- 6 minutes read

About me

I was born in 1991 in the suburb of Sao Paulo in Brazil. We lived in my grandparent’s house and had enough to eat.

Education had always been public, from the garden to the high school, and the government subsidized the college. I was a regular student, getting enough grades to be approved. I had always been guided to mechanics since it was my father’s work industry, so my first professional experience was at 15 as a truck mechanic assistant, grabbing tools, cleaning, and eventually dissembling parts of the trucks. I was making enough money ($2 per day) to buy clothes and repair my bike, which I used to get to work.

After having a few more jobs as a mechanic assistant, I finally got into programming. The start was when I was invited to concur to a technical course scholarship. I took the test, was approved, and had one e a half years ahead to learn. I didn’t have a computer at home, so I could only practice during class. I had a triple journey, working as a mechanic assistant in the morning, taking afternoon courses, and attending high school in the evening. That is pretty common in Brazil.

At some point, I left my job and started selling websites for local businesses using a printed PowerPoint presentation. I built a few and learned a lot, initially only HTML with CSS and right after PHP with MySQL.

In 2011 I landed my first real job as an employee for a franchise of English schools. In the following years, I worked in several digital marketing agencies, where I started using WordPress.

Before leaving the last agency, I met Paulo Rodrigues, which became a good friend. He introduced me to the first framework I used, CakePHP. That was amazing since it had a decent scaffold feature allowing me to code better and faster. Furthermore, combining it with Theme Forest’s admin themes helped me build applications to be proud of.

In 2014 I quit my job and decided to go backpack. It would not just be an adventure but an opportunity to improve my English skills, which were poor, and think about my career so far. At that time, I was getting paid $800 monthly. That wasn’t much, but it was enough after saving for a few months to travel for 60 days on a $50/day budget in Central America. I visited eight countries and met some lovely people. It was a turning point for my English skills and confidence to communicate with foreigners.

As a result of rethinking my career path, I became a full-time freelancer, being the last agency I worked for was the one driving the initial clients. Consequently, I started making more money, and more clients were coming, asking not only for websites but small to medium size applications, such as CRM, LMS, and CMS, so far using CakePHP.

In 2017, having more significant challenges ahead, I finally started using Laravel. Until then, I had heard great things about it, but I was resistant, avoiding the learning curve I was supposed to face, but surprisingly, there was no learning curve at all. Instead, I fell in love with Laravel and explored open-source and enterprise ecosystems. The combination of Laravel Nova for the administrative area with Laravel Forge handling my servers and deploys was mind-blowing. As a result, I could build anything faster than ever and have more advanced application features.

In 2018 I became a father, which completely changed my sense of responsibility from there and ahead. The cost of living increased significantly, and providing was the primary concern.

In the following years, I worked as a freelancer for an educational company, one of my clients. The company grew quickly, and I was invited to join them full-time to consolidate all the small applications I had built until then. Aside from having small apps to support the internal processes, they also needed customer-facing applications for the students and teachers. These apps required more than my hard skills but also soft skills such as management and leadership. At the company, I led the construction of an LMS platform that would serve thousands of users. Per my suggestion, this same tool became a SaaS product when the pandemic hit. Since their clients were schools, they urgently needed a solution to host the classes.

Even though I built a legacy, leaving differed from what I imagined. After working for so long as a solo developer for them, and with the increasing challenges, I got to the point of too much stress. I had built such complex applications, and the compensation was incompatible ($2k/Month).

Due to health issues, I couldn’t work for six months. Consequently, I accumulated a considerable amount of debt. Having no perspective, since it would take forever to pay them, I only had one option: to make more money, and the only path I could see was to work for an international company and get paid in US dollars.

International and national companies interviewed me; I got offers from two Brazilian and two American companies.

I took one of the American offers, which has been a fantastic experience. Working with people with different backgrounds and on projects on a global level made me realize that my work can have much more impact than I used to think.

From that awareness comes the initiative of creating this blog, and my goal is to share not only my past and future learning but also a step-by-step, as detailed as possible, of a new product I will create. It will genuinely mean building in public.

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