Wrapping Up 2019

It’s the last night of the year and the decade, and here is the mandatory End of Year’s post.

Family

This year was without a doubt the most difficult in my (still young) life. Things were setting up to be a great year at the beginning, there were big plans for the Hack project I was working on at Endless with my colleagues, and my wife Helena was going to start an illustration course after our son finally started at the kindergarten (in Germany it’s common for kids to enter it when they’re already 2 years old…), besides other personal projects we were preparing.
However, in a visit to the dentist by my wife in order to check something bothering her, she ended up being disagnosed with mouth cancer.
As would happen with anyone, the news really shook us and made us go through all the common wonderings of why would such thing happen to someone who has no family history of such sicknesses, doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, etc.

Still this is a positive post! Everything moved very quickly and neatly on the doctors side after the diagnostic. The tests and surgery happened as fast as they could possibly be done, and since apparently it was disagnosed at a very early stage, Helena “only” needed two surgeries and no aggressive treatments.
In the end, we are very thankful to all the doctors, nurses, and staff. It couldn’t have been better, from the great quality of the services, to the friendliness of the people involved. A big and honest thank you again to the great people who dealt with us at Berlin’s Unfallkrankenhaus.

We are extremely lucky to have universal healthcare coverage. Besides the normal (and public) insurance we have, we only had to pay very little extra costs that are even neglegible. I cannot imagine having to worry with the sickness and also with the costs of treatments.

Being away from our family when this happened also made it more difficult as we had to juggle the hospital trips with taking care of our son (who was not yet in the kindergarten when this started) and my work. On the work side, I need to thank Cosimo and Endless, who made it clear I’d have all the time I needed to organize things on my side; that was extremely important. And we also need to thank our neighbor Ilka, who took care of our son a few times while we both were away. Of course, many more people offered their support, and we had Helena’s mother over for a couple of weeks in the second surgery. All the support and nice words was important and we’re grateful to have such great people in our lives.

One last thing to end this subject. I really need to emphasize Helena’s attitude towards her situation. We have been together for a long time, and I knew she was a positive person, but her positive attitude in the face of such a serious case was mind-blowing even for the doctors (one even said “Do you know what this means? …. Yes? Okay, this is weird, I had never had anyone behaving like this after the news…”). I feel like the drama was all mine and she had to recomfort me, even though she was the one who had to endure the initial uncertainty, the surgeries, the recovery…
After so much time together and so many experiences we shared, this problem made me admire even more the person I love. I wish our kids get that attitude to life and not my traditional-and-very-Portuguese fatality 🙂

Work

On the work side things also had a twist. At about the same time Helena was having her second surgery, my work at Endless was about to change too, and I joined Kinvolk for a temporary position, as explained in this post, since I wasn’t sure about mixing friendship and work.
Well, it turns out that I liked the work, the people, and the possibilities at Kinvolk so much that (in November) I accepted the proposal to make it permanent!

Technically, coming from the Linux desktop world, it felt “foreign” to take over a Go + React project like Nebraska, but I already feel very comfortable with this “ecosystem”.

I am genuinely excited about what is coming from Kinvolk, and I will keep working on the company’s existing and new products. We are also looking for great people to help deliver great & 100% Open Source solutions, so check out our open positions.

Community

About GNOME/community work. It’s difficult to find the time and energy to do anything tech-related outside of work, so I cannot realistically think I will be an active contributor in my spare time.
Still, I keep my eye and interest in the GNOME and flatpak communities. Last year (2018) I “flatpaked” two old games (noiz2sa and rRootage) and added them to Flathub, and now I am in the process of getting Robocode into flathub (more on that soon).

That’s it!

And that’s all for this year’s wrap-up! Despite a very difficult situation, we end the decade feeling very happy and fortunate. I wish everybody a great new decade! Love.

Whereabouts

It’s been almost two months since my last day at Endless, and some people keep asking me what am I up to now. The change was nothing top-secret so I told my closest friends and colleagues about what I was doing, but I have been so busy — first with the job change, personal life (whose events I will leave for a later post), then with some vacation time in Portugal, and this past week with my son’s first days in the Kindergarten — that I kept neglecting writing a post about that.

I had met Endless when it was still a small startup, in a shared working space in San Francisco, and joined it a few years after that, because it was all I could think about. Having spent almost 4 years with the company, it is and will always be a special place for me, not only because of its mission, but also because of its people and the experiences we shared, and I will keep rooting for their success.

So “where” am I currently? I am still a doughnut resident of Berlin and I have been working with the great people at Kinvolk on its new products (more details to be announced soon). This is a temporary/contractor position though, so we’ll see what happens in a few months, but I am enjoying what I am doing and that I get to spend some time with the folks at the Berlin office.

Kinvolk is also a very special company to me. I have been friends with Chris and Iago (two of the three co-founders) for years, having introduced them to each other and followed the company creation/growth closely since then (also worked for a while from their first office when I moved to Berlin).
This friendship was the reason I always pushed back on the idea of joining them (I didn’t want to risk spoiling it with any eventual work conflicts), but this temporary job was the perfect opportunity with the perfect timing; so I am looking forward to seeing the company’s growth from the inside now, and contribute to it as much as I can.
Kinvolk is also still hiring, so if you are interested in joining, check out the careers page.

And that’s it for now. As usual, I hope I can keep posting more frequently. We’ll see 🙂

Going to FOSDEM 2019

It’s that time of the year again! Tomorrow I am flying to Brussels for what will be my 11th FOSDEM!

I will be carrying the Hack Computer (+ cool stickers) with me and I am happy to give a quick demo and talk about this new project or Endless with anyone interested.

Such a mean machine!

Looking forward to meeting everybody!