Tag Archives: blog

Becoming Part of the Java Code Geek Community

I’m glad to announce that I just became part of the Java Code Geeks (JCG) community! I have been following this community for a long time, consuming a lot of great Java articles, and now I’m part of it. This is a great honor and also a great responsibility because it is a way of pushing myself to write betters articles and do it in a more frequent way.

For those who don’t know JCG, this is a community of bloggers whose articles are of interest to the Java developer community. They simplify the process of publishing selected blog articles by JCG members on a aggregator website.  This is a win-win game because JCGs enjoy substantially increased visibility and the audience enjoys great content.
I also had the opportunity to include CEJUG as a supporting user group. In the coming days I will find time to integrate JCG’s posts with CEJUG’s website using rss and let people know how I did it here.

CEJUG: Commitment with My Homeland

At the beginning of 2010 I was in Brazil prospecting jobs and I couldn’t find anyone that would use the knowledge that I had produced in the last 4 years. Then I started thinking about writing a project to submit to Brazilian investors. I did, but it seems that most of investments have been redirected to oil (they just found a large oil reserve in the cost of Rio de Janeiro) , sports (Brazil will host the World Cup 2014 and Olympic Games 2016) and city services (IBM kind of changed governments’ minds with that idea of Smarter Planet). As a consequence, other studies have almost no chance if not related to those subjects, and, of course, if you don’t invite project evaluators for a dinner, your project will probably be forgotten.

I also tried to become a professor in my hometown, since a PhD title would help me to achieve that. To get a good salary we have to work for public universities but there was no vacancies at the time. Some opportunities were available in other states like São Paulo, Paraná, Rio Grande do Sul, but my State is Ceará and I would love to contribute for its development. I kept searching until finding vacancies in private universities, but the salaries were very low and it would force me to work day and night to get a fair total income. No way!!!

When the idea of returning to Brazil was getting too difficult, I started looking for opportunities in Europe. With a bit of luck and a nice CV, I started a job as a software architect and it has been very exciting and rewarding so far. At the same time, the feeling that I was abandoning my country just for personal reasons has been always present. I’m currently helping Europe to better face technological challenges (that’s what a software architect usually does in an organization) while Brazil is still struggling with poverty, big social differences, and poorly educated people. I cannot accept that because Brazil, with all its problems, was responsible for my education and my qualifications. If I like the person I became, I certainly like the place where I was educated and the people who educated me.

To have peace of mind and no regrets, I’ve built a way that my staying in Europe, at least for a while, doesn’t imply in abandoning my homeland. I’m actually investing my free time to co-lead the Ceara Java User Group (CEJUG), helping on the technical education of Ceara’s developer community. By doing this, I’m contributing to change the life of students and professionals there for better. The more knowledge we produce and share, the better will become the technology created there, increasing the competitiveness of the local software industry, which implies in more jobs and more valuable products.

CEJUG Event with Oracle representatives

Actually, I have been doing it for a while. I’m just dedicating more time than usual now. My current project is the development of a web application to manage the user group. I believe this is the first initiative of developing such kind of application so far. At least, I’m part of the international Jug Leader community and I never heard about one before. By the way, its first version is already in production. There are so many positive things about this new application that it deserves an exclusive post. That’s what I’m going to do next. Wait for it!

I’m Back, Now as a Ph.D.

Hi everyone, I had to spend sometime far from my blog because I was heavily busy finishing my Ph.D. Since May this year, I have written hundreds of pages, but the hardest part was not writing so many pages, but to review all of them.

The first version of my thesis was ready on July 31st. I submitted it to the jury on August 2nd. After this, I had only one week to summarize everything in a journal article and submit it to the editor on August 12th. I did it, but I had no expectation about its acceptance due to the hurry to prepare the article.

After such a pressure, I dedicated sometime to write my previous post on August 15th. But then I had to stop again my posts in a weekly basis to get ready to the private defense. The private defense is a closed session where only members of the jury, the adviser and the student are present. The student has to present his research and the jury makes an extensive, detailed and tough interrogatory, that might last for hours. My private defense was held on September 12th in a meeting room of my laboratory. It last 3 hours and it was, by far, the most tough evaluation I’ve ever passed. When it finished I went directly to bed to get relieved from the stress. I completely recovered from the stress a day after.

The main issue of the private defense was to convince the jury that I was capable of finishing all requested modifications in less than one month in order to book the public defense on October 12th. According to the rules of the university, the minimum period between the private and public defense is one month, but I had less time to finish the modifications because the thesis should be printed and follow some internal procedures before the public defense. And October 12th was the target date because my family had already bought expensive flight tickets, booked hotel, rented car and everything else considering October 12th. Fortunately, the jury had agreed to allow me delivering a new version of the thesis within 3 weeks and set the public defense definitively on October 12th.

