Claudio Vallejo

hola@claudiovallejo.mx

Hola, I'm Claudio.

I design and build software.

I live in Brooklyn and work at a non-profit called Resolve to Save Lives. I'm on the cardiovascular health team and I design and build Simple, an open-source platform for clinicians to manage hypertension control programs.

Previously, I was designing and building office management software at Managed by Q (R.I.P 2020).

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A little bit about me

I grew up in a Mexican-American border-town called Matamoros. Every morning I crossed the border to go to school in the US. I loved going to school because I loved learning. I also loved drawing, reading, skateboarding, video games, and soccer. I loved soccer. I played soccer everyday during recess, in the streets and in empty lots, at the sports club after doing my homework, and after school with my high school's soccer team.

After high school I moved to Waco, TX to study business, math, humanities, and social science at Baylor. I got into graphic design when I joined the university's startup accelerator. When my co-founders and I started our company, I volunteered to design the logo, marketing materials, and company website. I fell in love with the design process and quickly discovered that Keynote is a terrible tool to make logos. I liked graphic design so much I joined a media design class during my last semester. I became good friends with my professor and she motivated me to pursue graphic design after graduation.

On my graduation day my family asked me "Do you have a job? What are you doing next?" I told them I wanted to do graphic design. "But do you have a job?" I told them I didn't but that I was confident I would find one soon. "Why not do graphic design as a hobby and find a job in business?" I don't really like business. I want to learn more about graphic design. "Dios mio. Buena suerte."

I had no buena suerte. I failed to find a job as a graphic designer. So I continued learning about design by starting a video-production company with a childhood friend and freelancing as a graphic designer, 2d-animator, web designer, and web developer. I accepted every project that came my way. I wanted to learn as much as I could. I didn't have any direction - I just knew I wanted to work in the US.

After two and a half years of freelancing and a short-lived job as a junior web designer in Mexico, I still couldn't find a job in the US. I realized I needed to network because applying to jobs without any recommendation was not working. So I started to talk to designer friends. And reach out to people on Twitter. And go to design events. A lot of them were kind enough to give portfolio advice, career guidance, and even make job recommendations.

I met the head of design of Managed by Q at one of these design events. I reached out after the event telling them I was interested in interviewing for one of their job openings. The interview process went very well. They flew me to New York for an on-site. During my time in New York I lived through my first blizzard. Everything closed that week. But I came back home with a job. I told my family I was moving to New York City in two months. See you pronto and buena suerte!

I worked at Managed by Q for almost 3 years. I couldn't have asked for a better team to work with and learn about software design and development. Everyone was kind and welcoming. They made New York City feel like home. I made life-long friends and I hope I work with a Q alumn in the future. Q was acquired by WeWork and less than a year later sold by WeWork. It didn't work.

I'm currently working at Simple as a softare designer. But every day is different. I'm mostly pairing with a software engineer to improve the Simple Dashboard—a Dashboard used by clinicians to monitor hypertension control programs in India, Bangladesh, and Ethiopia. Other days I'm hosting office hours to speak with our users. Or designing new features. Or documenting the release of a new feature and making sure projects are going well. I get to do a lot of things. And I love it because that means I get to learn a lot.

Four years ago I had no idea I would be living in New York City doing software design and development. I have no idea what I'll be doing in four years. I just know I'll be learning something new and doing something I love.

Things I love

I love reading and learning new things. I love reading about the history of things—people, culture, money, medicine, technology, physics, etc. I also love fiction and fantasy. The best book I’ve ever read is Island by Aldous Huxley. Check out my reading list if you'd like to see what I'm reading or what I've read recently.

I love to stay active. I started biking last year and it's one of my favorite things to do outside of work. It's my new favorite way to commute around the city. I love biking across bridges. I also started running in 2021. I've never been a fan of running, but I'm realizing I feel very good after a long run. I'm starting to like running. It helps me think and decompress. I decided to challenge myself and join my first marathon later this year.

I love pastries and cookies. My favorite cookie is milkbar's Fruity Pebble Marshmallow Cookie. Marshmallows in a cookie?! With cereal?! Christina Tosi is a genius. It's nearly impossible to top that cookie. But I'm open to find a better cookie.

One new thing I'd love to do later this year is travel. I'd love to travel the world. I want to work remotely and experience different cultures and landscapes and foods. I want to experience nature through camping and snowboarding and shark diving. I also want to meet the Simple team, they're mostly based in India.

Thanks for reading! If you'd like to get in touch send me an email at hola@claudiovallejo.mx.