When dreams come true

Sometimes I have to explain to people that I have grown up in a extraordinarily beautiful island, so I’m very spoiled when comes to natural beauty. I’m also very attached to water. So one of my lifelong dreams was to someday stay in a overwater bungalow. And since that’s such a romantic scenario, would also be fitted to a very special occasion, like honeymoon. So it came the day that I could afford the extravaganza and also have a perfect occasion for it. There are only two places in the world where that’s available and you can actually swim away from your room: Tahiti and Maldives. After some research, the wilderness of – and distance to – the Maldives won. With the help of TripAdvisor, we selected our destination: Gili Lankanfushi, a resort well rated in many areas like environmentally conscious, food, service and all. So there we went, for 10 days. I was aware of the No News, No Shoes motto, which was also introduced to us in the boat going from Male Airport to Gili, where our shoes were packed in a little recycled bag. We decided to take it a bit further: no computers, no phones, no heart rate monitor, no watches, no books, no kindle. Nothing that could mean controlling, scheduling, expectations. Even if I took a book, I would feel like I should read it. I decided that I would do what I was feeling at the moment, and if that meant to read a book, I was also aware there is a copy of Robinson Crusoe book at every villa. And if I was going to exercise, I would do it for enjoyment, not for counting burned calories.

The arrival was incredible. The day was perfect, a few clouds but with the sun shinning over those amazing shades of blue, my reaction was to exclaim: “It’s true!” We all know those places that look perfect in pictures, but then when you get there you find they have enhanced the colors or used angles to appear to have more space. Not Gili. All the beautiful pictures were an exact replica of this calm paradise. We were received by Brad – who said my reaction was one of the best he ever heard, Ibrahin and Aboo, which was our Mr Friday. Aboo took us on a little golf car to tour around the island – which has about 600x200m size, but packed with spa, 2 restaurants, 1 bar, 44 villas, pool, organic herbs and vegetable garden. But I was eager to see our villa. I have looked at the map and disposition of the villas previously, and I wanted to be facing the ocean. I was informed that would conflict with my wish to swim around the villa because that area is shallow, but I decided the sound of the waves would make up for it. And I could have seen it all in pictures, but seeing it live when the door was open and Aboo announced “Welcome to your new home” was amazing.
Our villa deck

We received a welcome set of refreshments with iced tea and champagne, but I just couldn’t wait to change and just take a dip. There is no reception, it’s all done in your villa, checking documents, cards and all, and we were left to enjoy and explore. And of course, the first thing to do is to try the water!
DSC02141

It was hard to believe. The first night, awaken by jet leg, I went outside and laid down in the hammock, watching the moon, the stars, listening the waves. I was so profoundly happy. Next day I woke up early and took a yoga session, a great way to start the day by the gentle sun and breeze. Then, off to breakfast! Unlimited combinations of any fruit juices you can imagine – Hector became quite found of mixing fruits and ginger – or eggs, sushi, english breakfast, pastries and all.
Breakfast

The food is just amazing. It was one of the items most cited by reviewers at TripAdvisor, but most people just say it’s great. Looking at the website, I saw they had their own herb garden, and I thought that anyone who had that must know the great difference it makes to a dish to add just a few fresh spices. After several days, I was a fan of the chef John Bakker. There is a different theme for every lunch and dinner: Lebanese, Mexican, European, Asian, Maldivian. The Asia Street Market night was amazing. Everything was well presented, and cooked perfectly, so his staff must be great as well. But the creativity which each plate had captivated me. Playing with so many things: herbs, coconut, chillies, ginger, fruits. I was in heaven. So much I decided if there was a creation menu worth trying, it must be here. And I was right, we had the Chef’s Degustation Dinner at the Wine Cellar and it was one of the most amazing meals of my life. I had to meet the chef and express my admiration, and ask for his Pomegranate & Pineapple salad recipe – which he sent me later, thank you Chef!

