Working for Red Hat

Since last week I have been working for Red Hat!

After I started looking for a new job, I had two intense months full of interviews and travelling (I traveled to different countries, including the US for the first time) where I met great people and learned a lot.
It was all very new to me because it had been a while since I had looked for a job and I had never had so many interviews.

After deciding to join Red Hat, Helena and I also started the process of moving from A Coruña to Berlin which involved packing a lot of boxes and storing them in my parents’ attic in Brotas, Portugal where they will remain for a little while. This required a few car trips (13 hours driving, each return trip) but my parents are very kind people and they love me so they helped us with all the logistics.

Leaving Coruña was something we wanted but it was still very sad. We made many good friends during these 4 years in there and saying good-bye was hard, even if in this modern world good-bye actually means “see you later”. They are very good and fantastic people and we miss them already.
It actually felt like leaving my country again because as of now, I know more of the reality (political situation, finances, etc.) in Galicia/Spain then I know of my own country.

We’re still sorting out some of the last details of setting up in Germany. Berlin is very multicultural and it’s fairly easy to get around using English but we are lucky and thankful to have our friend Chris here who is helping us a lot.
Helena is already taking German classes and I will start soon so I hope I will be able to shout “Ich bin ein Berliner” as funnily as this guy did.

Regarding Red Hat, I am part of the desktop team, composed by well known names in the community, where I will keep hacking on GNOME related stuff. It is great to be able to continue working on Free Software and for such a nice company full of great developers. Working remotely will be a new challenge but Berlin is full of lovely places like St. Gaudy Café where I can get inspiration and work quietly.
As for my other FOSS projects, I hope I can dedicate a bit of my free time to them — between German classes and my personal life affairs.

I would like to thank all the people who contacted me during these months with great projects. I wish you the best of luck.
Last but not least, I would also like to thank Mike Fabian for having recommended me inside Red Hat.

Winds of Change

In my previous post I mentioned that 2013 would be a year of change. Well, here is the moment to say why that will be so: I have quit Igalia.

Igalia is a very special company to me, I joined it in December 2008. These were 4 intense years where I saw how the company evolved, how it moved to a cool new office, how it grew and I learned a lot in there. I had the chance to participate in several important projects like Maemo or Meego and also to create others. I could even tell the world about them in the many conferences I spoke at and I am also proud to have accomplished things such as putting the company’s name for the first time in the highlights of online media like ArsTechnica.

So the question people always ask is: why did I leave!?
As some of you may know, Igalia is organized in a flat structure where we take more responsibilities than just coding and the ultimate part of a career in the company is to become a partner. I knew this when I joined and I think this is a wonderful thing. Being at the end of my 4th year, the next stage would be to become a partner, however, for a while now I have been feeling the need of a change, of trying something different. I take my responsibilities seriously so joining as a partner would 1) only perpetuate these feelings and 2) not be fair to my colleagues. This and other factors led me to make the very difficult decision of leaving.

The future

My wife and I moved to A Coruña (Galicia, Spain) shortly after I joined Igalia. We like the city and its people but moving is part of that change I was talking about and the truth is that we were only here for Igalia in the first place. (I will probably write a few more words about this beautiful city when we actually leave)
The most difficult part of it is definitely leaving our friends. We met very nice people during these 4 years in Coruña and we consider some of them good friends rather than simply coworkers. But life is like this and I am sure we’ll stay in touch.
On the other hand, the good thing of working in a Free Software company is that you can keep contributing to the projects you worked on in there if you want, so I hope I will keep doing that.

Since I have only started looking for a new job after I notified Igalia of my decision, I still do not know where we will move to but we are open to many places.

If you are interested in what I can do for your project or company, be sure to contact me through email or LinkedIn so I can send you my CV.

That is all. I am already in touch with some companies so wish me luck!

GUADEC’s over, time for Japan

GUADEC

The last couple of week were very busy for me.
Apart from having organized the GUADEC‘s keynotes (with the much appreciated help of Dave Neary and Karen), I gave two talks as mentioned in my previous post.

