Gerardo (Ger) Vázquez joined QuestionPro in November 2017 and works out of our Mérida, MX office. He is currently leading the UX Design team. He is the man behind making QuestionPro products useful, usable, and enjoyable for our users.
We connected with Ger to know more about his experience working at QuestionPro and what makes him stick here.
How has your experience been working at QuestionPro?
I’d lie if I said it’s been an easy road. But it’s been a fun one. There have been ups, there have been downs. Luckily the ups have overcompensated the downs. We work with many intelligent, capable people who are always challenging us to reach new heights, but they’re also there, willing to help out when needed. I still feel challenged often, and I keep looking forward to the next challenge ahead. It keeps things interesting.
What do you love about QuestionPro?
I love being able to communicate and explore relationships with my teammates naturally, and not tied up by the formalities, just a bunch of people with a similar goal in mind, knowing that we are working together to get there. It’s a cycle of communication that nurtures trust, and trust nurtures communication.
On my first visit to the office, the first thing that struck me was how noisy it was – much more than any other office I had ever been at. I was greeted by some people playing foosball while others cheered on the score. One of them tagged out to lead me to a room for the interview. Even that room had its own noisy background. It was a really loud and kind of enviable snoring coming from somewhere within the room. After looking around for a few seconds, I found the source of the snores. It was Lola, the bulldog pup, who was looking for a quiet place for a nap! 10 minutes into the interview, the snoring beauty had moved closer to my chair, where she remained until the end of it. To be honest, I wasn’t sure of what to expect yet. I wasn’t used to that kind of environment, but I was sure that it would be quite an experience – not sure if a good one, but definitely a new one. It was exciting.
Things went well, I got the job, and for a while, I kept waiting for the honeymoon phase to wear off. I imagined that after a week or a month, the office would become as quiet and formal as every other place I had worked previously. That never happened. The thing that I got from all that wasn’t necessarily that I loved the noise (I’m mostly against noise myself), but I loved the fact that people were not walking around on their toes. It seemed like there were no forced formalities, no heavy atmosphere, and no fear. Fast-forward to today and even though the pandemic changed the way we work (we’ve gone full-remote since then), I can still feel that vibe when talking to people across the globe.
What’s something your colleagues wouldn’t know about you?
I dropped out of Civil Engineering to get into Graphic Design. It felt like a massive risk at the time (I had a lot of misconceptions!). So far it’s turned out great!
Why did you start pursuing UX Design?
The trigger was that I was done working in print media. Then I looked for web design jobs as an exit. I liked it but then I got curious about the reason behind some decisions being made around the web until I stumbled upon the term UX.
I have creative urges (grew up in an artsy environment and it stuck despite my protests) but I’m into organizing and analyzing information as well. UX seemed to be a career path that would let me pursue those interests. I still haven’t had a dull day since I got myself into this.
Ok, so what does a fulfilling workday look like to you?
A day where I’ve helped solve a problem is a great day. The most complex problems are the juiciest ones, but those take the longest, and a lot of the time others beat me to it! Still, there are enough problems to go around, so soon enough there are more things to solve and learn from. It isn’t always a problem related to the product though. I like to get involved in other things as they help me expand my repertoire of solutions. You never know when a piece of information that seems unrelated can be the key to the puzzle.
How has your career grown since joining the company?
Originally I was hired as an individual contributor overseeing some tasks within the development cycle of some specific features. At some point at the beginning, I was just offering alternative ideas, not really even in charge of a full feature. Now my scope covers all products, all the apps within them, and all the features inside those apps. Of course, I can’t do it alone, but I must keep a certain level of familiarity across everything we make in order to help maintain consistency across the entire suite. I’ve also moved from learning things for myself to actually caring for the growth of a group of people, sometimes even helping other teams with new knowledge that might be beneficial to them. I suppose I moved from moving pixels to moving systems.
What are some of the things you’ve noticed about our leadership team?
1. They know stuff I’ve yet to learn about.
2. They are capable of having a laugh.
3. They’ve found ways to keep a lot of people engaged.
4. Seem to be reasonable people.
5. Are also trying to do their best job.
Who are some of your biggest inspirations within the company?
There are a lot of people: Anup Surendran, Vivek Bhaskaran, Erik Koto, and Sanket Shekdar are all obvious choices for me (I constantly try to look up to them for learning new things) but that’s a boring answer as it’s probably typical. People like Nilesh Batra and Alexander Kulia are especially interesting to me. They just seem to be unstoppable. Whatever they are required to do, they do it and do it well. I’ve always admired resourceful people who can get things done with whatever they have at hand.
What are some of your favorite perks you enjoy at QuestionPro?
Remote work. I just love not having to worry about traffic, parking, catching a bug, or going late anywhere.
– The good: Allergy control, lesser risk of viral illness, and no daily commute. Can have pets around.
– The bad: Less social interaction, easy to lose track of time, and it’s harder to disconnect from work. Pets can be a distraction sometimes.
What’s the most unique part about working here?
It feels like the leaders trust us to make the best decisions on what we do. There is guidance, but nobody hovers over your shoulder to tell you exactly what you should do. This opens up room for exploration, experimentation, and learning.
What makes you want to stay at QuestionPro?
There are great teams working in every corner of the company which makes it an amazing learning and growth experience. There are still many ways to grow the product, the team, and my career. I’ve also made a couple of friends here and had some great times in the various gatherings we’ve had through the years.
Well, that was amazing to hear from Ger. We, too, are so glad to have you on board!
4+ years and counting! Wishing you many more…cheers!