Juan Manuel Valero, Scrum Master: “We are always trying to get out of the famous comfort zone to be on the crest of the IT wave”

After 20 years in EDICOM, he has gradually acquired great experience not only in programming, but also in dealing with people, in trying to get the best out of the team every day. Today we talk to him about projects, technologies, challenges, creativity…

Juan Manuel Valero is a Scrum Master. After 20 years in EDICOM, he has gradually acquired great experience not only in programming, but also in dealing with people, in trying to get the best out of the team every day. Today we talk to him about projects, technologies, challenges, creativity… An interesting journey through his professional career and accumulated experience.

EDICOM: What do you do in EDICOM?

JUAN MANUEL VALERO: I’m in the EDICOM R&D Department. We focus on developing the software that the company puts into production. Basically, I am a Scrum Master and I manage a team of ten people. I try to make the team run smoothly as possible and take the projects and tasks forward.

E: What do you appreciate most about your work?

J.M.V.: What I like the most at EDICOM is the working capacity we have and the ability to create things. Every day, in addition to maintaining the software we have, we always have that creative side, which means you never get in a rut, as we are always trying to get out of the famous comfort zone, always one foot outside, constantly researching, seeing how to improve processes, how to do more things, in short, how to stay on the crest of the IT wave.

E: What challenges arise in your work?

J.M.V.: The most difficult challenge or the most exciting challenge there is, apart from producing quality software and software that is creative, is managing human resources and getting the best out of each of us.

E: What opportunity has the company given you?

J.M.V.: As a company, EDICOM has given me the chance, over the past 20 years that I’ve been working here, to grow as a professional and to learn. I learnt practically everything I know here, both in technical and human terms, from a professional standpoint and from a perspective of something that you don’t learn in your university career. No just programming, which they teach you at university, but rather everything else around it, which is what I’ve learned here, year after year, and it is something that EDICOM has offered me as a company. Not only enabling me to develop from an IT perspective, but also to grow in human terms as a manager of resources and people.

E: Any projects that you feel particularly proud of?

J.M.V.: There are two projects that I am particularly proud of because one came into being with me, our EBI application integration software, which has now evolved into iPaas. I set out with it 20 years ago and I am still alive and kicking in the company. And now it has grown and already forms part of the team. I feel quite proud of it, because we created it from scratch, and today, it still works and has continued to evolve.

Regarding newer technologies that we are working on now, there is a graph-making project, EDICOM Analytics, which has also entailed great effort, especially because the main development work was done during the pandemic, which was an additional challenge, as we had to create the product while teleworking. In addition, the task of creating a product from scratch was coupled with the complexity of managing the team, and the fact that we were all managing the tasks and the project 100% remotely.

And another project I feel rather proud of is EDICOM LTA, because it involved a technological change in the product’s development due to the database and archiving systems behind the product. Technically, it was an evolutionary leap within the company and now, years later, the technology has been consolidated and we believe we were right.

E: Favourite technologies

J.M.V.: We have evolved thanks to many technologies. We set out with Visual Basic, then moved on to Delphi before consolidating with Java as a programming language and Spring as a development framework for the creation of applications. We committed to Java years ago, as well as the Spring development framework when everything was still in its infancy and the community was not clear about which way to go or was backing other technologies. As of today, it is a de facto standard. As a backend to develop applications, from my point of view it is very powerful.

It is true that we have to keep looking at other things, because now everything is moving towards the cloud world and the Kubernetes world, but the technology that I feel most comfortable with and which is used the most is Java and Spring.

E: Tell us some curiosities or anecdotes about EDICOM.

J.M.V.: Strictly from an extra-work or professional point of view, the best things EDICOM has and has always had are its conventions. From the conventions, there are things that you will take with you wherever you take them and that will not come out here, but some very good and funny things have happened at the conventions that will stay among those of us who were there at the time.