From France to Argentina: A Change Of Career

When Alexandre Debert moved from France to Argentina, he never knew it would lead to a life in IT with a wife he loves in a new city he now considers home. He shares his experience of changing careers, from finance to IT, with Nearshore Americas.

Alexandre Debert studied banking and expected to live his life in the financial sector. But a move to Argentina and a leap into the IT field changed everything: his career path, relationship status, and the wine in his cup. Alex recently shared his experience with Nearshore Americas.

“After I finished my studies in France, I wanted to discover something new and learn a new language. A friend of mine had worked and lived in Argentina and told me it was a very good place to go. So I went — and ended up learning a few new languages, finding a new career, and meeting the love of my life.

It was five years ago. I met the woman who would become my wife about three months after arriving in South America. She is from Córdoba, where we both now live and where I took a job at a small language school just to get some experience working in a new place and learning Spanish. After five months of that, I decided to stay longer and needed to find something more permanent for work.

Eventually, I started looking for a job that fit my background in banking, which I had studied at the University of Technology of Troyes in Northern France’s Champagne country. But I had no results. My wife, who was in IT, had told me there were lots of possibilities in Córdoba, so I took a crash course in Java programming to see if I liked it. I did, and I kept learning.

When I was younger, a friend of my father taught me some things about hardware and I did enjoy that aspect of technology. It was only when I started programming by myself, however, that I really started to love it.

My wife used to work for Globant and she gave them my resume before she left the company. I was progressing well by teaching myself programming through the Internet — mostly by watching videos — but the company had just opened a training program. It was a great fit and I entered. In terms of mastering JavaScript, HTML 4, and CSS, the Globant program took me to the next level.

I learned a lot of theory about how to do good programming and really enjoyed the orientation. It started with Java and then I moved to more front-end processes, which all led to my becoming a content developer for Globant, which I still do to this day.

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It is one of the biggest IT companies in Argentina and has been a fantastic place to work and improve my skills. I enjoy being part of important projects that are used by millions of people.

Early on, I helped on a project for one of the biggest airlines in South America. Me and my team reconfigured the company’s website check-in application that allows you to choose your seat. We recently did something similar for a major U.S. airline, helping with its passenger data management process. It has been such a thrill to see my work on the websites of these major global brands.

I really enjoy my new life in programming — and in Córdoba. An IT career is one of the best you can have. You never stop learning, there are so many opportunities, and you get to see your applications in action. All the time, society is going to need new technology, so I’m glad that I can be a small part of that as a Web UI Developer.

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And Argentina is a great place to do it. Being from France, I don’t expect to find wine that meets the expectations of back home whenever I leave my native country. But they really do have very good stuff here, too. The football is tremendous as well, with Lionel Messi’s Barcelona and Argentina teams regularly (and sadly) outperforming my preferred Paris Saint-Germain and French national sides. It didn’t help that Barcelona beat PSG in the Champions League last year on their road to the trophy. But football here is a way of life, and that is fine by me.

Even better than the national pastime is the true national love: meat. The asado culture here — when friends gather to barbecue the finest steaks and pork sausage — is one of the finest traditions in the world. There is nothing better than gathering for an asado, drinking Malbec with friends, and the people in Argentina truly make the experience. It is so friendly here. Within one month of arriving, I was totally incorporated into the culture and surrounded by smiling faces.

Between my new life and my new career, I couldn’t be happier in my new country at my new company. Globant in Córdoba is a very open-minded place. For example, I watched PSG beat Chelsea in the Champions League last season from the office before going back to my desk to do some coding. I don’t think a job in the financial sector would have allowed me such freedom or provided such happiness.

It encourages you to produce well and continue to learn. I want to continue to improve and reach an even higher level of programming knowledge. This way, I’d be able to manage a team, work for any IT company, or on any kind of project. I want to learn Big Data technologies in the future, for example.

We will see. There will hopefully be many more experiences and opportunities for me in this fascinating field. It has been a long, fulfilling journey that I never knew I would take when I left France. But I couldn’t be happier that I left the land of Champagne to come to the Mecca of Malbec, and I wake up everyday wondering what lies ahead.”

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