Hello there. My name is Diego Ballona and some of my previous professional experiences include working as an engineering leader at Spotify, WhatsApp, Toptal and a few startups. I started writing in this blog as a way of learning in public, and you'll find here some of my views on subjects such as engineering management, software engineering and product development.
I was born in Belo Horizonte, Brazil and spent the vast majority of my life there. I discovered my first passion very early in life, through my father's family: music. Being the grandson, and son of musicians, life gifted me with some healthy pressure and curiosity to learn music. Interestingly, I turned out into the worst type of hobbyist musician you can think of: I won't play a song until the end, and when I do, I will do it on repeat.
The second passion I found was technology. What probably got me into it is the ability to craft a solution to someone's need. Whether for billions of users or myself, I am delighted by the process, but most importantly, by the outcomes that building software brings. Over the past handful of years, I found even more fulfilment in serving and supporting other people on their craft, trajectory, and growth. Helping people to achieve what they want and need both on a personal and professional level is a highly transformative process for me too.
These days I live in London and work at Spotify as a Senior Engineering Manager, supporting the Customer Service engineering organisation. Beyond work, which you'll find most of what I've been thinking on in the blog, I'm currently focused on the following, in order of priority:
1. Acquiring better habits with food and exercising. I've neglected exercising since moving to London in 2019. My partner has done very well on staying active, so I've drawn inspiration from her and am trying to exercise more and eat healthier food.
2. Composing/producing music for fun. I used to have a lot of bass gear – an amp, cabinet, upright bass, a few electric basses – which I sold and have invested into an audio interface, a few VSTs/plugins (Superior Drummer 3, some Neural DSL stuff) and soon in studio monitors to play around with recording.
3. Trying to figure out how to write more consistently. I know a few folks who had fun writing books and I think I would too. However, I still don't have the discipline even to maintain the blog and have been experimenting with different things (e.g having a schedule for writing).
Last update: March 10th 2023