I was very fortunate to grow up in a household where there was a computer, something which was definitely not common in 80s/early 90s Portugal. My dad worked for an insurance company for some time and had a massive 286 laptop where he taught me the first bits of BASIC. I was soon scouring the local library for Pascal, and then C books.
I was then also privileged to be part of the first generation which grew up with the Internet. I will never forget the thrill of dialling in for the first time, at 13 years old, and going over a few clunky websites whose URLs I had read off a magazine. Soon I was creating my own pages (some of them are still online to this day), typing my first bits of HTML and exchanging cool animated GIFs with my friends. We made all sorts of things improper for teenagers who should be enjoying life outside: mIRC scripts, Half-life mods, among others…
I attended University from 2002 to 2007 (Masters in Computing Engineering at the University of Porto) and then immediately decided to try a work experience abroad, and applied for the Technical Student programme at CERN, the world’s largest particle physics laboratory, science-fiction mecca and place where the Web was born. I ended up being selected, which started a chain of events which led me to eventually settle at the Organization and in Geneva.
These days, I manage a team of engineers at CERN, responsible for a few Open Source Software Products as well as the (rather complex) infrastructure used for streaming and recording of lectures and conferences happening at the Organization and around the world. For many years I was involved in the Indico Project, an Open Source event-management system which was created at CERN and is now the reference platform in high energy physics and several other fields of research. I led it both from the technical and managerial point of view, at different points in my career. I am still involved in the management the Project, although at a higher level right now.
Since 2020 I’ve also been involved in the ScienceMesh Project, an effort to bring together sync and share systems across different research infrastructures and institutes, and cross-integrate storage and applications. I led one of the management work package of the EU Project which bootstrapped the effort (CS3MESH4EOSC, 2020-2023) and took on the role of Technical Coordinator of the Project. This led me to take part in the organizing committee of the CS3 Conference Series
I am also part of the three-person team which runs the CERN IT Lightning Talks, an ongoing series of events which brings together people from all across the Organization wanting to share ideas and achievements on IT-related topics. I’ve been co-hosting the ITLT since 2018.
I’m a Software Engineer by training and trade. But, more importantly, software and technology are a passion to me. My interests range from CSS selectors to IRQs and voltage dividers. In recent years, Rust became the main language for my personal projects. I still do some Python professionally, as well as some JS/React or HTML/CSS for front-end work. Some of the technologies I’ve worked with and which I am familiar with include: PostgreSQL, Flask, SQLAlchemy, Celery, Prometheus, Grafana, among many, many others.
What do I do now?
I don’t like to attach myself to labels too much, but my profile could be classified, in a very simplistic way, as an engineering manager with a very solid technical background, extensive full-stack experience in web applications, and a rich set of people management and organizational skills. I feel very comfortable navigating the vertical layers which software projects are made of.
Music has always been one of my passions, and although I was not blessed with tremendous talent for performance and am mostly self-taught, I can find my way around a guitar and know enough music theory to appreciate a song/piece in its melodic, harmonic and rhythmic aspects. I have very eclectic tastes and lots of guilty pleasures I won’t get into. Throughout the last 10 years, my hobby projects converged towards the intersection point between my two biggest interests: technology and music. I started building a Eurorack modular synthesizer a few years ago, and I took up embedded programming (in Rust!) as a way to develop my own modules and synthesizers. I also designed a couple of modules based on schematics adapted from other people (e.g. ELFO).
I recently took up gardening and I find it a very relaxing and rewarding hobby. I have a small square foot garden close to home which I care for with a lot of love. I love playing tennis and skiing in the Swiss and French alps in winter.
Although I was raised monolingual, multilingualism has been part of my life in the last 15 years. Love and family led me to learn Italian and living abroad and working with so many international people means that I will normally speak five languages on a typical day - in approximate order of fluency: Portuguese, English, Italian, French and Spanish.