Software Development Manager Edgar Rincón on how his background has influenced his leadership style
Hispanic Heritage Month
What aspects of Hispanic culture were a big part of your childhood, and how have those influenced who you are today?
One of the most important parts of my culture is family. My mom and brothers and I are very close. I learned how we should serve each other, be there for the other person, and take care of each other.
At SmartBear, I’m the development manager for three different teams located in different places. One thing I always tell my teams: It’s not that I am their boss, not at all; I’m there to serve and take care of them. That’s something I learned when I was a kid and implement in my leadership and career. I try to bring that relationship within my teams, that we need to help each other and take care of each other.
What lesser-known aspects of your own unique Hispanic culture would love people to know more about?
I’m from Venezuela, and I was raised there. For us, December 24 is the key celebration. We prepare food, mostly dishes and drinks for Christmas, and we go house to house and eat our neighbors’ food, and they come to your house and eat your food. So in your neighborhood, everyone is out sharing, talking, eating, and that’s our Christmas.
When we were kids, it was part of the tradition in my city to go to church with skates – it sounds a little bit weird! Skating to the church, and then hearing the sermon. And then you continue skating during the day.
We are very friendly with everybody. My panas [buddies] are my friends since I was a kid. Someone I just met is now my pana, and I will treat you as if we’ve known each other for years and introduce you to my culture.
What’s your all-time favorite Hispanic “comfort food”?
I love a lot of the foods, so it’s hard for me to pick one. But I’d love to share hallacas – it’s like a tamale. Making them is a tedious process because you have to clean the leaves. I would fill up my fridge and eat hallacas in April if I could, but it’s for Christmas only.
Arepas are very popular. They’re filled with anything you can imagine – they have their own names. Some of the most popular ones are Reina Pepiada (chicken and avocado), carne mechada (shredded beef), dominó (black beans and cheese), and catira (chicken and shredded yellow cheese). I would like to share these with the office, and I know people love them.
Cachapas are not very healthy! They’re made with corn. It’s comfort food but it’s my all-time favorite.
I would love to bring some Venezuelan food to work. I’m not a very good cook, but I've eaten in Venezuelan places with my colleagues, and they loved the food.
What do you enjoy about working in the tech industry, and about SmartBear?
The tech industry in general is the best career ever. I love it! I love to create. It’s like if you were an artist, but you’re building software. It’s a piece of art that people are going to use.
Since day one, I felt welcomed at SmartBear, that I belong here, that there’s a place for me here, and that they really care about me, my ideas, my thoughts. We build relationships between the different departments, and I always felt very welcomed, and I can say to people, this is one of the best companies I’ve ever worked for.
What advice would you give (en español, si usted gusta!) to other Hispanic people considering entering the tech industry?
Aprender aprender y aprender. ¡Nunca pares! ¡Se curioso y mantente actualizado sobre las nuevas tendencias en tecnologia!
Edgar Rincón is the Software Development Manager for AlertSite, TestComplete, and Phoenix, based in the Coconut Creek, Florida, office of SmartBear. He’s also in charge of a system called Spider, which is why some folks call him the Spiderman.