Diego Pereira – how to fulfil your passion for traveling while working

March 5, 2020

Each month an employee is selected by his/her peers for special recognition based, not only on the quality of work or creative teamwork,  but also for an encouraging positive attitude and, of course, honesty and integrity. 

This month Diego Pereira from theWPML Support Team is OnTheGoSystems’ Employee of the Month. We wanted to chat to Diego to find out more about how he works.

We’d like to get to know you better, Diego. Would you like to tell us something about your family background?

Diego with his wife and dog

I currently live in Sorocaba, a medium-sized satellite city in São Paulo, Brazil. It is very close to the city of São Paulo, the largest city in South America. I live with my wife, Thais, and our dog called Katarina.

My biggest passion is traveling. We try to travel and live in different places 2 to 3 months per year. When I’m at home, I like skateboarding, biking and focusing on personal projects (I recently started going to the gym). 

I grew up in a small town called Itapetininga, which is not far from Sorocaba, with my parents and two sisters. On weekends, we usually travel to our home towns to see family or, if not, we stay in our city and go out with friends.

What were you doing before joining OnTheGoSystems and how did you hear about the company?

I have always enjoyed doing and discovering new things. When I was a teenager I practiced martial arts and was an amateur theater actor for a few years.

One of my first jobs was as a locksmith. Funnily enough, I developed some of my problem-solving skills at this time, fixing broken locks! At the same time, I enrolled in the design college and graduated. It was very hard to work and study at the same time. 

During college, I landed an internship as a web designer at a small agency. In the beginning my job was just to design websites, but I wanted to learn how they worked, so I learned HTML, CSS and Javascript and had my first contact with WordPress.

After finishing college, I moved to my current city (Sorocaba) and started working in an advertising agency, where I managed to coordinate the digital department. It was a difficult period as I was away from my friends and family, the work hours were long and tiring and I started feeling trapped. In an effort to have more freedom and autonomy,  I resigned and started my own WordPress themes and plugins business. At the same time, I took on some freelance work.

My own business, like so many others, had its good and bad times. I also found it quite lonely working alone, but the freedom I had gained allowed me to spend more time with the people I loved and to discover new passions. In 2016, my girlfriend (now my wife) and I traveled to Argentina and rented an apartment for a month where we worked from home and lived like the locals. I had never been so far from home, but the experience of  living in a new place with a different culture and language made me realize that there is a whole world out there waiting to be explored. 

Towards the end of the following year, I attended WordCamp São Paulo. I noticed that WPML was sponsoring it and I went on its jobs page. The possibility of working with people from all over the world, from so many different cultures tweaked my interest, so I applied for a support position and started working in May 2018. It was the best decision I ever made, as I could continue to work freely from any location, but now I was not alone – I was with friends from all over the world.

I understand that you are now working on 2nd Tier support for WPML.  What does this entail exactly?

Yes, I currently work as a 2nd Tier supporter. When a ticket cannot be solved by a supporter, or when it is necessary to perform more detailed debugging, it is passed to the 2nd tier, where we do a more in-depth analysis of the problem. Most of the time we are able to find a solution, or a good workaround, which we share with the client. If a bug is suspected, we will forward it to the 3rd tier, where it is re-analyzed and, if necessary, the developer team will become involved.

Some tickets are complicated and quite challenging, but we manage to overcome them thanks to our good teamwork. The WPML Support Team is divided into small teams based on time zones. Of course, I am in contact with the entire support team, although I am on the “Thundercats” team with colleagues from Brazil, Peru, Argentina, Morocco and the United States.             

OnTheGoSystems Team

What qualifications are needed for this kind of support work?

  • WordPress and PHP knowledge – to know the best procedures and how themes and plugins interact with the WordPress core.
  • Communication skills (important when working remotely and with support)
  • Problem solving skills
  • Discipline and self-management
  • And the most important: curiosity which was precisely what brought me here – my desire to learn and find out how and why things work.

 Would you like to describe a typical day for us?

My work day starts at 8 am. The first thing I do is check all my emails, the calendar and Mattermost chat to see if there is anything urgent or someone needing my help. After that, I start planning my day. I’m still a little sleepy at this time, so I grab a cup of coffee and read some articles about WordPress or tickets from my colleagues, so I can learn from them. After half an hour, I start working on tickets waiting for my feedback and then go on to new tickets.

After the workday, I like to do some physical activity. I am currently going to the gym but sometimes I go skateboarding or biking.

You really sound very busy! Do you have time to get involved with other opportunities such as WordCamps?

Diego at WordCamp Europe in Berlin

I definitely like to participate in WordCamps!  I have been attending WordCamps in São Paulo since 2017, and last year I worked as a volunteer. I always try to coordinate participating in WordCamps with my travels. In 2018 I attended WordCamp Uruguay, where I met 2 colleagues for the first time: Otto from Argentina and Carlos who was then living in Uruguay. Last year I attended WordCamp Europe in Berlin, Germany, and I was very happy to meet so many more colleagues there!

I’m also a WordPress Meetup organizer in Sorocaba.

Any plans for the future?

Working with OnTheGoSystems has many advantages, but the main one is being able to work from home, or anywhere else for that matter, with a team from all over the world. I’d like to contribute more to the company, so my current goals are to improve my debugging techniques and technical knowledge (PHP and also other programming languages). 

Diego with his wife while travelling

On the personal side, I would like to travel more, improve my physical conditioning routine and also to return to studying music.

As you can see from Diego’s story, OnTheGoSystems offers many career opportunities to WordPress enthusiasts no matter on which continent they live or in which country.  OnTheGoSystems is truly a global company!