In this article, you can read the interview to Amanda Santos, Python Developer at Integer since 2021. You can learn a little more about her background, motivations and moving to Portugal.
🎙 Hi Amanda, tell us a little bit about yourself…. What was your childhood like?
I was born in the city Belo Horizonte, in Minas Gerais. I entered the UFMG (Federal University of Minas Gerais) at 17 years to graduate in Anthropology, but along the course I understood that it was a course for those who had money to finance the activities and this was not my case. By the disappointment of the course and desire to leave home, in 2014 I lived in São Paulo – Capital to work with image editing and there, I met many people in the IT area and a little about their jobs.
🎙 How did you decide to study in this area of IT?
In 2015, I moved back to Belo Horizonte and I was determined to go back to university. I had never thought of studying Engineering or even anything IT related, even though I had always liked computers. For me, it was a predominantly a men area and no one had ever made me think that I could also work in IT.
I had some experiences in different universities and courses, but there was always something that wouldn’t let me continue: one time it was the university or another the course itself… Basically I was looking for a place that could give me opportunities to study outside of Brazil and a course that would give me a good job and freedom. In mid-2017, I started the Software Engineering course at PUC MINAS.
🎙 What did you enjoy most about college?
In Brazil, what I liked the most was the extracurricular opportunities, I could participate in extension projects with assistive technology, projects for external clients and social help. I participated in a team, in Embrapa’s (Brazilian Agricultural Research Company) for the Hackathon and we brought the awards to the university. In IPG (Polytechnic Institute of Guarda) I still didn’t have time to participate in this kind of activity, but I really like the mixture of people from several nationalities studying in the same room (Erasmus) because the debates are more beneficial.
🎙And… Why Python?
About the Python language, I don’t remember how I started it. However, I know what made me continue to want to learn and work – I started to participate in many technology events and meetings in Belo Horizonte and in one of these events, it was with the Python community, I really liked the people who spoke so well about the language and the projects presented. So because of the sympathy for Python and the community, I started to use the language in projects for my university and that gave me some experience to pass the technical exam for the internship in the company that, months later, put me in a permanent position and that was my job until last year.
🎙 How did the opportunity to come to Portugal come about?
In 2018, I was already working in IT but in 2019 I was given the opportunity to do an exchange to Portugal. In February 2020 I arrived in Portugal but due to the pandemic my exchange was practically remote and I spent my time working for Brazil and attending IPG classes via zoom. With the feeling that I still hadn’t enjoyed the experience and also by the feeling that I had finally managed to live in another country, I went looking for what were my possibilities to continue in Portugal. Then in July 2020, I participated in the IPG transfer exam and I got the place for Computer Engineering, however with the challenges of the pandemic and all bureaucratic process, only this year, I could continue studying.
🎙 What has surprised you the most, so far, in Portugal?
I’ve been living in Portugal for 2 years and what has surprised me the most is the freedom and safety. I know there are people with bad intentions all over the world, but I feel much safer walking down the street, studying and working. One of the reasons that made me leave Brazil was the daily harassment that I was forced to undergo. In 2 years here in Portugal, I’ve never felt in that situation of embarrassment. Another point that surprised me is the accessibility to university and the possibility of obtaining higher education degrees (e.g. Master’s and Doctorate).
🎙 Tell us a bit about the project you’re currently on.
I’m in the CMP project at NOS company. There we develop new features and cloud solutions for internal and external customers. I work predominantly with Python, Django and Docker and every day I learn new concepts about networking. Besides CMP, we also work on projects with other teams when they need help with development. Our work dynamic is based on Scrum, which is an agile methodology and therefore we have processes to follow. Our team is formed by three developers, a Scrum Master and the Product Owner.
🎙 What are your hobbies or what do you most enjoy doing in your free time?
I like walking, watching videos/films, travelling when there is time and reading history/sociology books. I am currently reading the book “The State of Racism in Portugal. Anti-Black and Anti-Gypsyism Racism in Law and Public Policy”.
🎙 What are your dreams or projects for the future?
I have ordinary dreams like owning my own house and have financial stability, but I also want to travel the world and participate in social projects involving technology.