Another reason to select Gili Lankanfushi was the mention to being ecologically conscious. We were up for even more surprises. All the water is produced in the island via desalinisation, which is an expensive process. But you have plenty of water available, still or sparkling! All the water bottles are glass and refilled, and later struck me I didn’t see any plastic at all during my time there. We move around in bikes, as most of the guests and hots. The marine biologist gives talks twice a week about the reefs and the best practices around – he probably would be happy to know we didn’t buy any coral souvenirs, just gorgeous wooden vases. The results were the amazing fauna around us. Our villa were particularly eventful. We had what I called it our coral garden, small sets of corals right by our deck. When you look underwater with the snorkel, you see each one is actually effervescent with more than a hundred of little fishes munching around.
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And that’s the best part of being so ecologically conscious. We felt like we were truly integrated to the environment, causing minimum disturbance to their lives. The reward was seeing not just the tiny fishes, but big puffer fishes, baby sharks (yes, baby sharks! harmless), stingrays, plus so many other fishes I can’t name all. Blue, yellow, black and white, grey, with dots or stripes. It was a sad comparison with the place were I went snorkelling for the first time (Retiro dos Frades, Bombinhas) and felt in love with it, to return to the same place less than 7 years later to find plastic bags have replaced the colourful fishes in there. But at Gili, it was all there. We found out that our privacy water garden, below the shower, was also the fishes’ spa: the 3 big puffer fishes were there all day long while little blue fishes would clean then, and frequently joined by others “clients”. We had one fish that was farming algae in our deck stairs. He didn’t like no one passing by it, being that fishes or us, and would always leave a little nudge in our feet to let us know. We had the visit of a heron a couple of days. I’ve also seen what I assumed was an eel living in one of the corals. One morning I sat down in front of the coral to watch the fishes, which was simple due the low tide. Then I notice that the eel was coming out of the coral and seemed very interested in me, but it had a little mouth and some teeth. As she was getting closer, and we have been informed that animals usually are not that curious, I prefer to give her more space. Later visiting the Dive Center and looking at pictures, I found out it was actually a baby moray! To be more specific, a Pepper Moray Eel. So I made a good guess leaving her alone. I have probably sat down too close from where she was, and in the low tide she could not easily move away. And that’s also part of a experience of being a good guest into their habitat – don’t disturb the animals, just observe.

The staff is also another great area where many commenters of TripAdvisor take note. They are always helpful, always cheerful. It’s of course their job, but reading the behind the scenes notes you see how many people are actually involved into making paradise function. Gili reports to employ 300 hosts, investing in local communities and schools to employ mainly Maldivians. They seem particularly attached to football, specially during the first days where they were preparing for a match against the team of Male, which they won by 11×2 (if I remember correctly). The manager mention to us they have invested a few millions to renovate the hosts village, with a state of the art football pitch. Later I found that in case of tsunami, everybody would run to the hosts village, which has higher buildings (and here I’m thinking we would be put into boats and sail away into ocean…). And the staff there seems happy. So it also felt good spending money in a place where treats their staff well.

After a few days resting and engaging in one of my favourite activities – doing nothing – we started to move around. We’ve been to a few yoga sessions. We snorkelled around, we went kayaking. But best of all, we went scuba diving. Then you have even more appreciation for the resort’s environmental care. We saw turtles! Peacefully napping and observing us, until getting tired of us and swimming away. Underwater is truly a parallel universe, so much life, so colorful, so eventful! We went swimming around hundreds of Blue Fin Triggerfish, and I’ve met my favourites, the Red Big Eye fish. They look amazing underwater. Oh, and an unlikely sight of a shark :) usually they stay in the lagoon, not in the reefs. But I was lucky! And hooked. I would have taken a lot more dives if I haven’t committed the newbies sin: underestimate the air conditioning. With a cold, no diving :( at least I had snorkelling!

Then enter one of my holiday heroes, Dr Rajesh. I first met him on my third day when my food indulgence and my sensible stomach weren’t getting along. A couple of pills and I was new. The second time was when my coughing was really annoying, and again he was there to my rescue.

When I got the cold, coughing and a bit miserable because I couldn’t go scuba diving, I realized the answer to a question I’ve had in my mind for a few days. Even in paradise, with such nice and helpful staff, with amazing food and nature, it was clear some people were not happy. And I kept wondering, how can you be stressed in a place like this? Well, let me tell you, that day when I was coughing, banned from scuba and realizing there were only a few days left, I was so grumpy I think I had a little cloud over my head. And everything seemed to annoy me or be wrong. Too hot, too windy, not wind enough, food doesn’t taste so good anymore. It’s hard to control it, specially in the fast pacing life we live today. But then I decided to reach to the holistic specialist in residence, Sommai, and an acupuncture session put me back on track. Meditation is also such a wonderful tool. It was a big lesson for me that I hope to continue to exercise – if you carry that little black cloud over your head, it will rain everywhere…

