Software Developers Journey Podcast

#149 Leticia Portella started with MATHLABianesque Python


⚠ The following transcript was automatically generated.
❤ Help us out, Submit a pull-request to correct potential mistakes

Leticia Portella 0:00
A lot of people and I see that especially with developers, software engineers, people forget a lot. So they Google a lot. I hate not finding something that I loved or that it helped me. So what I do is I create my go backs. So I have cheat sheets, lists and links and like everything that I know that I might be useful one day, for example, like I have a cheat sheet of get pandas things that it helps me study, but I know that eventually, I'm not going to remember and I will hate, like, try to Google for something and then not finding it, you know, so I prefer to keep it in some place that I it's my external brain.

Tim Bourguignon 0:58
Hello, and welcome to developer's journey, the podcast bringing you the making off stories of successful software developers to help you on your upcoming journey. My name is Tim Bourguignon, and on this episode 149, I receive Leticia Portela. Leticia first studied or scenography. But with the help of the Python community, she made a bold career pivot and became a software engineer. She currently works for stripe, but as a pretty active community life as well. She's a frequent blogger, a contributor to Jupiter hub. She organizes many events in Brazil. And she used to be the director of the Python Brazil Association. And last but not least, she is the fellow podcaster. She's the host of pizza datos. I hope that's how you say it, which is pretty much data pizza, I want to wet the stories behind the first and most beloved Brazilian podcasts on data science. Leticia, welcome to dev journey.

Leticia Portella 1:57
Hi to you. Thank you for having me here.

Tim Bourguignon 2:00
It's my pleasure. My pleasure. So Leticia, the show exists to help listeners understand what your story look like, and imagine how to shape their own future. So as always, let's go back to your beginnings. Where would you place the start of your tech or your developer's journey?

Speaker 1 2:17
I think it would be in my high school. I had to choose a profession to follow up in university. I was talking with my parents, and I was thinking about doing like biological sciences. So the study of biological beings. And my mom was like, trying to find a profession that wouldn't be too filled up. So like areas that would grow and explore. And she introduced me to oceanography. She had a friend who was an oceanographer. And she was like, Look, this is a new profession, like environmental sciences are booming up. I think it's an interesting career. And I decided to give it a try. oceanography is beautiful, is a multidisciplinary field. So you can basically study anything from like, management and coastal areas to physics and mathematics to chemistry, through biology. Funny story, I hated biology in college. Thank God, he didn't do that. I fell in love with programming. I'm sorry, with calculus and physics and mathematics. And well, from there, I started I got an internship on local observatory, and then started to do some data analysis using MATLAB. So for those who don't know, MATLAB is paid Sacher used for matrix and vector calculus. So it's a very, it's a programming language. But is it it was a paid softer and very straightforward for matrix and vector analysis. Then eventually, I fell into an internship in the Brazilian Navy, in an Institute of Research. And there, I met some really amazing people that asked me like, why are you studying MATLAB? And I said, like, because that's what I know. And they're like, oh, but Python is free. Python is more powerful, you can do more things. Like forgetting that, like, it's paid is expensive, like don't do this. And they started to do like this. Challenges, you know, so Oh, how how would you do that in like two lines of code, and I would go to my house and like, Okay, I'm gonna try this. So I fell in Python. And then I became addicted to programming and it started studying computer science by myself never as a as something that I thought it could change careers, you know, like, but basically, I just fell in love. I was like, I want to, I want to know everything I can know about this. Eventually I got a job in engineering consultancy firm and in this engineering firm, we we use a lot of MATLAB as well. We also use the software for spatial analysis called ArcGIS. So basically, I worked with maneuverability of ships. So we had a simulator, and there was a pilot that would drive the ship. And we would create the environmental conditions for the simulator to be accurate. So the tides, waves, winds, etc. And after the pilot, pilot the ship, and made the maneuver, etc, we would export all this data into vectorial spatial information and do some maps. So other pilots and other people could evaluate the maneuver. And that was a very tedious job, it will take me like four days to do like 30 maps or something, we had satellite images, very boring, like a very heavy, so the software would freeze a lot and break and they would have to redo a lot of things. And then I forgot, I don't know, the title change because the number of the maneuver, you know, like the very perfect job for automation. And then they discovered that ArcGIS was programmable in Python. I was like, Oh, this is cool. And my manager at the time had some vacation life. So and I had just started the job. So I was like, What am I going to do? I didn't have my studio. So I decided to automatize that. And that was my my first ever useful programming. It was so powerful, so amazing.

