Meet Our Totems – Felipe

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When striking the perfect balance between hard work and patience, no one does it better than Felipe Pena. Upon meeting Felipe, you are instantly greeted with a warm smile and approachable demeanor. Described as one of the most professional people to work with, Felipe takes his job seriously and is dedicated to creating the best quality work he can. Combined with his easy-going nature, it’s hard to not like the guy! As well, Felipe is a family man. When surrounded by his wife and daughter, the connection he has with his close ones is unmistakable. We are happy to have such a thoughtful and genuine man on our team!

Quick intro:

Position: Senior iOS Developer
Favourite Game: Super Mario World
Fun Fact: I’m pretty good at remembering song lyrics
Last Movie Watched: The Week Of
Favourite Food: Mexican

Tell us about yourself. What’s your story/background?

“As a kid I’ve always been interested in Computer Science. I also studied piano for many years and played with a lot of bands, doing gigs. I have an interest in rock and heavy metal music, and I’ve always been interested in mixing computer science and music together.

One of the first things I did in the startup world was a mobile app called MindScore, which built the tools for music composition. It was a very good experience and I was able to really get my hands dirty – having a team, paying salaries; all the parts of running a business at a small level. I found that building something on my own was a very important and valuable experience.”

How did you end up at TTT? First Impressions?

“My family and I were living in Vancouver for two months, and a friend of mine introduced me to Chris. I wasn’t looking for anything particular, but I was interested in working with Two Tall Totems. Once I was hired, everything happened pretty quick! Now I’m in Vancouver indefinitely.

I like that the people at TTT are very relaxed and value the importance of family. Chris, Dave and Josephine all have families of their own, and all share the value of spending time with family. Being part of my wife and daughter’s lives makes me very happy. Life is not only about work, and I think we all understand the importance of that.”

What are some interesting things about yourself?

“One of the reasons I was always a fan of remote work was the flexibility it allowed, which made room for travelling. I have travelled to every continent except Africa. My two favourite places are Germany and Czech Republic because they are full of history, which really interests me. When trying to pick a place to settle my family, I was actually choosing between Prague and Vancouver. I ended up choosing Vancouver in the end because we liked how warm, patient and welcoming the people are.
As a result of travelling to so many places, I have become very unattached to ‘stuff’. You miss your home in a very different way after travelling. The way everyone expects you to be settled down makes you wonder what you’re missing out on at home. You miss it weirdly that way. But I think it’s so crucial to keep travelling and experiencing the world.”

What’s your most memorable moment working at TTT?

“I remember the dinner after the team scavenger hunt last summer. It was one of the first times I felt really part of the group. I didn’t participate in the activity, but I still felt part of the experience. It was a very good feeling to feel part of something, and knowing that we are creating amazing work together.”

What is your secret super power? (something you’re very good at, that not everyone knows)

“I’m pretty good at isolating myself in a very connected world. I’m also good at mediating and resolving conflicts.”

What do you enjoy working on the most?

“I really enjoy when you come up with a very technical solution to a problem, and explain the solution in a non-technical way to a client, and they understand it. I like to make clients happy. It’s all about trying to understand what’s behind the problem and then meeting the clients’ expectations. I find that really fulfilling.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“I love to read. I also like to spend a lot of time with my family. Things like playing with my daughter, going out for dinner with them – it’s the most important thing to me.”

Who do you look up to? (Who is your hero?) Why?

“My parents. They invested so much time in my music interest by supporting me at different gigs. I look up to them in a very serious way. I admire people who can bring humanity to the world again.”

Dive deeper into Felipe’s experiences as a Senior iOS Developer in his blog post – “The Most Difficult Project I’ve Ever Worked On” 

Meet Our Totems Issue #16: Gokul