I'm born and raised in Brazil. I've been working as a software developer for 5 years and two years ago I received a one year scholarship to study at Arizona State University in Arizona as part of an exchange program. It was awesome! I met some amazing people there. At the end I also had the chance to work as an intern at a Silicon Valley startup for a couple months. This whole experience made me realize that the world is much bigger than my city/state and there are many ways to live.
Coming back to Brazil was strange. I was happy I got to see my family and friends again but something had changed. I'd seen what's out there and I wanted more of it, so I'd work hard to become a better developer and have enough experience and knowledge to go abroad.
Once I got back, I started working with a couple friends on their company. The main service we provided was building websites for various kinds of customers. We also wanted, like many other companies, to have our own product with recurring revenue.
After 6 months I realized it was not going to work out. It was fun and exciting to work on new products, create websites for our customers and seeing their satisfaction was also awesome, but after all I needed money to pay my bills and I wasn't getting the income I needed, neither was seeing the growth needed to make that reality in the future.
I quickly found a job at a Software Factory that was opening a branch in my city; it was great match. They have amazing people in their team so it was an awesome opportunity to learn and grow as a developer.
Indeed, I learned a lot during the time I was there, I learned very important skills that will follow me throughout my career. Yet, after a while I realized I wasn't as happy as I should be with my job. It had nothing to do with the company, it was me.
I was working 8 hours a day + 4 hours a day in class + homework and I also started a side project with my friend Murillo Barbosa to create a marketplace for trading Pokemon on Nintendo3DS called PokeMTS.
I had very mixed feelings. While I was learning a lot at work, I wasn't happy. It felt like I was taking small baby steps towards working abroad and I wanted to keep working on PokeMTS and other side projects, but I just didn't have enough time to work on all them it at once.
I know this all sounds crazy and a bit non-sense. That’s just a reflection of how it felt at the time.
With all these things going on, I started feeling burnt out and it started impacting my productivity, which I consider very problematic, as I'm committed to do my work. I didn't sleep enough, so my focus throughout the day was much lower than normal. As a developer, being able to focus on what you're doing is crucial!
I quit my job and decided to use my savings to go through the next 3–6 months.
Because I freed 8 hours of my day, I was able to sleep more (a lot more). I decided that in my first month I was going to spend my days watching TV Shows, playing videogames and sleeping. During this month, coding was a hobby, which was fantastic. Great month!
The first thing I started doing then, was creating a game. I studied PhaserJS and started creating a Tetromino game with spells, like an RPG. It was very different from the kind of work I had been doing, so it was rejuvenating. The structure of a game is very different from creating CRUDs for web applications and required me to think in different ways. Besides being fun, I learned a lot.
The next step was to study the cool techs and concepts, like functional programming, Typescript, ES6, ReactJS and VueJS. The more I studied, the more I found things that I didn't know, which led me to studying even more.
As the result of this studies, I released Premiere, a very simple ORM designed for consuming Restful APIs in the front end.
And of course, a project that uses it too ❤
I also started writing on Medium about the projects I do. Being able to help the development community feels very good. I hope to continue contributing to the community. Also, writing is kind of therapeutic as it helps training to organize ideas in a comprehensive manner.
While taking the sabbatical was great, I still needed a job, as my bills refused to get paid by themselves and none of the projects I created were giving me any money.
I thought about the available opportunities and realized that working remotely would be the best option. I'll graduate by the end of 2017, so I'll be able to continue studying and still pursue my dream of working abroad.
I started applying for remote positions and one day a friend of mine told me he was leaving his position to work in Amsterdam and his position would be open, so if I wanted to apply he'd endorse me.
I got the job! I work remotely for a US based company now :)
After all this process I realized how important pursuing my own projects were to me, so I still do that in my spare time; with a lot of caution of course, to avoid burning out :)
Checkout my latest project:
Thanks for reading. I’d love to know your experiences and opinions too.
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