Antonio Sejas lives in the Canary Islands or, in his words, a small paradise. It’s there, during the annual Nomad City event, that he heard our CEO speak about Modern Tribe’s culture and values. He was intrigued, and now, three years later, we’re lucky to count him as a member of our ever-expanding distributed team. Not only is he an exceptionally skilled frontend developer, but he also has a preternaturally sunny disposition—fitting for someone whose home base has the most daylight hours in Europe.
Read on to learn what he’s studied post-college, why he likes working for MT, and where he’s planning to travel soon.
On Becoming a Developer—And Continuing To Sharpen His Skills
I studied computer science at the Polytechnic University of Madrid. In 2008, I started working as a developer to pay my university tuition. There, I created Moodle and WordPress sites, and I helped to create a new generation certification authority called EADTrust.
Since that moment, I’ve never stopped working and improving as a software engineer. I worked as a full stack developer and also as a mobile app developer. In 2015 I moved to the Canaries, and it’s here where I started to work remotely as a freelancer. It was game-changing for me because I had multiple projects every month. I had to learn to deal with different companies and clients with different processes and mindsets.
I helped multiple startups create their digital products. They could be admin dashboards, chatbots, corporate web pages, or even mobile applications. I also worked for big companies like General Electric, Telefonica, Randstad, and Udacity.
In every project, I’ve learned a lot. And not only about technology but also about assertiveness with clients and how to manage my time and legal processes to run my own business.
I’m used to studying for a medium or big degree every year, from a master’s degree in artificial intelligence to a certification from MongoDB University to a React and React Native nanodegree from Udacity, which I completed a few years ago. The nanodegree gave me the opportunity to work at Udacity, firstly as a software engineer and then as a mentor and project reviewer for new students.
I’m still working with React. You never know what skills will be most useful in the future. And I suppose that eventually every skill you learn will add value.
On Who Convinced Him To Apply to Modern Tribe
In 2018, I attended the Nomad City event with Jorge, one of my best friends. This event takes place in Las Palmas de Gran Canaria every year, and it’s visited by remote workers from all over the world. The speakers work for big tech companies that embrace distributed teams.
One of these speakers was Shane Pearlman, and he was talking about the culture and values at Modern Tribe. This was the first time I heard about him and the company.
I remember thinking, “This company is really cool.” But I also thought that working here would be above my possibilities. A couple of years after this event, my best friend left his job and started working for Modern Tribe. He proved to me that everything is possible if you are good at what you do and pursue your goals.
So I can say that Jorge and Shane are the reasons I joined the agency, and the great team and awesome projects keep me working here.
I’m really happy about my decision to join Modern Tribe. It’s really like a dream come true. Now I can participate in developing projects for Nasdaq companies from the comfort of my home.
On His Role and Responsibilities Here
I work as a frontend developer, so I stay on top of the latest technologies to drive solutions and deliver successful projects. We also have our own WordPress framework, SquareOne, that helps maintain consistency between developers and create components faster.
I usually develop in React, plain JS, and PHP. I bring to life the interfaces created by the design team, taking care of animations, interactions, and accessibility, which is key in all our projects.
My main responsibility is to have fun creating great digital products for top companies.
My level of interaction with clients varies. For instance, I’m more hands-on when trying to better understand their needs or coordinating with their dev team to integrate their current systems. Meeting new people and exploring different processes is also a great benefit of my role.
Last but not least, I’ve been involved with projects within our Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion efforts. This year, I participated in the planning group for our annual Day of Action, which is a day where our offices close so that team members can make time to acknowledge systemic racism in our communities. I’m also participating in a group giving feedback to the HR team as they work through changes to our performance management systems.
I’ve been working at Modern Tribe for nine months now. And I love it. The people here are very special.
We work in teams, and mine, Team 4, is like my own family. We take care of each other, and we have the same goals in mind all the time. The great thing about Tribe is that we manage our time. This gives us the opportunity to conciliate our familiar and professional lives.
On What He Digs Most About Dev Work
The best thing about my job is to feel that doing my part matters. We create beautifully designed interfaces and totally accessible platforms that are used by thousands of people every day. That’s a huge impact.
I like that I have space to keep growing and learning new technologies. From my point of view, web technologies are experiencing a big transformation. There is a silent battle between headless sites, built with frontend frameworks like React and Vue, and traditional WordPress sites.
In my opinion, Modern Tribe is one of a few that will lead the way and give a solution to this problem. I feel really proud to participate in this historic change.
On His Favorite Projects (So Far)
My first project was the Harvard University project. If joining Modern Tribe was a dream, starting with this project was the icing on the cake. We redesigned and rebuilt Harvard’s digital properties using WordPress. I also helped to develop the program browser React App that runs inside WordPress. It makes calls to the WordPress API rest to search custom post types and their metadata, and show the results in a fancy faceted search. The mobile version has great animations that work as if it were a native mobile application.
I think I will feel proud about this project for many years to come. We’ve developed a solid product, and every year my code will help thousands of Harvard students.
On His Hobbies and Plans for the Near Future
In my free time, I like to practice sports, like capoeira, watch sci-fi movies, listen to audiobooks, and build new things, like 3D printing, domotic devices, and leather accessories.
What I enjoy above anything else is having fun with my family. I have a three-year-old daughter, Sofia, and we go to the beach to swim, build sandcastles, find crabs and feed wild animals, like cats, squirrels, hedgehogs, goats, and fish.
I love my wife Ksenia, and we discover new restaurants together or repeat our favorite ones. A new baby, Alexander, was born in July, and he will be the center of our attention for a while.
Because of the pandemic, we didn’t travel as much as I would like, but we are starting to plan adventures again. Costa Rica is our next destination. We really enjoy nature and wild animals.
The next item on my bucket list is to get an Open Water certification. I want to dive and discover the submarine world around these islands.
At Modern Tribe, we believe in living well and doing good work—wherever that makes sense for you. If that resonates, consider joining our team. We’re currently looking to fill these open positions.