Tim Bourguignon 6:26
But it's cool. It's really cool. When you when you see it running, and you say okay, now now I can sit back and relax. It's working.

Speaker 1 6:34
It went from four days to 15 minutes. How could you not love that?

Tim Bourguignon 6:39
How long have you take to it?

Speaker 1 6:40
I think it took a month or something. Yeah, that's pretty good. But you have to so this was like a four hours a day. And then like it was my first ever scared. So yeah, I would say like half a month full time.

Tim Bourguignon 6:55
That's a very good full four hours a week of work, then not four days of work, then in a couple of weeks. It's not it's back in the in budgets. Really cool.

Unknown Speaker 7:05
Yeah, it was awesome.

Tim Bourguignon 7:07
The first question I have is, you went from MATLAB to Python. And then somehow, MATLAB still still was in your life for a while? How did this Python learning influence the way you saw or use Matlab? While you were doing both in parallel?

Speaker 1 7:24
Not Not much, actually. So the thing is, when you write MATLAB or Python scripts, the way I used to in, like, for academic or small things, is that your code is pretty bad. And basically, the thing was, I didn't know anything about code styles, like good variable names, my variables name was, oh my god, I can't even deal with that. So basically, my Python was a version of MATLAB. So for example, one of the first things you learn in MATLAB is use eval, which is basically you take a string, and you make it run, right, like you, you make that string, a command that's going to be interpreted. And I did that in Python, like a lot. So the first time I showed the script to someone, and they saw an eval with the all the powerful that Python has, right, like, you can change your computer with that. They were like, oh, no, no, no, no, no, no. Please don't do that. So actually was the other way around my pipe. My my Python scripts were very natural Abyan mistakes. Okay, completely influenced by that. And by academia, right? Where you don't have you don't learn, especially not in computer science. You don't learn about tests, variable names, code quality whatsoever.

Tim Bourguignon 8:45
Did you stumble on your old old MATLAB code or your old Python code you wrote in the beginning?

Speaker 1 8:51
So if you ever go to my GitHub, I think he last year I uploaded the like, the first bigger code that he did, which was like this tool for calculating ship sizes based on some tables. And that was my good code. So was it a little bit better? But no, I don't have the old ones.

Tim Bourguignon 9:14
You can keep it for yourself. But I found some I wrote something 20 years ago, oh, boy.

Speaker 1 9:23
Well, sometimes even less months go is awful. So you can imagine 10 years ago,

Tim Bourguignon 9:29
that is true as well. The decoder decoder road 10 A month ago, I kind of know what I was doing maybe was crappy, but I know why it was crappy. back then. I have no idea what that I didn't have any idea. I was just using some concepts and didn't know better. Just when you look at this and know what I know. Now I said wow, like evolves that is exactly. Did you steer away from oceanography or did you remain you mentioned Were in the in the Navy, or working for Lyman Navy. And really, that was still one foot in oceanography and starting this career as a as a software engineer, when when they do is to diverge.

Speaker 1 10:11
Yeah. So up to this point in the story. Programming was a passion was something that I love doing I love studying, but never something that I thought it would be a path. I went to the Navy for a year it was an internship. Then I came back to my college, I finished my college got a job in this consultant tech engineering company. And then I looked around I was like, Okay, what do I do next? And I realized that everyone in oceanography and in that company was had a master's degree, a master's degree in Brazil is kind of different from the European it's, it's a different type. It's it's much more closer to a doctorate, I would say. It's very intense. And I was like, Okay, so I'm in a moment of my life where I can, like, do this intense, two year master's in oceanography and study. At the time, I wanted to study something like really applicate. And I went to like numerical modeling, fluids dynamic, this kind of area. I was like, Okay, great. So I got into the Masters, this is my next step. It's very clear. Then, as I said, I went to numerical modeling and foods dynamic, which is basically programming again. So I would analyze data, pre processed data, then rent it to an American numerical modeling simulator, and then like, post processed the data, like all of these things, and I Okay, now I'm going to do everything with Linux and everything with Python. And that's it like, this is going to be my, like, the gold years, you know, I'm going to learn everything that I need to learn in my programming will be great, etc. But in the meantime, in the middle of my master's, like, I think was yet on my first year, the Python community in my city decided to have like, there was no Python community, then they decided to have their first meeting. And I was like, I think I'm gonna go, and I did. Well, you can imagine how interesting that was, I got there. We had like, 20, guys, and meet. And I was like, and everybody's like, Oh, I'm a developer at this company. I'm an engineer on that company. And I'm like, Hi. I'm not a programmer. I did what I did here. I just did this, this and that. And the guys were like, No, you're a programmer. Don't worry about that, like come, you're a programmer, a GUI programmer. I was like, okay. Then I went to the talks. And all of the talks were about web development, which was at that point, a completely, like, black box, like another universe. And I was sitting there looking at this talks, and I'm like, Oh, my God, what am I doing here? Like, why am I here? These guys are tricking me. Like they're saying, I'm a programmer. And I clearly am not, because I can't understand a single word or of what this guys are saying. And I sat in a corner that I couldn't really escape from it. So I spent like four hours there. You know, trying to survive. And I left and I was like, I'm never coming back. This is not for me. This guy's this guy's were clearly like messing with me. And I decided not to come back. And what happened was like, another meetup happen, I didn't go, no women went, and then another, no women and another. And then one guy, who is now my dearest friend saw that, right like that. That lady didn't come back. So he went to this other guy, he asked him, okay, can you do a talk on NumPy, which is numerical Python, which is, is the Python equivalent of the MATLAB functions that I used to use. And they invited this other guy to give a talk. And then I started receiving a lot of messages in my, I don't know, some social network at the time. Hey, the next talk is going to be like about NumPy is something that you work with, could you come like, I think it's going to be really interesting. So there, were generally worried that I should come back, and I decided to see the talk, right? Like, okay, I'm gonna try and I got there. And this bunch of people came straight to me and like, Hey, how are you? We missed you and like, here, you have to understand that like, the the web development like you don't worry about that. Like, let's focus on what you know, let's start a pilot ladies and teach women here and let's find other women, and they were so worried of making me feel wanted and like, you know, like that I was that I belonged there. There was like, okay, so I think I found a good place. You know, like, I think I found a nice community. So we started the pie ladies in that city. We started organizing PyCon, Brazil, that was going to happen in that city as well. Then I met like so many people was like I did didn't miss any meetups anymore. And then one day was like, Okay, everybody kept asking me like, Okay, but what do you do in your in oceanography? Like how do you use programming to oceanography and like, Okay, I'm gonna give a lightning talk. And then I gave a five minute like lightning talk about my work. And everybody was like me on the first thing. They were like, Oh, my God, like, I have no idea what you're talking about. That sounds amazing. And lucky me there was a project manager on that meetup. I think it was the first meetup that we had more women rather than me. And this program manager was there. And she saw my talk. And she's like, come talk to me, I have a job. And I'm like, I don't know anything. It's just like walked. What you do is much more complex than what we do. Don't worry, come and she offered me a job.

Tim Bourguignon 15:49
My job is just on the floor. This is what community should be. This is exactly. If somebody asked me, what do you find in community what is good, etc. I'll just cut out your second, your five minutes and just send them that is so cool. That was really really cool. Like

Speaker 1 16:09
that one tiny thing changed my life. Like everything that I have. Everything my life, my job, even my partner. Like everything came from the decision of a couple of guys on making me feel wanted in a community. It's like they it really changed my life.

Tim Bourguignon 16:27
I hope they know that. And they know

Unknown Speaker 16:30
they're all my like, dear dear friend now.

Tim Bourguignon 16:35
So cool. Now I understand why you why you became involved in older communities as well. When you have this example to lead you then you cannot say no. Daddy, so cool. That is so cool. So this new job of yours, you finally stepped into into web opens? Or did you continue doing NumPy stuff?

Speaker 1 16:56
No, it was full web development. I had no idea what I was doing. I didn't know what API was. It was it was temporary. I only worked there for four months. It didn't really click with me. I soon after got a new job also on web development, or with Buyten and am no NumPy like I did a couple of analyses and like a lot of things for me and studies for me, but I never, never worked professionally anymore with NumPy unfortunately, do you miss it a lot? I love

Tim Bourguignon 17:33
Why aren't you more of a data engineer data scientist, I mean, that that's maybe the story of your podcast. But

Speaker 1 17:39
yeah, so in Brazil, everybody knew will be because like in the Python community near me because of my story. And then like my involvement in PI ladies, the Brazilian Association etc. And it was like leaning towards going to a data science job. I think it's, it was more like me. But then when I moved to Dublin, I started applying for data jobs. And as I said, the Masters in Brazil is quite different from what we have here. So my between graduation and masters I had like eight years of education. While a person here in Dublin, I think it like with four years they can leave college with like a bachelor's and a master's. So I didn't find the the the jobs that I wanted or with the salaries that I wanted with the level of study and time that I had. So I was like and it was my first time here it was I didn't know anyone it's really hard to enter a market when you don't know anyone and you don't have a traditional background companies, especially like recruiting software, they just throw your resume away like they are not going to even look twice at with software engineering, it was a little bit better. And for stripe in particular, I met someone amazing engineer, and she referred me so I had also like this this help of like putting my resume on the top of like, Hey, can you please look at her twice? Like I'm not asking for much. And so and I eventually find a great place to work so I decided okay, I'm not I'm not going to go back for data analysis for now, for now.

Tim Bourguignon 19:19
We may we may see something

Speaker 1 19:20
my heart is with ADA I can I can let Python data and I can like the

Tim Bourguignon 19:25
human live simulation. So in my mind, I associate data more to making sense of data and simulating for me is more generating data to to confirm or earn from some theory or some some model that you have, which can maybe the both sides of the same coin. I don't know. But I see data science more on a different a different path than simulation. It is

Speaker 1 19:49
different, completely wrong with it. No, no, you're right. It is different. What happens is that numerical simulations, especially in oceanography, if you go on Within NOAA, which is the NASA equivalent for oceanography, the amount of data that an American simulation generates, it's ridiculous. Like, it's it's so much data. So the simulation itself, it's not similar to data science, but the postprocessing. It's, it's data analysis. So for example, one thing that we did is that someone was building a port, right? So the engineers have to calculate, okay, what are the biggest waves that my port has are going to face, which are like the sea level high rice, like what is going to happen on the sport, so I can put on all the concrete and all the strength for it to survive X ears. So while we do, we could make our analysis, which is the probability like wishes that the most likely wave, the highest wave, so hard to say, in English, I'm sorry, the highest wave that has a probability to occur in the next 100 years. So we could do this. And then we could pass the data to the engineers that would then calculate all the structures to face this kind of environmental threat. And the same is valid, not only with that, but we would do analysis, for example, you have a ship, you have a port, and then you tie your ship to a port. And then you have to see if the the forces that the wave causes in the ship that causes in the rope that causes in the port, will you know, so there's a lot of analysis on that. So the numerical simulation itself, it's just a tiny part of the job.

Tim Bourguignon 21:46
So when you say simulation, it's actually the superset it's it's the whole simulating and then analyzing, making sense and maybe feeding back into the simulation and starting over, etc. So outside, so bigger termo of exactly whole this. So you've been doing that as the whole time. I didn't know. I'm sure you do. It's probably your your, your imposter syndrome, speaking again, say no, I don't know this, but you've been doing it the whole time. From my perspective, at least.

Speaker 1 22:15
It's been so long. At this point, I already forgot everything.

Tim Bourguignon 22:20
Did you still touch my lab? Or? Oh, no, no, no. If I do have to do something, I would go to Python. I understand that I had some MATLAB in in school as well. And I just hated it. That was just not my thing. Because I was programming before and MATLAB didn't feel like programming. It felt like something else. And I remember the variable Oh God, x1 and x2.

Leticia Portella 23:31
But still better than mine.

Tim Bourguignon 23:33
Okay. Take your word for it. Are you exclusively working with with pipe? Or do you? Did you make some JavaScript in there? Do you make some some right now? Along your along the way?

Speaker 1 23:46
Yeah. So in stripe, we use Ruby and JavaScript for front end. And I flirted with Scala, especially because if you want to go to data on like, big datasets, I think Scala is the tool like Python does get is getting more and more traction there. But Scala still has a lot of adoption in big data, this kind of things.

Tim Bourguignon 24:10
And how did you approach those languages learning two languages from coming from from a MATLAB slash Biden background and getting into I guess Ruby was maybe not necessarily too too different. But JavaScript since it's a bit different if it starts being different, and Scala definitely.

Speaker 1 24:30
So I never stopped to study JavaScript, which is something that I am planning to change. So JavaScript I learned through pain and a lot of feedback from my friends.

Tim Bourguignon 24:44
Driven Development haven't heard it before. Yeah,

Speaker 1 24:47
exactly. So Scala decided to take like a traditional approach and here I'm gonna give my probably a spoiler on my advice. I what I did was I created A series of blog posts that I, every time that I sit down to lose 30 scholar, or in a couple of times, I would write the things that I've learned in blog posts as a way of sediment and organize my studies. So basically, my first calibos was just about why I decided to learn Scala and which books and videos and things I would use, because, for example, Scala is a complicated language because it has a lot of mix with Java. So like the vast majority of books, assume that you know, Java, and you're learning Scala. And as someone that don't know, Java, and I'm not planning on, if you go to a book, and they say, Oh, this is like that in in Java, that makes absolutely no sense to me. And it just gets me frustrated. So the first thing was trying to find the right materials for me, and the things that would help me study in a way that I wouldn't feel like, okay, so now I had to learn Java to learn Scala, this doesn't make sense. So, yeah, I did like that.

Tim Bourguignon 26:12
Okay. Was it deliberate? I mean, yes, it was, but did you decide, okay, I'm gonna work in the open like this to make it I don't know, to to to put pressure on yourself, or to help others? Why did you want to do this this way?

Speaker 1 26:27
pressure on myself always right. No, actually, I think I always learn better when I write about the things that I'm learning. So there's a two components there like one is I really like writing. And I really like sharing the things that I've learned. And second, it makes me study better. So it happened a long time. So I'm setting something. And then I decided to write a blog post about this. And then while I'm writing it, I realized that to make the blog post makes sense, I actually need to study more this and that. And that, you know, so writing blog posts, while I'm studying makes me study better. So it's not something like, Oh, I'm going to force myself on doing that. It's just like, if I do this, I know, I'm gonna find gaps that I wouldn't if I just like, Okay, I'll do this. And that's fine. You know. And what I what I think is important as well is a lot of people and I see that especially with developers, software engineers call whatever people forget a lot. So the Google a lot, right? I hate not finding something that I loved, or that helped me. So what I do is I create my go backs. So I have cheat sheets, and lists and links and like everything that I know that I might be useful one day, I go back. So for example, like I have a cheat sheet of get a cheat sheet of pandas a sheet of like things that I know that it helps me study. But I know that eventually, I'm not going to remember and I will hate, like, try to Google for something and then not finding it, you know, so I prefer to keep it in someplace that I, it's my external brain.

Tim Bourguignon 28:24
And there's nothing better than searching for something and finding your own blog post writing about that. It's just wow.

Speaker 1 28:33
I always think that the search engine is biased, but it's amazing.

Tim Bourguignon 28:40
I had this this a couple weeks ago, a colleague of mine asked me to find advice. And engine then just wrote it, just don't send me a blog post of yours. At the same time, I was pressing enter with a blog post that I just wrote a couple years ago. And he was so mad, he was just so mad. I'm asking this question as not having Jake perform is a big win for me. I can understand the feeling and in this idea, I call it from an STS perspective, the StackOverflow effect the community on StackOverflow is, in my opinion, so poisonous, that if you don't have to perfect question, you will get just unbearable answers. And so I tend to when I ask a question on Stack Overflow, really refine the question again and again and again for for a long time before I posted to really know okay, this is the perfect question. I'm going to get answers that that are going to be useful. And 50% of the time, I don't get to ask him the question, because along the way, I found the answer by rephrasing it and trying to make sense of what I'm trying to relay to say. And, and at some point, realizing, oh, that's the answer. That was easy. That's interesting. But then you have to post it anyway and answer but don't do it all the time. So Did you have some particular partners in crime while you were learning some people you could bounce ideas off and really try to maybe get, get a different opinion on what you were doing, maybe get get some Some, somebody's taking you out of the local maximum, you were in and say, Hey, have you looked at this? Whoo, this is something entirely new. And now you're up on on a different tangent?

