German E. Montejo – Software Development Engineer

german-montejo-formalHi! I’m German Montejo. My first name’s pronounced as “Herman”. If you pronounced it as German (like the nationality), well you’re not alone! If I had a penny for every time someone mispronounces my name, I’d be rich by now. I’m a software developer by heart and I know it’s the thing I’ll keep on doing for decades to come. Let me tell you about how I became a software developer and why I just love this field.

You see, it all started when I was in high school. I met this classmate of mine who shared the same interest with tech just like I do. Back then I was already fascinated with it but didn’t have any idea about programming yet, and how people create ‘stuff’ out of it. Then this friend of mine introduced me to the world of programming, and told me about his cousin who creates programs and computer viruses. He told me his cousin was a hacker. I cannot verify whether this claim was true but like every typical high school kid, I believed his claim like it was the gospel. We started talking about the basic stuff like HTML and CSS and in my spare time I would read about it from our computer or from the computer book we had which, if I recall correctly, was called Computer Fundamentals.

Oh boy! Back then I thought I was already cool – creating web pages and got to think of myself as a “programmer”. It’s funny because even though HTML isn’t a programming language, I thought I was already using one.

german-montejo-on-vacationThere was this one time in our computer lab when our instructor wanted us to create a web page where we could put anything we like. Of course, I was grinning like I just won the lottery! It was time for me to showcase my computer prowess and boast to my classmates my newly acquired skills. When I found out some of my classmates were struggling, I told them I would make their webpages for them for P50 each. Like every typical nerd, I spent what I earned buying novels by R.L. Stine or Christopher Pike. “Fear Street”, “Goosebumps”, and Christopher Pike’s horror novels were lit back then. It was during this time when I realised programming is something I wanted to do and so I took it up in college.

Upon reaching college, I took up Computer Science. I did well academically and was getting high grades since I loved what I was doing. My mother challenged me that if I could get the academic excellence scholarship, she would let me keep the money that I would supposedly pay for the exams. This scholarship allows students to get percentage discounts from exams. Guess who got the academic excellence scholarship!!!

I did encounter challenges along the way and one of the biggest hurdles I’ve ever encountered was when I was doing our thesis around the time the typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) ravaged our city. Lots of people died, and there was lack of food and other necessities like clean water. We didn’t have electricity for months. I even wondered whether I’d be able to graduate since our school was also damaged.

Things did become better after several months. I was able to graduate with a Magna cum Laude Latin honour award. This is something I wanted to achieve because I wanted to repay my parents for all their sacrifices to ensure my siblings and I got food to eat and a good education. My parents were proud of me and I can see the joy in my father’s face every time he was called onto the stage with me.

After graduating college, I went to Cebu City to find work. I applied to three different companies but decided to go to this start-up specialising in voice and SMS engagements. I chose this company for these reasons: their technology stack was interesting and was quite ahead of the others, and I felt I would really learn a lot from them. And I did learn a lot from them. My colleagues were good mentors for a Junior Software Developer like me at that time.

Years later, I can say that I’m still quite passionate about software development and my interests have moved from the mobile side to the backend. Now, in my 5th year in the software development industry, I can say that I’ve become wiser and more skilled through the experiences I’ve encountered along the way.

Oh, and one more thing. I don’t do programming all the time. I’m not a robot or a cyborg, no matter how much I want to be one. I love working out in the gym, reading fiction and non-fiction books, hanging out with my friends, watching movies, listening to Indie and vintage music, and even reading fandom sites ranging from comics to tv shows.

Thank you for reading my story! I’m looking forward for the opportunity to work with you and your team.

For a copy of German’s resume please click here.