Internship in Assertis. Ronaldo’s story.

I’m Ronaldo from Brazil and no, I don’t like football. I was invited to Europe by IAESTE, The International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience. I spent 8 months as an intern at Assertis Ltd, Gdańsk, Poland.

Start to code, no matter the language you know

I’m from a village, called Ferros, in the state of Minas Gerais, where I grew up on a farm with my family, until I decided to change that. I was 16 years old when I moved to a completely different city to attend a technical high school in informatics. After I moved to Timoteo City, my grandmother gave me one of my best material birthday gifts: MY FIRST COMPUTER.

I learnt to code using a Portuguese language, because it was only in high school that I started taking english classes (like most Brazilian people who study in public school, I had my first contact with the English language in high school). So, the first programming language I used to write code was Portugol, a Portuguese structured programming language to understand, in practice, what an algorithm is.

Meet your professional hero

After learning the logic to write code using Portugol language, I started to learn the classical languages, in English: C, C++ and Java. After understanding the code logic, I started to be more passionate for the technology and the possibilities that we have when we learn about it. One day in 2010, I decided to go to a nice conference called Latinoware, the Latin American Free Software Conference, where I met Jon Maddog, Executive Director of Linux International.

Ronaldo with Jon Maddog

Jon Maddog is one of my living heroes, an early proponent of free and open source software. He also likes to go out to bars and drink beers. When I came back home from the conference, I even changed my OS to Ubuntu and still use and love this free software. I also attended to the same conference in 2011 and 2012. I’ve had great moments there, especially because this conference is held in Foz do Iguaçu, one of the best places to visit in Brazil, look at these waterfalls. I will never forget what Maddog said during his talk: “If you want to see the most important person in Free Software, look in the mirror!”

I also genuinely believe in these words: “Software engineering related courses are important for all aspects of STEM including that of helping one to become more creative, a better problem solver — including being a good detective and how to understand the world in terms of a system of systems — to learn how to be analytical and objective, about abstraction, and how to think outside of the box. How to learn from your mistakes and turn that into a positive result can also be learned from software engineering related courses. I believe it is also important to learn (or be around) things like music, art, philosophy, linguistics, and math including logic; any of which could help improve one’s being an excellent programmer/problem solver/thinker and to have a more global perspective on things. The ultimate goal would be that of teaching one how to think (design).” Margaret Hamilton.

Good advice for interns

In the end I would like to recall this kind gift from Alice I received when I began my internship in Assertis.

Best set of advice for IT interns (and not only)…

I am happy to write something in English for the Assertis’s blog. Here in the company, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to improve my English, learn PHP and automation tests. Thank you, Assertis team, for supporting me: you are also my heroes. ❤

Author: Ronaldo Drummond

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