Breakfast

Gladily, I was in this little paradise called Gili Lankanfushi. There was also a never ending surprising amenities. Like special after sun shampoo and conditioner, or aloe vera gel, wonderfully soothing the skin after a day under the sun and water. Upon learning about my cold, Aboo and the spa manager sent me the ginger tea I was becoming addicted, along with nice fruits and honey. The resort also has a local timezone, one hour ahead of Male, so sunrise is at 7am, not 6am, and you enjoy more the sun! Being honeymooners, we got a little chocolate wedding cake that didn’t survive long enough for pictures – I swear it was the best chocolate cake ever! We also got a Dolphin cruise, to see little dolphins come by the lagoon by sunset. We only spend one morning by the pool, where we were pampered with nice sorbet tastings. There were the Information and the Nature guides, with infos about everything on the resort and the most likely fishes to see. Everyday we were checking the activities available, the food themes, the time for the high tide to enjoy. There was also TV and Wifi, of course, but those were never used. We rather took on using the iPod and the sound system, sometimes to wake up, sometimes to dance around getting ready for dinner.

And that’s the best part, the memories. The jet lag recovery under the star. The majestic effect the full moon have over the high tide, making the water almost roar around our deck. The little crab that stole one of the lights from the full moon dinner decoration and went running around with it. Our farmer fish, our puffer fish spa clients. Our little dances by the evening. Our tea or napping sessions, enjoying the breeze. The after yoga feeling of being a bit taller. Feeling so incredibly light floating underwater, and swimming with the fishes. Learning the underwater signs to say “everything is good” or “shark” or “turtle”, and using them! Counting stars.

Feeling renewed. Thank you to all the Gili staff. Special thanks to Dr Rajesh for saving my holiday twice. To Aboo for organizing everything for us, for the red apples and the rose petals, and for the moray story! And to Shifau, for always having something new to bring for us to try, always with a smile. And to Andrea from Stopover Reisen, for helping us to make it happen. So long, and thanks for all the fish!

Blinking LEDs with Intel Galileo, Yocto and shell script

Using shell script to control LEDs from the Yocto system powering the Intel Galileo board. Using the documentation from Sergey’s Blog. Full shell script bellow:

#!/bin/sh

# gpio17 = Galileo pin 5
# gpio24 = Galileo pin 6
# gpio27 = Galileo pin 7

for i in 17 24 27; do
  echo out > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$i/direction
  echo strong > /sys/class/gpio/gpio$i/drive
done

for i in `seq 5`; do
  echo 0 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio17/value
  echo 0 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio24/value
  echo 0 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio27/value
  sleep 1
  echo 1 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio17/value
  echo 1 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio24/value
  echo 1 > /sys/class/gpio/gpio27/value
  sleep 1
done 

A Maker in the Making – my first steps with Intel® Galileo

Update: a German translation can be found here - Eine Entwicklerin beim Entwickeln: meine ersten Schritte mit dem Intel Galileo Board. (how cool is this!!!)

I am one of the lucky people who managed to have access to an Intel® Galileo board a month ago. The Intel Galileo board is an Arduino certified board using Intel Quark Technology. At the beginning I was very lost, but now I’m borderline obsessed with it.  I find the activity of connecting things and making them work together very relaxing, and it reminded me those childhood moments where I disassembled the stereo, the blender, the talking doll and other articles to see how they worked inside. The best part here is the almost immediate reward of seeing something blink or move so easily. So if you are interested in my journey, keep reading for a report on my first steps.

What will I make?

What will I make?

The first step is to download the Intel Galileo® Arduino SW. It is a prepared version of the Arduino development environment with the image for working with the Intel Galileo board already installed. There are versions for Windows, Linux and MacOS.  The Getting Started document guides you through recognizing, connecting and updating the firmware in your board, so I’m not going to repeat here. There are tons of examples, but the first one you are instructed to try is the Blink example.

Accessing the Blink example

Accessing the Blink example

If you are a newbie like me, the next question would be: great, but now, how do I stop it? Short answer: you can’t. I mean, not through programming. You can always unplug the power (but first disconnect the USB!!! I’m not sure why but the documentation says so :) ).

