Sydney Stern Miller, February 16, 2021 | 4 min read

Soccer Star to Software Developer

On the surface, one may not immediately recognize the similarities and strengths that distinguish both professional athletes and programmers. Similar to fútbol (for all the non-fútbolistas/os, I’m referring to arguably the greatest sport in the world: soccer), software development is a team sport and one that takes years of practice. That’s not to say that a developer or a defender couldn’t be successful on their own – of course they could, but each profession is highly collaborative in nature. 

So why do athletes, like Martín, make the best engineers? Easy. Athletes, more than anyone, know the importance of continuous improvement. They know that even if they are the best player on the field today if they stop practicing, it won’t last long. Software Development is no different. The best programmers are willing to learn new things, commit to practicing their craft, and know the value of team and community.

Martín is a first-generation graduate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, has played for the U.S. Men’s National team, puts his family first, and has continued to impress the Tech Talent South team since he joined us. You can find him on LinkedIn, and Twitter.

What were you doing before TTS?

I graduated (first generation) from UNC-Chapel Hill. While being a student, I was also part of the soccer team alongside my younger brother. I had programming experience in college before TTS.


What course(s) did you take with TTS?

I took the full-time code immersion course because of the many intriguing topics it would cover and the fast pace of it. Although I had background knowledge of some concepts, there were things that I did not know.


How did taking this course remotely impact how you connected with your cohort and instructors?

It was a challenge not having that face to face communication but with the help from TTS I was able to converse with everyone through Slack. The instructor was understanding of how it could be difficult to comprehend the material through a computer screen and was available after class when I had a question or needed extra help with the material.


Tell us about your favorite project!

I would say that my favorite projects from the course are the projects using APIs. We build a weather app that would tell us the current weather of the zip code we inputted. Also, we constructed a transit app that would show the closest busses to the address you gave it. We were using Spring Tools along with their respective APIs to create the app. It was great to see how we can access the data using the APIs and manipulate it to render how we want it to show through Thymeleaf.


What has been the biggest challenge in your tech journey?

I think the biggest challenge for me was and at times still is understanding that it might take multiple reviews of a concept to comprehend how things work.


What are your personal and career goals for the future? Dream job?

Some of my personal goals are to continue being healthy/fit, try to read a book every month, and to learn new things if that is a new concept or a new cooking recipe.

For my career goals, I want to experience the different areas in the tech industry, to work for a small company/startup, and hopefully be a senior developer one day.

My dream job would be working in the cybersecurity field. I find that very intriguing, and I want to help protect information/data from hackers.

How has your background been useful in getting you to this point?

In college, I took some programming courses that were helpful and showed me how to approach material, how to read code, how to debug, and other things. When I took the code immersions course with Tech Talent South, it felt like a review of some concepts.


When you’re not coding, what do you like to do in your spare time?

I like to be active, I would go work out, play soccer, or go for a run. Also, family is really important to me and I enjoy spending time with my brothers, playing soccer, going for a run, playing video games, or just talking.


What is your favorite quote, mantra, or piece of advice?

“Échale ganas” is a spanish phrase that my parents would always say to my brothers and I. It means to give it your best, work hard. It was our parents way of telling us to do our very best in everything that we do.


LAST QUESTION! What is something that makes you unique?

I’m a high spirited person, always in a positive mood, and never back down from a challenge.