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About me

Hi there, my name is Marvin Bernal. I live in San Francisco designing and coding great experiences on the User Experience team at Google as a UX Engineer.

I am also a Toronto native – both born and raised. Throughout my travels to different cities, each place has always made me especially appreciate Toronto more and more. And for that reason, its culture and identity is a huge part of me.

Growing up in Toronto has always helped nurture my appreciation for different cultures, art and diversity. I love traveling, getting to know different people, different societies – what drives and motivates them. People are always at the heart of everything I do because at the end of the day it's the only thing that truly matters. My motivation in my craft is to create things that help others and that has a positive impact on humanity.

During my free time, I like to explore different hot spots in San Francisco, whether that be a small jazz bar or eating Spanish tapas. I am also an avid movie-goer, an explorer, an EDM lover and a pianist.

If you’d like to contact me, follow me on Twitter, connect with me on LinkedIn or shoot me an email.

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Core philosophies

 

ENGINEERING

I like approach software with a both user experience and developer experience mindset. This means creating products that strive to delight users through intuition and simplicity while at the same time leading software teams with the same philosophy: valuing code readability, understandability and pragmatic design over premature optimizations and unnecessarily complicated code.

I develop software with the understanding of the cost of complex systems in the big picture. Less is more. I've worked with many developers who have always added more classes, more abstraction, more code (!) – because it always seemed seemingly innocent when the code was added. But I say, question everything: Do we need this? Is this necessary? Is this one more thing a developer has to juggle to understand the system? Add abstractions only when necessary. Do the simple thing first. Optimize when necessary, especially if it comes at the cost of simplicity.


DESIGN

My passion for design always comes down to my interest in two things: efficiency and human psychology.

Engineering biases aside, I always strive to make things better, to use less energy and time. When I see myself doing something more than once, my mindset shifts to: How can I do this faster? With less effort? What is the shortest path from A to B? And secondly, human psychology: we are complex beings with many motivations, desires and egos. As a designer, I want to design with that context in mind. No product is experienced in isolation. Our history and prior experiences always help shape how we experience a product: an unboxing, our day to day use, a product's values and even eventually how it is thrown away and retired.

UX thinking encompasses all of these things in mind. How can I create something to make feel and experience something, convince them to change state from A to B, through affordances and intentional constraints all while being efficient?

 

Engineering in my life fits as a means to an end to great design. Code allows me marrying my technical expertise with my creative thirst of crafting great user experiences. 

 

Recommendations

Below are some testimonies about my work, craft and my evaluation as a human being. You can view more these recommendations from my public LinkedIn profile here.

...What struck me most about working with Marvin was his passion and keen eye for the user experience (UX) of the app. More than almost any other developer I’ve worked with, Marvin would always prioritize the end-user experience when handling situations that presented multiple options for the way forward, even when the best way forward from a UX point of view meant more work for him as the developer!
— Justin Kirkley, Human Factors Specialist @ Healthcare Human Factors
I worked with Marvin over the course of half a year on a project for Freshbooks while at TWG. He was the technical lead on the project and played a crucial role in delivering a high quality product that was taken to market. His design-focused attitude allowed him to guide the client towards an experience that was an extension of their brand while also being native to the Android platform. Asides from a solid tech lead, he’s also a very thoughtful and genuine person, which made working with him a real treat.
— JP Moya, Product Manager @ TWG
I worked with Marvin on two Android projects, he quickly made a big impression on me. His detailed Android knowledge and keen design sense are top notch. I’ve seen Marvin grab the reins and lead a challenging mobile project, he filled the role like a natural. If I had the chance to work with Marvin again, I’d take it in a heartbeat.
— Alan Van Arden, Software Engineer @ TWG

*You can view these testimonies as several recommendations from my public LinkedIn profile here.

 

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