Update: In the German post, Alexander M nicely explains why is it necessary: “Because otherwise the SPI image on the Galileo may be damaged, and in the case of Galileo can be saved only with external hardware Guide Search. Background: The Galileo requires minimal 550mA current for stable operation, which is normally provided via the AC adapter.If this is not (more) connected but the Galileo still connected via USB to the computer, then it tries to power through this USB port to draw. However, since USB is only specified up to 500mA the current can be almost here, in the worst case during a write operation on the SPI image. Then, the write operation is incomplete and the file structures in the image are corrupted.”

Danke schön!

Danke schön!

But what the Arduino is doing is transferring the sketch (the name Arduino uses for a program) created in the development environment to the Linux system running in the board, which will call that sketch in a loop. Curious? Look at the bottom-dark area in the IDE and you can see the log of what was just done:

Uploading sketch log

Uploading sketch log

 So the slightly more elegant way to stop it is actually upload to the board the initial script, which does nothing, so the board stops blinking and goes to a loop of doing nothing.

Do Nothing sketch

Do Nothing sketch

Ok, now I had my Intel Galileo board connected, updated and had successfully run my first sketch! As you can notice, there are two main parts in a sketch: the setup() and the loop(). As the name suggests, in setup() you set your controls, and in the loop() you program what you want the board to do. The controls are usually associating your variable with the correspondent pin connected to the control of the component, and the loop() will read and/or write something in this control. In the case of our Blink example, the sketch declares pin as 13, then during setup, initializes the digital pin as an output:


/*
Blink
Turns on an LED on for one second, then off for one second, repeatedly.
This example code is in the public domain.
*/


// Pin 13 has an LED connected on most Arduino boards.
// give it a name:
int led = 13;


// the setup routine runs once when you press reset:
void setup() {
// initialize the digital pin as an output.
pinMode(led, OUTPUT);
}

Then in the loop(), it alternates the high and low voltages to make the LED blink, with pauses in between:

// the loop routine runs over and over again forever:
void loop() {
digitalWrite(led, HIGH); // turn the LED on (HIGH is the voltage level)
delay(1000); // wait for a second
digitalWrite(led, LOW); // turn the LED off by making the voltage LOW
delay(1000); // wait for a second
}

So what next? Well, that’s where we have to start using our imagination – or if you already have a project, start connecting the components. The board itself, although well prepared for many usages, cannot do much more than blink without components or add-ons. This video covers of what the board has, the chipsets and controllers. There is also extensive documentation and the available datasheet on what is in the board. But they are mostly controllers, so I needed some component to play with. My first choice was a servo, and after realizing how the proper connect it, I was able to execute the Sweep sample from Arduino:

This video was made today, after my weekend visit to a hardware store to buy proper jumper cables. As I mention on the beginning, I am only starting this and I don’t know yet what will I do (although I have some ideas) and what will I need, so far I’m testing the basics. During my first tests with the servos, having just wires was not very friendly but worked, but working with the motion sensor convinced me I needed proper tools. Now I have jumper wires, alligator clips (especially for conductive fabric), several LEDs, a breadboard and an anti-static band. Previously I had acquired the motion sensor, a LCD and the conductive fabrics. But then today I found out that I actually also need resistors for working with LEDs – told you, newbie! Although a colleague already stated a clarification on my Facebook wall:

Maybe I need more than resistors...

Maybe I need more than resistors…

In my opinion, getting started is super easy. The documentation is great, many samples, and I’m becoming particularly fond of Adafruit (which I cannot not mention the fact that is owned by a women, Limor Fried). Every component has links for the tutorials on how to use it, which is essential for newbies like me.

Limor Fried, Adafruit owner, Entrepreneur of 2012

As I mention before, what the Arduino development environment will do is to upload a sketch that the Linux system will execute indefinitely. So there is a Linux system… here is where things my start to get interesting :) so may next steps will be 1) buy resistors and get the LEDs working, and 2) start investigating the hacking options for the operating system. I already know Yocto is a way to do it, and some people are already using it. I will keep you posted ;)

Germany’s first all-women Hackathon – by Berlin Geekettes

This weekend, right after MWC13, I went to Germany’s first all-women hackathon, organized by Berlin Geekettes (in Berlin). The event was invite only, and I was one of the +100 women – yes, +100 women – who attended and spent the weekend hacking. You can see pictures summing up the event at http://bghackathon.tumblr.com/. I served as UX and designer consultant for two teams, and one of the teams came in 4th! Full details of this amazing experience bellow:

Berlin Geekettes started one year ago, founded by Jess Erickson, and in just one year managed to form a network of +400 women connected to technology, from developers, designers, to entrepreneurs and angel investors. The team was approached and invited to Google, Facebook and other companies, to present the group and talk about their experience. The main team is formed of 4 other women, including an events manager, a technical ambassador, an evangelist and an official photographer/designer. The website is http://berlingeekettes.com/, but it will be changed soon from a Tumblr based to a full CMS page.

