The Porto guy and the pursuit of your dreams

Almost 8 super months have passed since superhuit landed in Porto and 6 since I’ve joined the team. It’s been super fast and super intensive so it’s a good moment for a quick retrospective and about time for a short self introduction. Let’s not waste our supers and keep this DRY and simple as a good developer would, shall we?

My name is Luís, born 34 summers ago in the sunny Porto where I lived ever since. A perfectionist and detail obsessed by nature, with a dominant beach loving gene. In the winter you’ll rarely see me outside, but I’m sure you already know where you will find me whenever there’s some sunshine! Husband, father of two, when not changing diapers or doing geeky stuff, you’ll probably find me taking care of my herbs and small fruits garden.

I’m a Frontend Developer at superhuit, proud and happy to be the first Portuguese joining the company’s expansion to Porto. Can’t deny it feels something special to be part of this challenge, but let’s not step ahead on the story.

Who am I and how did I arrive here

I usually tend to introduce myself as a self-taught developer, but that said out loud just doesn’t feel right nowadays, does it? I mean, who’s not really learning something by themselves these days!? But here, let me try to put some context on this.

I consider myself lucky to be born in the early eighties and to have this unique perspective on the way technology evolved the way it did. I mean, I actually got the chance to surf the web 56k way and to see the internet grow into what we know it is today! I’ve always been fascinated by computers and technology in general. As a kid my first computer was a ZX Spectrum +2. Magnetic tape storage! Besides gaming I actually wrote some qbasic stuff for fun. So looking back, that was my first contact with programming.

Despite my obvious interest with computers and geeky stuff, my education and professional path diverged a bit from ‘the expected’. I’ve dropped Arts in secondary school and went for a course on Advertising, Marketing and Multimedia. My first job was at a fashion photography studio doing digital post-production. It was somewhere around the year 2000, so many things were happening around the digital world and I began to get really interested in web design and development. During that time and alongside my full-time job I started taking these courses on graphic design and multimedia production and consuming as much information and online courses I could. Step by step I began to learn more and more and eventually started doing some freelance work. My mind was set to what my career pursue should be.

A few years of success and 'failure' later

From working at different design studios to freelancing on and off, I eventually started my own business after challenging an old friend of mine, a talented designer who was also unemployed at the time. We were running a two man design studio and this lasted for 5 years.

Going fast forward, we came to a point where things weren’t evolving the way we wanted to and we were not feeling happy or fulfilled so we both decided it was time to let the project go. I personally realized that ‘running business’ wasn’t really my thing and the fact that I had to do it wasn’t helping me grow and progress as a developer. It was a good experience, but being the only developer in my own company was also a lonely journey and developer fatigue was hitting me hard.

Well, I’ve promised I would keep this DRY and simple so I’ll leave the details for another time and ’things I’ve learned so far’, ‘failure’ and ‘imposter syndrome’ for another blog post. It was the best decision we’ve made. A few months later I’ve read the superhuit job position and an article about them flying to Porto. I took my shot and applied. Here I am ;-)

How was it so far

Coming from a two man show to a growing team of twelve talented people was a huge step all the way. There was a lot to take in, the development stack itself, company processes and agile methodologies, the culture, the fact that the team is split between Switzerland and Porto, etc. But being here already taught me so much. More importantly it allowed me to put my own experience and ideas into play. Working at a company whose culture encourages you to move further and harness your best self is key. So here I leave you with some not so random thoughts crossing my mind as a finishing note:

  • People first, pay attention, be generous and kind
  • Don’t miss an opportunity to compliment a colleague’s achievement. Don’t take it for granted, do it and have a positive impact on his side
  • You probably got much more to give then you might think
  • The way you approach problems is half way walk to problem solving. Do it smartly.
  • Don’t feel overwhelmed, take small steps moving forward
  • Accept the fact that you can’t possibly know everything and be ok with it
  • Ask for help, ask the right questions
  • Always have a goal
  • Focus on what you do best
  • You learn by doing. Trust yourself, do it

To sum up, I couldn’t be happier so far and so my journey goes on.
What about you? Are you pursuing your dreams?

See you around,