From Arts to Engineering: Meet Carolina Gonzalez
Carolina has worked in media, UX, teaching, and more – and now she helps enterprises make the most of Sanity at all stages of their lifecycle.
This is the first in a series where we get to know more about the diverse and fascinating people who work at Sanity. This time around, we hear from Solution Engineer Carolina Gonzalez about how she bridged her arts career into a passion for engineering.
I’m a Solution Engineer, helping enterprises make the most of Sanity through all stages of their lifecycle. Many companies come to Sanity not knowing what a headless CMS is, or how all the pieces fit together.
Solution Engineers take our previous experience working in development or other ecosystems, and help our customers determine whether Sanity is the right tool for them in an unbiased way. We put together tailored demos, answering questions about their specific needs – such as localization, personalization, or integrations. We speak frankly to customers and are a trusted source of information.
Part of my job is also building out integrations for enterprises to use. I recently finished some translation integrations in partnership with our customers’ engineers. I love being a solution engineer because I get to work with developers from all types of different backgrounds.
I'm enamored with the open-source philosophy and emphasis on collaboration, and I wanted to work on something that lots of people use. I like understanding the problems and complications that come from having lots of different kinds of users with lots of different kinds of needs.
Sanity is flexible and covers so many use cases, and that’s reflected in our team. So many people here are incredibly talented. It can be kind of intimidating, but it's super cool and innovative and unique.
About a quarter of my week is devoted to calls, some internal and some with clients. Another quarter is spent keeping up with SLAs and customer requests. The remaining 50% is spent on development: integrations, demos, that sort of thing.
The thoughtfulness. In other places, there's been a drive to get things done as quickly as possible. Sanity is more considered than that. In my role, for example, we get a lot of requests. We say “yes, but let’s do it the right way.” Having that resolve in the face of immediate requests is good, so we can ultimately build something that lasts versus swaying with the wind.
We also work hard on building our culture. We have personal conversations, but also let each other know what we're working on so we can discover synergies that we might not otherwise. Overall, Sanity is super friendly. People here are ultra-smart, and with that “smartness” comes a mad scientist quality that is fun and playful.
Everyone at Sanity is genuinely nice and good-intentioned. The ability to collaborate with all different people who are considerate and kind across different teams is really rewarding.
I graduated from an art school in London and majored in media, doing cultural studies and script writing. I have done everything from being a post-production assistant to teaching literature, freelancing for fashion magazines and having a UX job. I was restless, but it made me more empathetic to peoples’ needs, because I’ve worked in a lot of roles.
I was interested in tech as a kid. When I moved to New York in 2012, I worked at a UX company and got the tech bug again. I realized engineering was something I wanted to pursue. Over the years, I took classes in Java and later I got a fellowship to the Flatiron School in New York. Engineering turned out to be something I’m passionate about and really enjoy.
I like to read gothic and horror stories and I just picked up The Shining. I also love Hitchcock films and Thomas Ligotti short stories. Someday, I’d love to write my own novel. I recently enjoyed Ali Smith’s Hotel World and Martin Scorsese’s film, Age of Innocence. I like to hang out with friends in LA. I like to cook, too. Recently, I’ve been cooking a lot of soups.
What’s especially cool about Sanity is you get an allowance for a personal trainer. I love to go work out after a workday and get yelled at or yell at my trainer. I also love swimming.
When I started trying to write every day, I took the same piece of advice and applied it to other parts of my life. That is: “Do this task every day, even if you think you're going to be bad at it.” The same thing goes for programming or any kind of habit-building. Create X amount of output, even if it’s bad. There’s always tomorrow. Don’t set your expectations too high. Just build a daily practice and don't judge yourself too harshly.
Want to join our incredible culture? Check out open positions at Sanity.