Meet the Tallizen: Jorge
Get to know the people behind the company that’s on a mission to make people less stressed and better off financially.
January 18, 2022
Jorge Gomez is an iOS Engineer at Tally based in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is part of the iOS team within Tally’s Client Engineering team. He is currently working on multiple projects to improve the in-app experience of the iOS app and create more value for Tally’s members.
The iOS team at Tally takes broad ownership of the app by strategically driving the building process while working collaboratively with other teams to create new features. His team supports Tally’s mission to make people less stressed and better off financially by constantly improving the member-facing experience of our debt payoff app.
Credit card debt is often so overwhelming that many people can’t even bring themselves to open their mail. So every feature that we build to make the debt payoff process more manageable and less daunting is a step towards helping to alleviate their money worries.
A day in the life of a Tallizen
Walk us through a day in your life. What does a typical workday look like for you?
I am a morning person, so I like starting my work days early. The earlier, the better. I am just more productive in the mornings, especially after my first espresso 😉. Early morning is heads-down time to get things done for me. You’ll typically see me ready to go and my Slack status online by 8:00 am (most of the time).
At around 10:30 am is when meetings usually start. I’ll typically have one or two meetings until lunch. Andrea (my wife) and I work remotely and we both like to cook, so we take our time to prepare lunch every day: from homemade chicken tacos to Bolognese pasta, you name it.
I like Wednesdays because we have a companywide “No Meeting Zone” after lunch, which lets me focus on finishing my sprint work. I also like Thursdays because the Client Engineering team hosts a social meeting where we play video games together.
After lunch, if there aren’t any meetings scheduled, I’ll spend my time organizing my work, reviewing merge requests to unblock teammates, answering questions on Slack, collaborating with the team in general, all while working on my projects.
Around 5:00 pm, I start wrapping up work and leave notes for the next day if necessary. That’s my typical work day.
If you could switch jobs with anybody else at Tally, who would you switch with and why?
I would switch jobs with someone from the Design team because it would be really cool to be able to design a new feature. I think it would be especially interesting to go through the entire process: conducting user research, doing interviews, prototyping different ideas, designing the screens, and then implementing that feature myself.
A lot of work happens before screens are designed and I believe it would be really beneficial for engineers to understand that entire process. It motivates me a lot when I know I am building a feature that will somehow solve someone’s problem.
Which of Tally’s values resonates most with you and why?
“Don’t Say Nothing.” Moving to Canada from Venezuela was not easy for me, especially in the beginning. It was such a 360° change in my life, culturally and socially. Spanish is my native tongue and language was a big barrier for me. Learning English as a second language often made me feel less confident in myself. Sometimes I wouldn’t know how to express my thoughts and would often say nothing. I was worried about being wrong or not being understood because of my accent. With the years, slowly but surely, I have been learning to embrace who I am and where I am from and not being worried about my accent.
Why did you pick the career that you chose? What do you love about your chosen field?
During my third year of undergrad, I started looking for internships but had no clue what I wanted to do. I knew I would likely be coding software, but didn’t know for whom, for what purpose, or what type of software.
To help me figure it out, I started working on side projects building websites and mobile apps. When I built my first iOS app and loaded it on my iPhone, that’s when it hit me. I realized at that moment that I wanted to write software that would be in the hands of thousands of people and would help them solve any type of problem. For me, writing software that can help make peoples’ lives easier in any way is an inspiration. That's why I love my field and love what I do.
What do you like to do for fun outside of work?
I love trying out new restaurants. My wife, Andrea, and I have a huge list of restaurants that we want to try. We love checking off that list every time we travel to a new city. Also, I started playing golf. I played a lot this summer (2 to 3 times a week). When I don’t have a tee time scheduled, I am in the driving range practicing my swing🏌🏻. Other than that, I enjoy hanging out with friends, playing video games (Starcraft) and traveling.
Tell us about one of your favourite vacations
One of my favourite vacations was when I got married in Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic. Not only did I get married, I also got to spend a week at the Hard Rock Cafe Hotel’s all-inclusive resort with my family and all my closest friends. It was an amazing week. Not sure how we pulled it off, but it was incredible and one of the best experiences in my life. A week I will never forget.
Tell us something that people would be surprised to know about you
For my wedding, I planned a surprise dance with my groomsmen for my wife, Andrea. We practiced for two months before the wedding and we came up with six minutes of choreography. Andrea later uploaded part of the dance on TikTok and it currently has 2.2 million views. 😄
What’s the next item on your bucket list?
South America. I have been to a lot of countries in Europe and have travelled around North America. But even though I am from Venezuela, I have never had a chance to visit other countries in South America.
What is your hidden talent?
I worked two years as a cook in a semi-fancy restaurant while I was in school, so I learned how to cook. Does that count as a talent? 👀
What are three things you can’t live without?
Pink grapefruit perrier, my iPhone, and chicken tacos.
What is your favourite book?
Not too much of a reader, but I did really like "Creative Selection - Inside Apple's Design Process during the Golden Age of Steve Jobs" by Ken Kocienda. He was one of the engineers who worked on the first iPhone and was responsible for the first multi-touch iPhone software keyboard.
Lightning round: this or that?
Sweet or Savoury
Summer or Winter?
Tea or Coffee?
Pizza or Tacos?
Beaches or Mountains?