My Name is Nicolás Hock Isaza  — This is Why I Joined Aha!

Ephesus, Turkey | Photo by Nicolás Hock Isaza, Aha! Engineering

November 5, 2021

My Name is Nicolás Hock Isaza — This is Why I Joined Aha!

by Why I Joined Aha!

Most people think of technology as inherently exciting and innovative. But I believe the best tech can actually be quite boring. Stable, reliable, and accessible — it just works. "Boring" technology is often overlooked, but it is a fundamental part of creating a lovable experience for customers.

As a developer, I find the greatest joy in building lasting software that solves problems and is enjoyable to use.

I studied computer science at college in Medellín, Colombia. Outside of class, I worked as a research assistant at a computer education lab on campus. Our goal was to use tech to empower Colombians in poor and rural communities. I also traveled to the U.S. for an internship at MIT's Center for Educational Computing Initiatives. My work centered on the iLab platform, which gave students the ability to control lab equipment and run experiments from anywhere in the world. It felt gratifying to contribute to giving people greater access to technology (and the opportunity that comes with it).

After graduation, I moved to San Francisco to join an image-based social networking company — where I gained experience in API design and backend optimization. But after a few years in the U.S., I wanted to be closer to my family in Colombia. In order to continue growing in my career as a developer, I decided to pursue full-time remote roles. This way I could work for leading tech companies no matter their location.

First was a ride-sharing startup, then a music production company. While I relished the opportunity to optimize the backend and improve search infrastructure, startup life was unpredictable. Companies frequently ran out of funding, and the platforms I was working on were often unstable.

I knew it was time to find a mature and profitable company where I could thrive for many years.

I first heard about Aha! when a friend applied to an open role. After reading about the company history and values, I decided to apply. Each interviewer was friendly and engaging. I discovered that we shared the same views on designing and managing applications — being deliberate is how you create lovable software that people can rely on.

Now as a member of the framework team, I focus on improving our report functionality. Our reporting system is huge, so we need a robust and flexible platform to serve all of our customers and their needs. I also helped launch work requests, giving our Enterprise+ customers extra visibility into sophisticated cross-functional dependencies.

The level of support from the team amazes me. Everyone is helpful, warm, and always available to answer questions. Even our leadership team is incredibly responsive. I was recently working on a Salesforce integration project and needed help from Aha! co-founder and CTO Chris Waters. He was immediately willing to lend a hand.

I have to admit that I was initially skeptical of The Responsive Method (TRM) — I was concerned that lots of notifications and interruptions would distract me from my coding work. But so far that has not happened. It is clear that Aha! deeply understands what is required for a distributed team to be successful. And we are continuously improving how we communicate and interact with each other.

Together my teammates and I are building a stable platform that will deliver value to customers for years to come.

Our infrastructure is thoughtful, logical, and easy to understand. Because there are no mysteries or surprises, our engineering team has the space to focus on actually helping our users. In prior roles, it was normal to rewrite code in the middle of the night or scramble to fix the latest production bug. But now, I can concentrate on building features and solving customer problems — this is the truly exciting work.

That is why I joined Aha! — and why you should too.

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