It has now been just over 8 weeks since I’ve been working out of our Costa Rica nearshore software development office, and I really enjoy it. I’m learning more and more Spanish each day from our on-staff Language Teacher, through different things I read and hear, as well as just speaking it in stores and restaurants. I also have ongoing conversations with our Gorillas about different odd ways of saying things in both English and Spanish.
There are several advantages to being full-time in our San Jose office. I am able to meet potential candidates in person before even putting them through the recruiting process, which has been really awesome! Some are friends of our current Gorillas, and some have just reached out to me to set up a time to meet for coffee. It helps to create a great connection. I have had the chance to assist the HR team and other managers within the Costa Rica office by sharing insights from the recruiting team. And the HR team has provided their insights, which has significantly help to round out the whole candidate and employee experience for our HQ team.
Our Costa Rica development center continues to be a great environment of 170+ engineers, Product Owners, and Scrum Masters working hard together. There are numerous Lunch and Learns that our Gorillas put on to showcase the different projects that they have been working on. It’s a great way for the engineers to learn from each other about different technologies and new ways of thinking. They also plan social activities in the office, such as game nights, fitness classes, and mini internal meet-ups after work to showcase our current projects. I love the informal opportunities to connect more closely with our current Gorillas.
It’s been very interesting spending the holidays here! I was able to find a delicious turkey dinner in a beach town on Thanksgiving Day. And although there are Christmas decorations all around the country, it sure doesn’t look like Christmas to this “Northerner”- too beautifully lush and green. But the spirit is definitely here! In the office, we had an “Angel” Christmas initiative in which participating Gorillas each “adopted” a child in need and provided a gift. A big tradition here is making Christmas tamales in the month of December, so I have been lucky enough to receive invites to some of my coworkers’ families’ homes to learn how they make them. They are absolutely delicious! On weekends, some of the Gorillas share different parts of their country with me.