Renán Ignacio

My full name is Renán Ignacio Del Valle Rueda.

In a tradition common for folks born in Spanish speaking countries I have:

Breaking my full legal name in Chile looks like this:

The paternal last name is my biological father’s paternal last name while my maternal last name is my mom’s paternal last name.

(Still confused? See

Having the first name as one’s father is pretty typical in most Latin American countries. In order to avoid confusion, many people go by their middle name. So, I grew up being called Nacho (a nickname for Ignacios which came before the food).

When I moved to the US, the kids I went to school with decided that was a funny name so I opted to use the full thing: Ignacio.

It turns out that despite being a pretty common name in Spanish, Ignacio is not an easy name for American English speakers to pronounce. I don’t know that I can list all the mispronunciations I’ve heard over the years but Ig-Neigh-See-Oh is probably the one that sticks out the most (courtesy of a fantastic business law teacher we had in my high school).

But I stuck with correcting people. Year after year, first day of class after first day of class, all the way through the end of 12th grade. Along the way I picked up some other nicknames playing soccer. Ignacio is just too long to call for a pass on the field so my teammates started calling me Iggy.

In college, where you changes lecturers every semester and you’re just another face in the crowd. I didn’t think it was worth the effort to ask lecturers to go by a different name at the start of every semester, so I started going by Renán for the first time in my life.

Up until college, no one ever used my first name for anything outside of legal documents (or my mom being mad at me). I transitioned to using Renán in the classroom and Ignacio outside of it. All of my friends in undergrad called me Ignacio or Iggy. Those who shared classes with me knew my first name was Renán but still sometimes struggled to call me that during official school things like class presentations.

Since I met my advisor during undergrad as one of his Distributed Systems students, by the time I joined his research lab I was only known by Renán. And since almost everyone that knew me as Ignacio had graduated and moved away, I was being called Renán more often than not. Even folks I became very close with in Grad school all still know me primarily as Renán.

When I academia, it was for a job for which my advisor introduced me to my future manager. Along with this introduction came the transfer of the name Renán from academia into industry.

Now, 8 years after my first internship, everyone in my professional circles knows me only as Renán (and ocassionally happen to know I have some sort of middle name). My childhood friends and those who knew me during my high school and undergrad years all still call me Ignacio or Iggy.

Tl;Dr: You may know me by different names depending on how you met me. If professionally, you likely me know me as Renán. If socially through family or old friends, you likely know me as Ignacio or Iggy.