The Hackathon was attended by more than 100 women. This is a remarkable number even for those who are active in female oriented online groups and know how many women are active but avoid regular events for a number of reasons. The absolutely majority was developers of web applications, very few C developers. I didn’t count how many ideas were pitched, but in the end 28 projects were finalized and demoed. The event was sponsored and hosted by Deutsche Telekom, which provided space, flawless internet access and technical support; SoundCloud, sponsoring meals, prizes and having engineers to support the apps development; Uber, a car service who offered every participant one free ride anywhere and anytime; plus 15 smaller sponsorships, several with onsite engineers to support the developers. Facebook wanted to be there but double booked, so they send a video message specially recorded for the event. The Hackathon ran officially for 24hs, with extra activities expanding the event to a total of 48hs.

The difference from the regular hackathon, besides being an all-women event, was the inclusion of a yoga stretching room, where a volunteer ran 10min sessions during the 24hs to help developers to take a break; real food, delicious, organic, provided by an independent chef; a crafts room, where Etsy helped developers to craft their mascot; the sponsorship of a car service company to give everyone the sense of safety and freedom to hack as long as they wanted, and 2 little kids supporting their respective moms during demo time. Besides that, was everything like any other hackathon, obsessive hackers coding away, groups collaborating, arguing, supporting each other.

Image

The projects were posted using Hacker League website, and can be seen here https://www.hackerleague.org/hackathons/berlin-geekettes-hackathon/hacks . I participated in Journey Mix, a tool for finding tracks for long activities (the idea started to be pitched with “I used to go clubbing a lot. Now I go running a lot, but I miss the DJs”); and Bikeable Sounds, basically plotting your playlist into your bike path map. Both were using SoundCloud service. Journey Mix got the 4th place, and it’s live at http://alihaberfield.com/journeymix/docs/index.html. The first prizes went to Monkey See Monkey Do (1sthttp://youtu.be/Remm9SjorfY - helping children to understand their schedule); Life in Music (2ndhttp://www.lifeinmusic.net/); and Sound Pairs (3rdhttp://www.speedspiration.com/soundpairs/index.html, another educational tool for teaching sounds to children). My other favourite idea was the Urban Sound Archive, Mood Swings, Wonder Belt and Flip It.

It was an overwhelming experience to find myself with so many female hackers, and I think we were all in this same state of wonderment. But as for reflections on the developer scene, I noted a few important insights:

-       many web developers are just doing HTML5 without any fuss about it. We just did, without calling it HTML5, most of the time it was called JavaScript/CSS programming.

-       two of the most cheered demos, that got the crowd excited, were about sensors. The Wonder Belt used tapping to play Tetris, and the LeapPlay, using the LeapMotion sensor device to play music.

-       having a common objective and appropriate tools made us all go miles this weekend. I learned tons of CSS, my colleagues learned tons about API programming, SoundCloud learned a lot about bugs in their API, and everybody went further than they imagine. I saw one of my colleagues doing this face many times during the time there http://thejoysofcode.com/post/43971443267/when-i-accidentally-fix-a-huge-bug-with-a-single-line

-       having a UX knowledge can really save tons of time from developers. I helped them to think about the objectives, similarities and differences into 3 projects thinking of merging, ending up in two different projects. Ideas about what should be shown, should be hidden, should be featured, presented and in what order helped the developers to focus and achieve a lot more than if they had to test every option.

There are some talks for expanding Berlin Geekettes, and one of the first chapters will be Munich Geekettes, supported by this happy hacker-turned-designer-over-the-weekend reporter. Now if you excuse me, I will crash again because this week was amazing, but I need to recharge.

Technical content

Para quem ainda não notou, eu não publico conteúdo técnico aqui. Antigamente ainda publicava muito raramente, mas agora que faz parte do meu trabalho, minhas publicações estão concentradas na Intel Developer Zone. Os artigos são exemplos do que ando trabalhando no momento – agora por exemplo estou começando no mundo de desenvolvimento de aplicações para Ultrabooks usando sensores. Toque, GPS, começando agora com acelerômetro, NFC, etc. Também tem algo de HTML5, o que vou expandir no futuro. Então se você quiser saber o que ando fazendo na parte técnica, ou saber mais sobre desenvolvimento para Utrabooks, pode dar uma olhada nos meus artigos e claro, visitar todo o conteúdo disponível na IDZ.

