Early years and where you came from?
Born and raised in Santa Marta de Portuzelo, Viana do Castelo, from a very early age decided to follow the path of technology. I was always extremely curious and always enjoyed taking apart and putting back together all kinds of stuff. I had access to new technologies since I was a kid and in my desire to be different I decided not to start college immediately after finishing school. Before I even decided which subject to select, I started by studying IT security, later making the jump to open source operating systems and ending up in networking. I later moved to Porto, where I started teaching by day and taking a college degree by night, and I worked and studied very, very hard.
How were you introduced to the world of the Portuguese tech industry?
As soon as I finished high school, the world of technology opened up several doors and windows for me. The worst part was that I loved every one of those doors and windows! But I had to choose. I was given the opportunity to get some certifications and from that moment on, the roots on this world were definitely established.
Walk me through your work and what you are doing now in the tech industry.
I’ve been teaching in the areas of open source operating systems, computer networks and network security for a long time. Meanwhile, I’ve been specializing in networking infrastructures through Cisco’s CCNA and CCNP courses. Later, I finished my degree in Communication Networks and came in contact with the world of electronics. After a while I reinforced my specialization in networking with the Alcatel-Lucent (now Nokia) certification and I am currently teaching networking following that same course’s materials. Besides that, at the moment, I am an Operating Systems researcher at the Onda Technology Institute, being a part of a team developing an operating system and improving performance on current open source operating systems, and I’m involved in developing IoT solutions in full vertical integration.
What part of what you do, you love the most?
Teaching computer networking… networking is love, networking is life. Almost at the same level is electronics and computer programming. They are both my second two passions, one that I discovered relatively recently, and the other one that I regret not having developed it more for lack of opportunity and having little time available.
How do you think that your background and knowledge impact the way you approach your work in the Portuguese tech industry?
Whenever I teach, I am passing knowledge to a future generation. That is a major responsibility. I always enjoyed teaching and, as such, one of my obligations is to keep my own knowledge up to date so that I can pass them on.
What advice do you have for young women that want to get into tech and don’t know where to start?
Don’t be afraid to ask and to experiment. Before focusing in my current area, I tried and experimented several courses which helped me understand what it would be like to work in this field. Ask, do, try, experiment!
Walk me through a day in your life as a Portuguese woman in tech.
As a woman in technology, there are some difficult days. Especially in my area, in which I rarely see another woman. Networking is mostly taken by men. My time is split up between preparing classes in order to provide my students the best possible teaching experience, working in the projects I’m involved with at the Institute I manage, both as Executive Director and IT Director.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Never give up, never surrender, change the world!
What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?
Linux terminal, Kate, Geany, Email, VM Hypervisors, Putty, Subversion, Dropbox, Drive and c:geo! and my endless appointment book!
Links that you want to share?