Alejandro Homs-Puron

Software Engineer

I had to defect from my home country when I accepted my job as a software developer at the ESRF, and I would do it again. I was born and bred in Cuba and, after my masters in physics, left for Spain, with a one-year grant. The job at the ESRF came as my grant was finishing, and I was supposed to go back home. When I didn’t, I was not allowed to return to Cuba for five years. The ESRF offered me the stability, both economically and professionally that I needed at that time. I’ve been so lucky to arrive at a good place at a good time. I’m a software engineer and I design programmes for experiment automation. Having a physics background is very helpful when talking to the scientists and making a trade-off between what they ask for and what is technically and economically feasible.  Software takes a lot of resources and the constraints make us push the equipment – the motors, the detectors, and the computers – to their limits to get the best out of what we have. I’ve spent a lot of time at work and have no regrets, I’ve learned so much and got much better at solving problems. When I need to relax, I turn to salsa. It’s one of the things that helps me jump the gap between Grenoble and home. In Cuba, music is everywhere. So here, when I listen to salsa, I close my eyes and I connect to my roots. To dance salsa, you need to be focused, but it is such an enjoyment! Have you noticed that salsa is one of the few sports where you smile non-stop?"

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