More relaxed, but still very busy improving the thesis, I saw an open call for a book chapter related to the technology I used to develop my research application. I wrote an abstract demonstrating my great interest to be part of the book. However, I had no big expectation of having my proposal accepted. My family was about to arrive and after my public defense we planned to travel to many places in Europe together before they went back to Brazil. But then my book chapter proposal was accepted and I was supposed to write it while my family was here. Arghs!! Well, maybe I could handle this since I have a lot of content ready in my thesis, but not yet published. Then I received the news that my journal article had been accepted too, the one I submitted on August 12th, but reviewers requested a lot of modifications. God! A book chapter to write and a journal article to modify right during vacation with family?! It was unexpected and undesirable. 🙁 Even worse, I couldn’t start writing earlier because I was getting ready for the public defense, preparing the presentation, training the speech and many other administrative tasks. I was about to collapse.

The day of my public defense finally came. On October 12th 2010, I presented the final version of my thesis to the jury, to my family and many other friends. It was very good. I finished on time, answered all questions comfortably, and got the Ph.D. degree. It was so nice that I got very motivated to finish my two other responsibilities: the book chapter and the journal article. However, my body could not follow my wishes. I didn’t have a single minute of relaxation after my defense because of the trip with family. During the day we were visiting monuments, museums, theaters and restaurants and during the night I was lying on the laptop, writing as much as I could. Going to sleep late, waking up early, and walking all day, I was about to collapse. Really! At some point I said to myself to give up, then I spent one day doing nothing. Somehow, this day off was enough to recover my motivation.

There were more dramatic details but this post is already getting too long. The good news is that I could finally submit the book chapter and the revised version of the journal article. I’m writing this post now because I finished the whole journey just yesterday. I missed my blog a lot but I definitely couldn’t come earlier. Now I’m back and full of pending topics to write about. I would like to thank all my visitors that didn’t stop visiting and commenting my posts even after this “sabbatical” period. I’m really happy that I could write texts that have been permanently useful for the community.

You Know What? I Love My Blog

During some procrastination time that I gave to myself last night, I’ve spent some time exploring all posts that I have published on my blog since 2007. I’m talking about 105 posts, an average of 4 per month, which is not that much in comparison to other more popular blogs, but at least I’ve been quite regular over the years.

All these posts tell a lot about my research time in Belgium, thoughts, wishes, ideas, opinions, and much more. It’s so amazing the amount of experiences that I’ve shared with you, the feedback that some of you shared with me. Yeah! For me, post’s comments are the best part of this blog.

I remember how happy I was when my blog was 1 year old with almost 300 unique visitors per month. I thought: “Wow! 300 different people reading my ideas! It’s a lot of people!”. I wouldn’t expect that 2 years later I would have more than 1.400 unique visitors per month. Today, I’m having the same thought I had 2 years ago, since 1.400 visitors is a lot of people too ;). But I know that some of you are laughing because it is still a small number in comparison with other popular blogs, but I’m proud of each one of my visitors, mainly the 450 ones that come here more than once every month.

I wish I could share more with you here because each post represents only 20% of the full experience that I had. Actually, I don’t have any profit from here, making it more like a hobby than a responsibility. I even tried putting some Google advertising on the right, but I’ve got only 3 clicks during these 6 months of exposure, which means absolutely nothing :D. What makes it worth is the possibility to talk to myself, to talk to you like in a restaurant and the feedback I receive when I write technical articles, mostly solving basic problems that annoy a lot of people, and I receive comments from all over the world thanking for the solution I have proposed.

Now, I would like to conclude with a attempt of poem that stays in the subconscious of this blog:

I might regret but I don’t

I might regret doing things not related to my work just to solve other people’s problem, but I don’t because those things taught me many other things that I didn’t expect to learn.

I might regret starting my research so late, but I don’t because pressure is also part of the game.

I might regret allowing my love to spend several weeks far from home, but I don’t because it would be very selfish, these trips are great for her carrier, and I admire her achievements.

I might regret losing contact with some friends that I’ve made here, but I don’t because they proved to be more selfish than the friendly acceptable.

I might regret drinking and eating too much some times, but I don’t because Belgium has the best beers in the world, Europe has the best cuisine and I won’t be here for so long.

I might regret giving up opening a business in Europe, but I don’t because what I’m planning now will help a lot more people than I was planning to help before.

Last but not least, I might regret to be too much optimistic even not archiving many wishes I had, but I don’t because so many miracles have happened in my life, proving that optimism brings most of my wishes and what it doesn’t bring I also gain in terms of lessons learned.

Thank you for your visit(s)!