonie,’ a Spanish indie-pop band. Experiencing their live performance has been on my bucket list. I can’t wait!

WHAT’S THE LAST SONG YOU LISTENED TO?

Recently, I’ve been immersed in the music of Phoebe Bridgers and The Big Thief. Their compositions have been a constant source of inspiration and relaxation for me.

Javier Fuentes is our Product Manager here at Sparta and can be contacted at javier.fuentes@spartacommodities.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 sales@spartacommodites.com

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *