A Little Bit About Me

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My name is Pablo de Souza, I’m 37 years old and I consider myself  very lucky. I was born to a middle-class family in Brazil with enough health, resources and education to live a comfortable life. Even though I lived life on my terms, having a lot of fun and never having any major problems, I feel like at this point there’s something missing. I could write many paragraphs of self-psychoanalysis to try and find the reasons for my current restlessness, but I just feel I have the capacity to tailor the rest of my existence on earth in a better way than I’ve done so far. 

I have a reasonably well-paid dance teacher job. I love what I do and my annual income puts me amongst the top 2% better paid people on earth. No, that doesn’t mean I’m rich. You don’t need to earn a lot in a first world country to be top 1%. But I can’t see myself as a dance teacher at 50. I definitely want to keep dancing, but I don’t want to rely on my body to earn a living in an industry that values youthfulness and fitness. Hence the need for a career change.

Five years ago I migrated to Australia and I’m about a year away from getting a permanent visa, which would allow me the right to study affordably in this beautiful country. The perspective of going back to university made me think deeply about my possibilities and I had my mind set in the health industry (my father is a doctor, my mother a nurse and I have a degree in Sports Science) . The problem is that working in healthcare means I’m stuck geographically in 99% of the jobs and I can’t stand the idea of not doing a bunch of traveling before I go to the grave.

Search engines algorithms must have picked up what I needed and presented me with ads for computer programming schools. I did some reading about it and found it appealing. Especially the possibility of self-teaching. Being a doctor or a nurse requires knowledge and qualifications you can only get with formal education. The fact that I could sit all day in front of a computer and learn all I need by myself was very attractive. I envisioned the good old American style self-made man story starting to materialize. 

However, down deep I know that the person I need to become to get there doesn’t exist yet. But that person is very attractive to me. I want to become that guy. Driven, focused, curious, disciplined and organized. I think these characteristics summon what I need to be to achieve the goal of becoming a programmer. Right now If I had to give scores from 0 to 5 to myself in each of those attributes I’d say I’m very curious (5), but I’m lacking all of the rest: not disciplined enough (2), not driven enough (2), not focused enough (2), and dismally disorganized (probably a zero).

That’s why I’m calling this blog “Shut up and Code”. I’ve read, researched and talked a lot about the subject since I made the decision to learn to code a couple of months ago, but I haven’t spent many hours actually coding. I do value reads that will improve me as a human and give me the big picture of the programming world, but the fact is that I have to make up for starting late and put in the hours. I have to attack this aggressively or I will fail. This is, by miles, beyond anything I’ve ever accomplished in life and the person I currently am doesn’t stand a chance.

Right now this blog is for me only. I do want it to tell a successful story of a 37-year-old that against all odds was able to better himself and change careers and hopefully inspire and help people in the future. But at this stage I want to use this space to clarify my ideas, keep me centered, focused and, above all, maintain discipline. I’ve started many blogs and failed to be consistent every single time. This has to change. Now. I’m running out of time. The grave is growing closer.

2024 Commentary

Wow! So interesting to read this five years later! I hope my English is better now 😂. So boring! Well, it looks like I failed again in maintaining a blog but I’m glad I was able to make it into the industry. I can’t ignore how lucky I was with the timing! If I had started a couple of years later or now I’d have struggled big time with the state of the industry. Can’t wait to unearth more of these legacy posts!

Also, I’m not sure I’ve mentioned this in other posts, but at the time I started writing this blog, I read a fantastic book for folks trying to teach themselves anything: The Art Of Learning, by Josh Waitzkin.

Not only he was a chess grand-master, but a pushing-hands (competitive tai-chi) champion. The story of how he migrated from one to the other is absolutely fascinating. It was a key factor in my journey to become a developer. Even if you don’t get the book, you need to check this guy out. Here’s the podcast where I first learned about him:

2029 Commentary

I leave this paragraph as a placeholder. I hope I’m a senior dev. I hope I’m not unemployed. 😂