Talk to a Tykling – getting to know Tomas Buchaillot, Go Developer
Tyk didn’t get to be the leading API and service management platform by chance. We’ve worked hard to develop a product that enables businesses to make things happen.
A key part of that work has focused on building a team made up of talented, innovative individuals from around the world – people who bring creativity, knowledge and empathy to all that we do.
People like our Go Developer Tomas Buchaillot. Based in Argentina but with his sights on a move to Barcelona, Tomas is on a quest to constantly learn something new. We caught up with him over a (virtual) coffee to find out what inspires him about working at Tyk and how his personal values blend with those of his colleagues from around the world.
What do you do at Tyk?
I’m a Go Developer, working mostly on Tyk Pump, Tyk-Sync and Tyk Gateway. I develop new features, fix bugs and work on improving performance behind the scenes. We’re trying to refine our responsibilities as the role develops.
Ignoring the pandemic for the moment, where do you usually base yourself when working remotely?
I’m based in Córdoba, Argentina. We’re still quarantined at the moment, so I’m working from home. But before the pandemic I always loved to switch between coffee shops, my home and the houses of friends who also work remotely.
I had even started to travel a bit around Argentina. It’s a big country! Last summer, for example, I went to a place called Puerto Madryn in the south. It was beautiful. I would love to be enjoying more of that aspect of working at Tyk right now!
Do you plan to travel more while working once the pandemic is over?
Yes, 100%. I’m planning to move during the next year to Barcelona, for example. It’s a good central point in Europe, so I’ll be able to visit loads of different places while working at the same time. It’s going to be amazing.
In terms of the tech industry more widely, is there a particular problem that you wish you could fix?
That’s a difficult question! One of the problems that I have always faced in this industry is the ramp up time or the onboarding time that it takes you to learn a new project – a new codebase. I felt it when I joined Tyk and when I started my last job. Sometimes it takes you a lot of time, as a develop, to learn the code and understand the hundreds of different flows. So I would love to create or participate in something that focused on that problem and reduced the time taken for developers to get onboarded with new projects.
What led you to Tyk in the first place – what’s your background?
I have loved technology since I was a kid, so it was pretty natural for me to choose a software engineering path.
I studied computer science here in Córdoba and after I graduated, I joined a small start-up. I got to do a little bit of everything – mobile development, user experience and of course working as a developer.
After a couple of years there, I felt the need to be part of something bigger, so I joined Mercado Libre, one of the biggest IT companies in Latin America. It’s like a Latin American Amazon, so it’s pretty big! It has about 7,000 employees, with offices in Argentina, Uruguay, Colombia and Brazil.
I worked there for almost three years and learnt a lot. I did so many things that I had never thought I could. But I reached a point where I felt the need to grow more, both technically and professionally. So I realised that I needed to look for a new challenge.
I thought it would be great to work for a remote organisation and I loved the idea of working with engineers all over the world. I scoured the internet and found the position at Tyk, which sounded like a dream come true! There aren’t many companies that offer what Tyk does. I applied and became a Tykling a year ago.
What do you like about working at Tyk?
A lot of things! I’ve learned a lot since I joined – that’s one of the most important aspects for me, as that’s what I was looking for, that technical growth.
Working with engineers from Russia to Tanzania, with so many different points of view on different things is a continuous learning experience. It’s been great.
You don’t find the freedom and flexibility that you have at Tyk at many companies. The 9-6 work shift doesn’t work very well for me, but at Tyk I can fix my working hours around the times I feel energised and get the work done then. Last week, for example, I worked from midnight to 8 am. It’s a great opportunity not to have a fixed schedule. You just have to find a way to motivate yourself to get the work done.
It’s fantastic that at the time you want to work, there’s always someone connected in another part of the world. It’s really pretty great.
What are your tips for getting the best out of a remote-first organisation?
My first tip is to get used to the asynchronous communication. That was the most difficult part for me when I joined Tyk. I was used to always working with people in similar time zones, so writing something in Slack and not getting a response immediately was a little bit weird at first. But you totally get used to it and it ends up feeling like it should always be like that.
My second piece of advice is to find your own way to make it work. There’s a lot of advice out there about how you should get dressed, have your own home office and things like that. But they don’t work for everyone. Sometimes you have to find your own way – what works for you.
In terms of your career before Tyk, could you share a mistake that you made and what you learnt from it?
There are two things that I’ve really learned that have helped me along the way. The first is that when something doesn’t go as planned or turns out wrong, you have to focus on the solution for the problem rather than who is to blame.
It was a pretty common situation in my last job that when something happened in production that affected a lot of users, everyone got pretty crazy. You have to focus on finding the solution as soon as possible. You can do a post-mortem later.
The other thing I’ve learned is to try to always add value for the user. It’s easy to over-engineer or over-think a problem and lose focus on what is really important – the user. So I try to always deliver value.
What are the values that drive you?
I value transparency and communication a lot. I think they come as a package. And a focus on constant development. That, for me, is super important. Learning new things all the time is what motivates me the most.
How do those values fit into the culture at Tyk?
To be honest, they fit great. Everyone is clear at communicating what they need or what they think, so I love that about Tyk. And as I said before, working with great engineers from around the world means I learn something new with every task I undertake.
What’s your favourite podcast?
I’m not really a podcast kind of guy. The only one I listen to from time to time is Go Time, from Matt Ryer. It’s a tech-based podcast where he invites different people from the Go community to talk about different topics. It’s pretty great as you get the point of view of experts in each area. I try to make sure I listen to it each week, but that’s the only podcast I listen to.
What about your favourite book?
It’s been a while since I read a book. The last one I read was a fantasy novel by an Argentinian author – Los Dias de La Sombra by Liliana Bodoc. It’s a Lord of the Rings-type book, very fantasy and medieval orientated. It’s an amazing book; a serious book.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working (again, ignoring the whole issue of the pandemic)?
In normal circumstances, I like to spend my time hanging out with my friends. I love gaming too – I play a lot of different online games. My favourite is League of Legends. I’ve been gaming a lot over the last few months in quarantine!
I also like to spend time learning new things, most on Udemy, which is an online learning platform with a whole load of courses. Sometimes I also spend my time doing open source contributions or applying the things I’ve learned in courses through side projects. When I find something that looks challenging, I try to code it and see what happens!