For those who haven’t noticed yet, I don’t publish technical content here. I used to do that seldom before, but now that’s is part of my job, my articles are published at the Intel Developer Zone. Those articles are samples of my work at the moment – right now for instance I’m starting on the development for Ultrabooks using sensors. Touch, GPS, now going into accelerometer, NFC, etc. There is also some content about HTML5 that I intend to expand in the near future. So, if you would like to know what I’ve been doing on the technical side, or to know more about Ultrabooks development, you can check my articles and of course, all the content available at IDZ.

Buscando argumentos contra o machismo na comunidade?

Há anos – provavelmente uma década já – falo a respeito do machismo e misoginia na comunidade. Infelizmente pouco mudou. Os episódios são frequentes, os argumentos são os mesmos. Mas a boa notícia é que hoje você já pode encontrar recursos para saber 1) como identificar e 2) como responder.

Por incrível que pareça, um dos argumentos mais usados e mais eficientes em uma discussão é acusar a vítima de ter uma reação desproporcionada, de não ter senso de humor, de que não tem nada demais. E como somos criadas – as mulheres – para sermos conciliadoras, sempre acabamos questionando se a culpa não é realmente nossa, se não entendemos errado. Dica: se você se sentiu ofendida, diminuída, atacada, a probabilidade é que foi sim intencional.

Mas o melhor mesmo é saber como responder. Saber que existem táticas milenares de desacreditar uma pessoa, de atacar ela pessoalmente, de ofender anonimamente, de dar voltas ao assunto, usar a carta da liberdade de expressão, do anti-politicamente correto(o que daria um outro post). Saber identificar e como responder é fundamental para sua sanidade mental e evitar que, como tantas outras, você acabe tão desiludida que simplesmente abandone.

Então, vamos aos recursos – todos em inglês ainda:

Geek Feminism Wiki - com 95% de probabilidade, a situação que você se encontra já foi documentada. Os argumentos utilizados, o que está implicito nestes argumentos e como desmascará-los. Ali você pode encontrar também uma linha do tempo de incidentes – e olha que nem contamos os brasileiros – mitos a respeito dos grupos feministas online e até uma cartela de bingo. Sim, bingo, porque toda vez que você ver um incidente machista, pode tirar sua cartela e começar a contar o tempo que os argumentos vão ser listados. Recursos assim possibilitam dissecar uma discussão e observar os argumentos e métodos utilizados para manter a situação como ela está, como por exemplo o mais recente incidente desta semana. Existem mais de 600 artigos sobre diversos assuntos, mas em se tratando de um post em português para a comunidade feminina brasileira, eu gostaria de particularmente apontar para este artigo. Leiam e reflitam.

Ada Initiative – Valerie Aurora e Mary Gardiner decidiram que era hora de alguem dedicar-se em tempo integral a melhorar esta situação. Elas fundaram a Ada Initiative, uma organização sem fins lucrativos que as possibilita concentrar-se nestas situações, oferecendo consultoria, treinamentos, o que aparecer. Ano passado 30 eventos implementaram a política de intolerancia ao machismo e discriminação, o que foi um tremendo avance. Para manter esta iniciativa são necessário doações e patrocinadores. As doações podem ser de qualquer quantia, e se você conhece alguem que poderia considerar um patrocinio maior, apresente esta página. Agradecemos todas :)

Existem claros muitos grupos de apoio como Linuxchix, Debian Women e outros. Mas a iniciativa prática de começarmos a documentar e ter uma participação mais ativa que reativa me parece muito eficaz. O tempo dirá…

Chegando lá

Eu tenho ouvido de vez em quando esta frase – você chegou lá. Ouvi algumas vezes na vida, mas ultimamente tem sido mais frequente, seja de um parente que me descobriu na internet ou um conhecido de muitos anos.

