C-suite career advice: Andres Angelani, Softvision

How important are specific certifications? "I prefer to see product than paper. Show me what you did and that will open doors."

Name: Andres Angelani

Company: Softvision

Job Title: CEO

Location: Austin, TX

Andres Angelani is the CEO of Softvision and the driving force behind Softvision's next level of growth and development. Prior to Softvision, Angelani was one of Globant's pioneers, having served as the Chief Solutions Officer. Angelani is a frequent speaker and thought leader on how to scale digital innovation in organizations. He is a recognized speaker at Agile Business Conference, Insight Innovation eXchange North America, the Omni-Channel Retail Conference, the Chief Strategy Officer Summit, SXSW Interactive and Zend Con. He also co-authored a book titled The Never-Ending Digital Journey: Creating New Consumer Experiences Through Technology and is currently working on his second book to be published in 2018.


What was the most valuable piece of career advice that you received? Get the best talent you can get, and inspire them with a big vision, living up to your promises. Set examples.

What was the worst piece of business advice that you received? To scale a business implies more and better processes, instead of better people, great communication channels and agile decision making.

What advice would you give to someone starting their career in IT? Stay relevant and learn to articulate what you're thinking, why and how. Engineers are seldom good communicators and this limits your potential.

Did you always want to work in IT? No. I wanted to be a concert pianist, and a music composer. I also wanted to be a mathematician… ;)

What was your first job in IT? I designed and developed a file management software system for my local town-hall when I was 12.

What are some common misconceptions about working in IT? That it is a geeky, nerdy environment where analytical people find their space. It may be on the surface, but it is much more than that: lots of creative people use technology to change the world. So it's a place where you can make a huge difference.

What tips would you give to someone aiming for a c-level position? Creativity separates the good from the great. Getting a c-level role means that you've produced real, meaningful and quantifiable results. Unless you are a political mastermind and can get there influencing others, but that's rare and most times short-lived.

What are your career ambitions and have you reached them yet? Design an organization that is the best platform for people to develop and evolve their careers. We are getting there.

Do you have a good work life balance in your current role? A work a lot; I like it and I need to work. I don't believe in the term ‘work life balance', I think it's cliché. When we work, we also live. Work is uniquely human and it makes us better people.  A decent job can challenge us but can also dignify us. Work can be fun, can be happy, and can have tough moments… just like life.

What, if anything, would you change about the route your career path has taken? I wouldn't change a thing… it is what it is. No need to look back unless you have a time machine. Look forward.

Which would you recommend: A coding bootcamp or a computer science degree? A coding bootcamp

How important are specific certifications? I prefer to see product than paper. Show me what you did and that will open doors.

What are the three skills or abilities you look for in prospective candidates? 

  • Adaptability -- Change is a constant in our industry, technology grows in spurts, it's important that people get this and move forward
  • Good communication -- Speak your mind but do it thoughtfully
  • Passion -- Through an emotional connection you can motivate a peer, a boss and your clients. Passion is contagious, and it moves crowds

What would put you off in a candidate? Apathy -- If the candidate doesn't believe that you can make a difference then he/she won't.

What are the most common mistakes made by candidates in an interview? How can those mistakes be avoided? Not asking good questions about the company or the role; do some research and prepare before the interview. Over-selling achievements and capabilities; be confident and fair about your strengths and areas where you will need help or you need time to develop.

Do you think it is better to have technical or business skills - or a mix of both? A mix of both. Technology without an application context does not really matter to anyone. What problems does that technology solve, in which business context? And very importantly: Why, How and When?