For the Skeltrack one I was happy that I changed the format of the talk: back in LinuxTag I talked mainly about the technical side of the library, how it worked on the inside; for GUADEC, however, I preferred to give a higher level overview of Skeltrack and other neat things we do in Igalia‘s Interactivity team. The live demo worked very well (considering it had fresh code from the previous night) and people seemed to have enjoyed it (surprisingly live demos are cooler than talking about graph stuff, go figure…) 😀 .

The already much praised organization was really like that. The GPUL guys know how to pull it off. So much for the European joke where “Germans organize, French cook and Spanish entertain”, huh! Congrats guys.

Vacation: BCN > Japan

In a few hours I’ll be traveling to what may very probably be the trip of my life: Japan.
Ever since I was a little kid I was very attracted to Eastern cultures. Later, when I was a teenager, I was really into anime, manga and all that stuff. Back then I already knew I wanted to work with technology but I wasn’t sure if this was something more like an artist (yes, I drew/painted and I sometimes still do it) rather than a more hardcore role like a programmer.
Thus, this Japanese “pop” culture and mainly computer games had a strong influence on why I did a CS degree and earn my life today as a programmer.

For these reasons, I am more than excited to go to Japan. I’m also staying a couple of days in Barcelona before the main trip, it’ll be my first time visiting the city as well but with all the excitement for Japan it feels like I’m just passing by some random and regular city 🙂 Still, I’m sure tomorrow I’ll come to my senses and enjoy this beautiful Catalan city I’ve wanted to visit for a long time as well (I’ll be also stopping Igalia’s Barcelona office and I heard there is a nice roof top where my colleagues could share their beers with me).

Of course I need to mention languages when talking about traveling! Most of the Japanese I knew as a teenager is now gone but I’ll try to catch up; I got a small conversation book I haven’t read in ages but it’s gonna be a long flight anyway.

Not much in this trip has been planned in advance (picking tickets doesn’t count) so if you have some remarkable place you think I should visit, apart from the obvious ones, let me know (I’ll start off in Kyoto).
I will also probably blog about it afterwards like I’ve done for most of my main trips.

See you in Japan!

Going to GUADEC without leaving town

That’s right, this year GUADEC is taking place in the city I moved to more than 3 years ago in order to become an Igalian: A Coruña. It’s fun to see this event happening just 20 minutes walking from my place when in the previous editions I had to catch several planes in order to attend it 🙂

Going to GUADEC

In this year’s GUADEC, I am presenting two projects I have created:

  • OCRFeeder, the most complete OCR Free Software solution;
  • Skeltrack, the first Free Software library to perform human skeleton tracking from depth buffers such as the ones given by the Kinect.

If this sounds interesting, be sure to attend the talks or have a chat about the projects when you see me.

Since I feel pretty much like a local, I can tell you that you must not leave the town without trying “pulpo á feira” (octopus + olive oil + paprika) or, in case you’re not into cephalopods, just go to some traditional Galician bar, have a beer and enjoy the folk music of Celtic origins.

GUADEC ES, a good beginning for GUADEC

Yesterday was the last day of the 7th edition of GUADEC Hispana, originally to be organized in Chile but due to the disastrous earthquake, it was moved to the city of Corunna, Spain.

Between hacking on OCRFeeder (expect a new version soon), giving a talk about it, attending nice presentations and chatting with people, I had a great time.
Diego’s presentation about Epiphany was simply epic and Mario gave a very complete crash course of git.

I guess there’s a first time for these things but Thursday, while I was giving a demo of the new OCRFeeder’s features, it crashed on me… Never again will I laugh at Mr. Gates and friends when their products freeze out of the blue (nah, it is too funny).
Now that I think of it… was this the first time a Portuguese man gave a talk at GUADEC Hispana?

The presentation was a cut-down version of the one I gave at FOSDEM this year and you can check its slides below (it’s in Spanish):

(thanks to Manuel Rego for reviewing my Spanish in the slides)

Here’s the group photo of the GUADEC ES attendants:

And from next Monday on, I’ll be in Den Haag for GUADEC 2010. My lightening talk about the Predictor Input Method got accepted, so if you’re into this kind of stuff, I hope to see you there.