Eu sempre achei esta frase um pouco confusa. Lá onde? Ou melhor, aqui, e aqui é onde? Eu imagino que queiram dizer que eu cheguei a um lugar confortável, reconhecido, de sucesso. Porque onde é aqui mesmo, se nem eu sei, imagino que seja difícil imaginar para qualquer um. Quem me conheceu antes geralmente não consegue imaginar ou dimensionar minha vida agora. E quem me conhece agora não consegue imaginar ou dimensionar o que foi antes. Eu agradeço quando me falam isto, mas até pra mim é difícil olhar pra trás e ver o começo.

Mas o que eu sempre fico com vontade de dizer para estas pessoas é que na verdade, você nunca chega lá. Quando você chega lá, ao horizonte que havia visto anteriormente, já tem um outro horizonte a vista. Tem gente que nem começa a viagem, porque o horizonte está longe. Tem gente que nunca para pra contemplar a vista…

Acho que muita gente se refere ao “chegar lá” de maneira financeira. E certamente, minha vida é muito mais confortável agora. E muito mais segura, principalmente morando fora do Brasil. Mas a máxima que dinheiro não trás felicidade foi comprovado por um estudo, que tentou descobrir se as pessoas eram mais felizes sendo mais ricas que outras. E descobriram que existe um ponto onde mais dinheiro não significa mais felicidade. Até um certo ponto sim, porque a falta de dinheiro é uma causa de infelicidade. Mas o excesso dele não faz diferença. Nos EUA este valor é estimado em US$75mil ao ano. Menos que isto pode te fazer infeliz, mas depois disto sua felicidade é a mesma que quem ganha US$300mil ao ano. Simplificando o estudo, “depois que você tem dinheiro suficiente para ir no cinema e comprar pipoca sem se preocupar com a conta de água, sua felicidade entra em um platô”. Eu gosto de ganhar o suficiente para ter uma vida confortável e pensar no futuro, mas gosto muito mais de aproveitar o agora que guardar pra depois. Eu sempre pensei que quero aproveitar a vida agora, viajar, quando estou jovem e com saúde. Esta história de trabalhar demais e acumular pra depois ter que gastar com remédios nunca foi pra mim… alias, ja escrevi uma vez minha opinião sobre dinheiro aqui… http://sulamita.net/2009/03/27/da-pra-parcelar-em-um-milhao-de-vezes/

E o fato de que o mundo é redondo tem uma consequência que muita gente que “chega lá” falha em entender – você não vai estar sempre por cima. Eu vejo isto vez após vez após vez… seja alguém que ganhou uma promoção ou alguém que começou a ser reconhecido na comunidade – já que muita gente que vem a este blog vem da mesma comunidade. Parabéns se você começou a ser reconhecido e se até te convidam para palestras! Mas isto não faz de você um guru de suma sabedoria. Nem uma celebridade. Pensa – são 7 bilhoes de pessoas no mundo; cerca de 1,5 bilhão tem acesso a internet; a maioria usa open source sem saber, mas a comunidade contribuidora em si deve corresponder a que… umas 300 mil pessoas? Não faço ideia, mas você entendeu o conceito ne? Então, deste suposto numero, qual seria este número para o Brazil? Mesmo que você tenha viajado para outros países, a probabilidade é que você conheceu apenas uma pequena parte, e que foi conhecido por mais alguma parte. E você aí já se achando um Tanembaum? Um Júlio Neves? :)

Ou novos gerentes que acham que de agora em diante, são imperadores e podem fazer o que quiserem. Ou que não devem mais ‘se misturar’. E descarregam todas suas frustrações e complexos nos subordinados. Novamente, o mundo gira… e pessoas que antes tinham uma divisão de várias dezenas de pessoas podem virar “contribuidores individuais”, como chamam. E os antigos subordinados podem agora estar em posições de poder, posições que poderiam ajudar… ou repetir o mesmo padrão.

Você sempre vai estar por baixo em algum momento no futuro, e eu acredito que aí vão te cobrar o que você fez quando estava por cima. Ter noção do sucesso trazido pelos seus esforços e trabalho são ótimos. Saber se defender da inveja alheia é necessário. Mas também manter em vista o seu real tamanho no mundo ajuda a não deixar isto “subir a cabeça”. E é isso que eu gostaria de encontrar uma maneira simples de demonstrar para todo mundo, mas sempre vai ter alguém achando que é o Escolhido… aí só resta ter paciência e esperar o mundo girar novamente…

E quanto a mim, é uma sensação boa olhar para trás e não ver o começo. Mas olho pra frente e ainda não vejo o final, o que é ainda mais emocionante :)