“Who are you?” “What do you do?” “What do you want to achieve?” These are the questions that people usually ask me one way or another when they first meet me. What they really want to know with these questions is, how can I provide value to them. Do I have any expertise that may be useful to them? Do I have common interests?
Before answering these questions, it’s important to know where I come from and where I want to go:
In High School, all I wanted to be was a developer. It was a dream that started, like many other people, by playing video games. But also, to be a developer is to have the freedom to create everything you can think of, just with a computer. That’s how I saw it.
At the time, I was living in Brazil, and the best way I knew to achieve that goal was by attending an American college. However, something changed. The more time I spent in High School, the less I was driven by the idea of pursuing this academic path. I already knew what I wanted to learn and school was slowing me down with its mandatory curriculum.
During the summer of my sophomore year, I went on vacation in Switzerland for a month. It was an opportunity for me to find an apprenticeship as a developer. I didn’t find the job, but I was given the opportunity to do a one-year internship in the same field. Of course, I accepted. It was definitely one of my best decisions.
I left my family in Brazil and, at the same time, dropped out of high school to go work. It was a difficult change and I needed to work hard to adapt to this new life.
At the end of the internship, I was offered a 4-year apprenticeship in computer science. During the apprenticeship I learned how to set up a company network, configure different types of servers and develop applications.
I took part in the development of a few websites such as innosquare.com and developed a B2B mobile application from the ground-up in iOS and Android with three other developers. I worked through all the project’s phases, from the requirement analysis to the deployment of the product.
These projects brought value to the life of various people. For instance, the mobile app was developed for a local hospital. It’s intended for people who’ve lost the ability to speak. The app presents various exercises which help the patient recover speech.
During the apprenticeship, I won a regional ICT championship in Systems and Networks that qualified me to go to the national championship. Sadly, I lost that one. Aside from my professional projects, I installed and configured manually a home server/router for personal needs.
But computers aren’t my only interest. Since attending high school, I’ve grown an interest in economics and political ideas. I attended many conferences about these subjects and joined a student organization, Students for Liberty.
When I participate in these events as an organizer or a guest, I always try to find a way to be useful to other people. This provided me with a few opportunities, like being in charge of setting up the tools and workflows for the director of a well-known Swiss libertarian think tank.
This year is the last year of my apprenticeship and I have a lot going on; I started a Java EE project in January with the purpose to learn more about Java EE and explore different architectural paradigms. This project was also an opportunity for me to train my ability to analyze project requirements.
Since April, I’ve been in the process of recruiting six new members for the local chapter of Students for Liberty. The organization is still small, but I believe that it has the capacity to grow big with more potential new members.
Since March I’ve been doing 30-day challenges to create habits for myself, improve my health and increase my will-power. This month, I challenged myself to work out every morning after waking up. It’s a great way to improve my life a little bit every day.
For the past few days, I’ve also been learning the Grav CMS for this personal website. Learning this CMS will be useful for me, to develop and deliver websites for future clients.
Since this is the last year of my apprenticeship, I have to deliver a 3-week project as part of the curriculum. It’s a project that in normal circumstances would need more than three weeks to complete. With this project, I hope to learn how to discipline myself in order to achieve higher productivity.
The future is the most exciting part. I’ve been accepted to the Praxis program and I’ll be moving to North America in August. This program will greatly help me in my pursuit of personal growth. I’ll learn how to integrate the entrepreneurial mindset in my life, improve my communication skills and I’ll also be surrounded by like-minded people. People who are creating value in this world and are always seeking to improve themselves in every aspect of their life.
This program is the start of a new chapter in my life. I’ll be in a new environment, speaking another language, and I’m really excited to begin this new chapter in August.