Some of us in the world are restless wanderers, moving from one place to another, absorbing cultures and ways of life. One such wanderer is Ruben Cervantes Ponce, a Salesforce B2C Commerce Architect, who was born in Mexico City, grew up in Guadalajara, and switched continents and now lives in Germany. In fact, he lives in a town so small that it doesn’t even appear in printed maps. Ruben may be a Salesforce superstar online but he’s also off-grid!
Have you finally settled down over there in Europe, Ruben?
Well, since I’ve been in Germany I have moved five times! Although currently I live quite close to Nuremberg.
Although you’re quite far away from the rest of the UV team, do you have a nickname?
Many people call me “El Ru”. It originates from my brother, who also works at UV, who was imitating me by calling everyone by their name plus the corresponding article, like El Javier, La Nadia, El Morgan, etc. This is because it’s common in Germany to use articles with friends. So my brother “Spanish-ized” it!
My nickname started as “El Ruben” but it became too long after a while, and was shortened to “El Ru”.
So when exactly did you join UV?
I don’t remember exactly but it’s been 3-4 years. It’s a bit difficult to pinpoint because my involvement with the company was gradual.
And what role did you begin with at UV?
I first started as a freelance developer, supporting a number of projects. At the very beginning I think I was working with Ruby on Rails. After a while I started to focus on ecommerce projects as I had previous experience with Shopify, Magento, etc. This evolution finally led me to work with Salesforce after becoming a certified B2C Salesforce developer.
Do you have a secret behind doing great work?
Firstly, love what you do. Secondly, there are things that are up to us and things that are not. It is in our hands to modify how we see things, and how we want to feel about them. We can always try to see the good in things, and find some task tedious, or not as an enjoyable challenge. Or alternatively, we can see work as play, and it will most likely end up being the best work (and you will enjoy it in the process).
Do you have a little trick or tip to make your clients love working with you?
I would say that clients like the level of engagement that I provide. Not only from myself but the entire team.
However, to find the thrill to get involved and have fun with any project, this is what I do:
Find the problem and reformulate it as an “amazing challenge to beat”:
- If the project is improving a site that has a very high level of quality, my goal is to raise the bar and improve it. That is what makes me thrive and challenges me to make it better.
- Some other projects, sites, or stores, are so badly done, or having so many performance issues. In this case the challenge is how to dig them out of trouble.
No matter what project it is, I will find the challenge and do all I can to make a success of it. This is what I try to express to the team, to make us do an even better job.
Beyond work, what are you obsessed or passionate about?
By far, the activity that i enjoy the most is scuba diving. If I could, I would make it part of my daily workout. Although Germany is not the best place to dive as it lacks the water!
Who has been your favorite UV client so far?
I couldn’t say I have a favorite client. Clients consist of individual people, and everyone is special. They have their good things, and their “not-so-good” things, but working with them is always interesting and we can learn from each other.
However, from the most recent projects I have been working with, I would say that the migration from SiteGenesis to SFRA for GODIVA was one that I enjoyed a lot. It was very interesting to see how you could do different things with the new SFRA from Salesforce.
With the Godiva project, we had to re-do the entire site. In the end we could see the performance improvements in terms of SEO, page load, and page responsiveness. To work on a case in which we were dealing with thousands of users, and to see our improvements working, was an amazing experience.
What do you love most about your job?
From the very beginning I’ve loved the way we work remotely. I know that the world has changed a bit since Covid-19 — with more people starting to work remotely — but here at UV we have not needed to adapt that much. It is our default working condition. Therefore we have a lot of experience working like this. While some other companies are adapting, we are continuing.
Do you have a place where inspiration flows easier?
For me it isn’t a place or space that is my muse. I like to work at night — when the lights go out and everyone else is sleeping. That is the moment when I open the computer, log-in, and work.
If I am a bit distracted, or stressed out during the day, I put some music on to make things flow. My taste is a bit varied depending on the mood. I will go with Lindsey Stirling sometimes and Sabaton other times.
Do you have any advice for future UVers who want to work with us?
Learn to communicate, in an asynchronous way, because not everyone knows how to do it (properly). However, it is one of the most important soft skills that any UVer should have. You can be the best technical coder, but lacking communication does not lead to success.
Do you have any social media where people can follow you?