I'm Santiago L. Valdarrama

I work as an Engineer Manager at Levatas, and specialize in building scalable and fast enterprise software applications.

At work, I manage an awesome team of engineers, helping them create the future for mid-size and Fortune 500 companies. I spend most of my time thinking about performance, scalable web applications, and everything else that helps my team navigate through difficult challenges.

I also love Android applications and built Stocktile for fun in my free time. Then open-sourced it, as I did with my blog, after building it from the ground up. You can subscribe to the blog, or follow me using the icons below:

Latest Posts

Here is the list with the latest 10 published blog posts. To see all of them, you can visit the archive.

Shameless self-promotion: My first paid article on the web

For the first time in my life I'm getting paid for writing an article for a magazine, and it feels awesome to contribute to a well established publication with a solid readership.
August 19, 2014

How much does it cost to build a new feature?

If you work on the field, you've heard this question all the time. You have probably seen the way companies usually come up with the answer, basing it on estimates from all the parties involved in building the feature. I know we are usually overly optimistic so, are we leaving money on the table?
August 18, 2014

Technical blog posts to explain application outages

Lately, after a big outage or an issue affecting multiple consumers, companies are publishing a technical explanation on their blogs, usually after everything is resolved.
August 17, 2014

We play for the same team, so stop hating me

Contrary to what you might think, we play for the same team. My job is to be your safety net, and make sure you look good in front of everyone else. I'm here to catch every single detail that you forget, and let you know before anyone else notice.
August 15, 2014

What technologies should you learn to stay ahead for the next five years?

I just read several answers to this question in Quora, and I wanted to also share my opinion here in the blog.
August 14, 2014

Automatic backups for the App Engine Datastore

You probably already know how important is to backup your data. Backups are useful not only in case a full datacenter explodes (which rarely happens), but for whenever you screw your existing data. Having a fresh copy handy is usually the only thing that prevents you from getting fired over a mistake.
August 13, 2014

Limitations of using multiple versions on App Engine

One of the very cool features provided by App Engine is the ability to have multiple versions of your application running at the same time. By default, all the user requests are served by the default version, but App Engine provides a unique URL for all the other versions so you can access them as well.
August 12, 2014

17 soft skills every software engineer should work on

Knowing a bunch of programming languages, complex algorithms, and several tricks to make wonders using computers is just part of the job. You have to surround these hard skills with a set of soft skills that are equally important for your career.
August 10, 2014

Analytics and OAuth authentication

Some time ago I wrote about some statistics that I put on the blog just for me to keep track of things.
August 7, 2014

Building the blog - Episode 11 - The first big bug just showed up!

Last week I stopped by the blog and noticed that only one post was showing up. The entire archive was only displaying that same post. Weird, but as any other developer, I blamed everything else but me. It was probably a hiccup with Memcache. Right? I cleared Memcache and everything worked fine.
July 29, 2014
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