Andrés Cifuentes on Climbing the Ladder of Success at OnTheGoSystems

November 30, 2023

Andrés Cifuentes started at OnTheGoSystems offering client support in multiple languages, but his ambitions didn’t stop there. Now thriving in the Compatibility team, Andrés shows us how a thirst for learning and a love for technical challenges led him down a path of continuous advancement.

Andrés, can you share a bit about yourself, your background, and interests?

Sure, I’m Andrés, living in Spain for the last nine years. I’m settled in Sevilla with my wife and our three cats. I love biking, reading, and enjoying a good cup of coffee.

My family is spread between Colombia, Canada, and Spain, but my heart is 100% Colombian. 

What was your first role when you started at OTGS, and when did you join?

I started back in 2015 as a First-Tier Supporter, mainly helping our WPML clients in Spanish and English forums, and eventually, the French forum too. 

During that period, I got to work with different teams like Documentation and Marketing, and I was also a Support Team Leader for some time.

Plugin, Ninja, and Candela enjoying a sunbathing session

What’s your current role in the company?

I’ve been a part of the Compatibility team for about a year now. I have two main roles here: first off, I work with Diego to troubleshoot issues between the WPML (WordPress Multilingual) plugin and third-party themes and plugins. Our goal is to try to provide a temporary workaround so that our clients can continue translating their websites while we get in contact with authors and developers in order to provide a permanent solution.

I also work as a Compatibility Advocate with Dean and Lauren, where I’m responsible for testing third parties for our Go-Global program. This program helps theme and plugin authors make their code multilingual ready. Once we finish the testing, we get in contact with authors or internally escalate any issues we find to help the product become fully compatible with WPML.

How did you transition to your current role?

I was eager to improve my technical skills, so I took some PHP and JavaScript courses online. When I felt that I was ready for the next step, I spoke with Amit, our Support Manager. He arranged for me to train with Otto, who at the time was the Compatibility Team Leader. 

After my training, I continued with support work while gradually taking on more compatibility issues. 

When Otto moved to the Systems team, I officially joined the Compatibility team.

Patiently waiting for food to arrive at the table

What helped you advance to your current position?

I would say that having a strong and solid background in support helped a lot. Working with so many plugins, themes and different environments gave me a general idea of what to expect when investigating how a plugin or theme interacts with WPML as well as what a user expects of it. 

However, my mentors played a fundamental role in my growth. Both Otto and Diego provided me with help, guidance and, most importantly, patience.

And, of course, Amit. He was the one who gave me this opportunity and made it happen.

Are you happy in your current role? What motivates you?

Oh yes, definitely. I learn something new every day and frequently face new tasks that push me outside of my comfort zone.

The team is great too, and working with skilled developers like Pierre and David is a fantastic opportunity for growth.

A long-awaited family reunion in Sevilla

In short, what advice would you give someone who wants to grow within the company?

When you find something you’re passionate about, explore and learn from it. There is always something new to learn and get better at.

Sharing your knowledge is the best way to understand more and open doors to new opportunities.

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