Well, after going almost 2 weeks with a very nasty cold, I got better just in time for the new year! This has proven to be a rather eventfull year for me and my family, as I travelled and met more new people than in the previous 5 years combined! Since everyone seems to be posting about what they’ve accomplished throught the year 2006, here’s my photographic attempt.
Armed with a bunch of new books, I set out to start the year by teaching myself some python, and concentrating on my (Ubuntu related) work as a translator. I also kept reading about history. Unfortunately, teaching myself python while spending over 3 hours commuting to/from work in the car, and working under the steril environment of a government job was harder than I expected. However, my work with the Brazilian Translation Team really took off, eventually landing me the leadership role.
In February I took (and passed) the Red Hat Certified Engineer certification, up in Boston. Managed to spend some time with my friend Vinny, but since he was busy with work, I stayed in my room and tried to concentrate in my own things. Granted I never took the Microsoft certification tests, but from what I’ve heard, the RHCE separates the little boys from grown men! ;)
Life was tough for my family and I. The long hours and crazy schedule was taking its toll on all of us, including my then 4 year-old daughter. Work was exciting at all and it felt like a scene from “The Wall”. I longed for more exciting things… Linux related… The arrival of the package above, my Ubuntu kit for the upcoming Linux World Expo in Boston was the highlight for the month.
Linux World Expo!!! What a blast!!! I have always been to this event back when it used to be held at the Javis Center, in New York. When they stopped hosting it in NY, I went to Boston, always dragging my friend Vinny with me. This year I told him it would be different, for I would be participating not as a espectator, but actually representing Ubuntu Linux! I could go on and on about the wonderfull experience and all the nice people and things that happened during those 4 days! My only disappointment was when trying to get someone to help me “man” the booth. Unfortunately, none of my “open source loving” friends could make it, even when I offered to pay for the hotel. Vinny and Kelvin, both hard core windows users who had never really used Linux, took some time to land me a hand, and were quick to learn how to answer all of the questions the visitors threw at them. Obviously, I was taking their questions as well, but it was fun!
How do you top it off??? In April my wife, daughter and I were blessed when we learned that we were expecting our second child! ;)
Fresh from Linux World, I was invited to give a talk at the Trenton Computer Fair. Due to some misunderstandings from both parties, I was unable to give the talk but set up a table with some Open Source goodies (books I received from Oreilly, Apex, Willey, and off course Ubuntu CDs) and answered questions from the much smaller crowd who ventured out in the rainy day. This time around I was helped by the newly “converted” Brian, Roberto, e Tarik (not in the picture).
I turned 32 and got back to the same routine. Since my python learning wasn’t going anywhere, I decided to do some work with Mono so not to lose touch. Oh, how I longered to do more Linux related (paid) work.
Managed to get my hands on a TabletPC and spend quite some time testing the living hell out of it with Ubuntu. I think that is when my interest for computer accessability started. Unfortunately, the TabletPC was only a loan and I was sad to see it go back.
The Brazilian Translators Team was furiously working on the translations, and we managed to cover a lot of ground in very little time. My hard work paid off too, and I was officially appointed as their leader. We held several online classes and managed to attract a good number of volunteers, some of them eventually becoming part of the team. The team has grown smaller since then, but our excitement hasn’t!
Wouldn’t you know that I got a chance to go to the United Nations and represent Ubuntu Linux??? Granted I had a very tiny role during that symposium, but with my new friend Nathan I managed to give a rather heartfull (maybe even embarassing) speech in front of several world government representatives, pleading that we give open source a chance! Imagine being able to offer people all over the world an opportunity to taste a little bit of bleeding edge technology without any nasty proprietary license?
I also managed to get back to my plan of learning python and helped Raphael ProenÃƒÂ§a get his project, APTonCD off the ground. I quickly scouted some new talent and managed to bring Laudeci Oliveira into the mix, one of the most exciting and clever programmers I have met!
Fortunately (yes, fortunately) my work assignment was cancelled and I found myself unemployed and looking. Why fortunately? Because I was not happy where I was… mu whole family wasn’t… Sometimes, a good swift ol’ kick in the ass is all you really need to make a move in your life! The month of Semptember was filled with many moments of introspection, tough decisions, and lots and lots of travelling for interviews in New Jersey and North Carolina. It was only after I actually took up temporary residency in Chapel Hill with my sister that I started to get interviews in NC. In the end I had to decide between staying in NJ working for a Linux-friendly company or officially move my family to NC and start a career as a python programmer for a rather exciting company in Raleigh with lots of growth potential (but a significant pay cut). I didn’t think twice and took the job in NC!
I started work at rPath on October 2, the same day I learned that my application for sponsorship for the Ubuntu Developer Summit was accepted! Life was good! I knew I had a lot of ground to cover as a web python developer, so I started the (still active) process of porting over my client side, visual basic / C# / PL/SQL skills. The work environment is absolutely great and I definitely get my daily dose of challenges and geekness! At work I run Foresight Linux and am constantly being picked on for having my Ubuntu coffee mug with me, but it is all for laughs. :) We have a lot of good talent and I hope to learn a lot from them and help the company grow!
The highlight of my open source life: Ubuntu Developer Summit, in Mountain View, California! It is very hard to express how fortunate I was to be able to attend this event and take part of the decisions that will shape the Ubuntu Community in the near future! I got to meet a great number of interesting and passionate people, and it felt great to share my ideas with them. I had a lot of fun talking to the Ubuntu Studio guys (Cory, Antoinne, and Joe), Mark van Deborre, Joey Stanford, Evan, the Launchpad (Rodrigo, Guilherme) and Rosetta (Carlos and Danilo) guys, Ronald, Jorge Castro, Seveas, and many more. I also had the opportunity to talk to Jono about several things related to the Brazilian Team, and I believe it was very helpfull. Also, Leslie made us all feel very welcome at the Googleplex and I am very gratefull for our bus driver Ed, who made our trips to/from our hotel a whole lot more interesting with his jokes. :)
The farewell dinner was a great way to cap off the event, and the open bar definitelly helped bring out the best of us! :)
My daughter turned 5!!! It feels like it was only yesterday that I was changing her diapers!!! She is without a doubt that highlight of my life! Since my company closed down the last week of the year, I was able to spend some quality time with her and my wife. Spent Christmas in New Jersey with my whole family but drove back home the very next day for a total of 24 hours of driving (both ways) due to the horrible traffic and weather!!!
I left out a few events on purpose for a I intend to talk about them in a different post. Overall, 2006 marked a great turning point in my life and future aspirations… but more about that later on… ;)