Carlos Santana – The Corazon Tour at Ravinia

The Corazon Tour - Ravinia

The Corazon Tour – Ravinia

What an amazing weekend! I saw Carlos Santana playing at the Ravinia Festival. The show was unbelievable! He played over two hours with no intermissions.

It was a great opportunity to see a true artist playing from the heart, I think he enjoys playing as much as we enjoy watching him play. He can truly make people feel music. It was magic! Checkout some pictures!

Carlos Santana

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During my career as a Software Engineer I’ve had the opportunity to be part of the in-person interviewing team a few times. Going from interviewee to interviewer has given me an entire different perspective of how to approach this process.

Here is a list of things you may want to think about on your next in person interview. Disclaimer: the list is purely based on my experiences!

  • They want you! If you made it to the in-person interview chances are they really  like you,  for most companies the interview is the last step in the hiring process, so if you are sitting there you are already ahead of most. Use this info as a confidence boost but don’t let it get to your head. Be prepared.
  • They want you to succeed . Some people think the goal of the interview is to set you up for failure but in my experience it is not the case at all. Finding a good candidate is difficult: working with recruiters, going through resumes and screen interviews  takes a lot of time and effort. If you don’t do good during the interview it means starting the process all over again with a different candidate. Nobody wants you to fail, they want you to succeed!
  • Do your homework. Be prepared, know the company for which you are interviewing.
  • Be on time. There is no need to arrive to the interview super early, more often than not it’s kind of inconvenient. Never be late, if an emergency comes up be honest and communicate in a timely manner.
  • It’s ok to say you don’t know. Nobody knows it all, thanks ok! If you don’t know something simply be honest and talk about how much you would like to learn it.
  • Ask questions. If you are really interested in the job you have to have questions. Ask about company culture,  technology,  people, processes, software, hardware, industry and anything else you want to know about. Remember, you are also trying to determine if the company/culture/work are a good fit for you.
  • Show your passion. Are you passionate about what you do? Then, don’t be afraid to show it.
  • Avoid the uncomfortable silence. If you get stuck with a white board or coding exercise talk it through. It is important for the people who interview you to understand how you go about solving problems, listen to their feedback and don’t give up. Seeing you work through the problem and interacting with the team is sometimes more important than the answer itself.
  • Relax and enjoy. Regardless of the outcome, every interview offers a unique opportunity to learn something. The more you do it the more comfortable you will get so relax, ask questions and enjoy.
  • Ask for feedback.  If the company decides not to move forward don’t let it affect you too much.  Ask for feedback. Be willing and ready to offer feedback as well. Take the lessons learned, recharg and move on!
In person interviews can be fun!

In person interviews can be fun!

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I recently signed up for a Wine, Dine and Design class at Heritage House Florist just a few blocks down the road from my house.

The class was hosted in a local restaurant starting with a delicious dinner, glass of wine and fun conversation. After some more  wine we let our creativities out to make an Ikebana flower arrangement. Flowers were beautiful and we all had a great time but we had some “technical difficulties”, the base was a little too small and it was challenging to keep our our creations from falling apart.

I was very happy about the class but a tiny bit disappointed that I couldn’t keep my flowers together very long.

My flower arrangement

My flower arrangement

The following morning I received an email from the flower shop, they apologized for the technical difficulties and offered a FREE make over class. What a nice surprise!

A few weeks later we were at the shop making a new flower arrangement. Isn’t that great? As a first time customer I was very happy to know they really care about their customers and I simply want to say thanks for that!

The  next time I need flowers, I know where I’m going!

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I’ve been playing with the idea of a blog for a long time. A blog with no agenda, no theme, simply a place to capture experiences for my future self and anybody else who happens to read it.

So.. What will I write about? Not sure yet. I guess a little bit of everything. Maybe I’ll write about my experiences as a Software Engineer, or being born and raised in Mexico, or  the homeless guy with a jar asking people to smile or the amazing people who have touched my life in one way or another.

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Every journey starts with a first single step.

Lao-Tzu

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