SOUTHIE Stories: How a full stack developer developed her career

Meet Daniela Peña…

Meet Daniela Peña… an experienced full stack developer with a computer science degree from The University of Oriente Venezuela.

She began her career as a developer in 2012, and prior to joining SOUTHWORKS, Daniela was at a small healthcare billing software company based in the United States. “I worked there for about four years,” she said. “The last year, … I did a lot of the technical implementation and collaborated in leading the development process with the other devs.”

But, Daniela’s current position didn’t offer many opportunities for growth.

She was looking for new challenges and more variety than her roughly 15-person company was able to provide. “Maybe they were going to do different things in the future, but it was not something in the near future,” she said.

“I also wanted to grow more and work with different clients, bigger clients.”

Then, she heard about SOUTHWORKS.

Daniela attended a lot of local tech meet-ups. At one of these events, she met some SOUTHWORKS developers who left a big impression on her.

“It’s different to work with someone who just comes in 9 to 5 and is desperate to leave, and then to see someone who’s like, ‘Wow, I want to do this. This is so great. Look at what I’m working on."

That’s what she saw in the SOUTHWORKS devs.

One day, Daniela got a phone call. A SOUTHWORKS developer she met at an event recommended her for an open position. She went for the interview and was wowed by what she saw.

“I loved it. When you hear clients like Microsoft, … you’re like, ‘Wow, I’m going to get to work on this and I’m going to have room to learn a lot.’”

By the end of the interview, she knew SOUTHWORKS was where she wanted to work.

At SOUTHWORKS, she’s already been promoted from a lead developer to a principal engineering manager.

It’s a role she never would have pictured herself in, but her SOUTHWORKS team encouraged her to pursue it.

“These sort of roles have been chasing me for some time now, and I just embraced the challenge,” she said. “I like being involved in the planning and process of a project a lot and … I ended up taking leadership in those things. I guess someone saw something in me that I clearly didn’t.”

It was just the challenge she was looking for.

“I think that I’m lucky in that I started at the company at a moment where they really started to grow, because I also got the opportunity to grow,”she said.

Daniela’s tips for success at SOUTHWORKS? It’s all about the details.

Daniela says there are lots of opportunities at SOUTHWORKS for those who are looking to be challenged.

“You do need to be more detailed,” she said, “or someone who’s paying attention to the little things.”

It’s those details that make SOUTHWORKS clients so happy with the project outcome.

The contents of this article are extracts from an interview conducted by Autumn Privett of Pitchmaps with Daniela Peña, a Principal Software Engineer at SOUTHWORKS.