Speaker 1 30:25
Yes. So these friends that I, I told about the first meetup, they became a lot of people that I often consult. So I have a really close group of friends that often when I find myself in a, in a more complicated situation, I go for them. I have my my female friends, that also is also awesome to consult in, get opinions that are most more different, and especially career wise. But yeah, I have a lot of friends that I relate. And I had, I was lucky in several places, a find good mentors, people that really cared about me and teach me even more than the deliverables. So my first, the first big job that I got, if I would write some code, and they asked me, why did you do that? Do you understand what you did? And I didn't say yes, and explained, they would stop everything, and go to a whiteboard, and clearly explain what was going on. And that happened a lot of times. So like, I was lucky in several ways that I found people that were actually, I think the word is patient, and lovable, you know, like they, they never made me feel that I was less because they didn't know that,

Tim Bourguignon 31:47
that makes a lot of sense. I've read before in a in a mentoring book, that a great mentor, somebody who sees you for what you could be. That's that's why it's so lovable, because they are not seeing you as the annoying person you are right now they can see you as the glorious person you could be in 15 years if you're given the right tools, and then they have a place a place for a role to play right now helping you get there. I really love this, this idea of of seeing this. It's beautiful.

Speaker 1 32:16
And in return as a mentee, you have to learn how to annoy people, without them hating you. This is a super skill for anyone who's beginning. I rotate people that I ask. So they I don't ask everyone like the same person over and over and over again. But this is a super skill, annoy people to a point where they help you but they don't hate you.

Tim Bourguignon 32:44
And then play them against one another and say, Oh, but but the other one said something different.

Speaker 1 32:50
Oh, no, I asked different questions to different people. I just tried to Round Round Robin, like questions.

Tim Bourguignon 33:02
Did you did you find your mentors? Or did they find you?

Speaker 1 33:05
They found me. They found me. A lot of people became mentors, because of my story. I think like, I was lucky enough that every time someone heard my story and the problems that I've been through, like the courage, the courage dives that I had to go through. And they they hear about, like my story with the path and community, they eventually become my mentors without me realizing without them realizing. I think now now more and more with like the internet and online courses, it's becoming more common for people to switch careers, or at least more known that they're switching careers. But at the time, it was like something very different, especially in Brazil. And so I think they found me, and I'm so lucky. I was very lucky. I can say anything else.

Tim Bourguignon 33:58
At which point did you start calling them mentors?

Speaker 1 34:00
I don't think I ever did. To be honest. And this is something I don't know, on the Sheryl Sandberg book. I don't know if you read it, the leaning. It's like the the Bible for women that work are one of the Bibles for women at work. One thing that she says that's really complicated for women is that we're often asking for a mentor, while males, men usually just ask for people in career and advice without like labeling the mentor role. And one thing that happens is that when you label someone as a mentor, you might be putting some pressure on them for and they might feel that they should behave in a way or give you this amount of attention or that and so I never labeled anyone as like my mentor, but I have people that their advice As your guidance is amazing, and I would always go back to them to ask them questions, but I never said to them, you are a mentor to me, I just said, I love to talk to you, or I would love to have your opinion on. And I think I follow a little bit of like Cheryl's advice on this one, like, I'm never labeling, but I have a bunch of them,

Tim Bourguignon 35:20
I totally understand what you mean, I like to, to compare it with the dating analogy. When you start dating someone, you don't label it as, as a relationship, right? That right there, or you don't label it as something that could become a serious relationship, you start building trust, you start building a connection on the topics you both like, and and if you have a connection there chemistry, then it goes further. And you go deeper into more topics, etc. And those topics are what is driving the relationship, the beginning and at some point, maybe you will put a label on on it. But that's that's a different story that has nothing to do with relationship. But you don't need the label to start this discussion. And as that's why I advise people is really don't put a label on it, you don't need the label, you just start talking with people. And from the mentor perspective, try to keep discussion open, try to keep people coming back. And that's it.

Speaker 1 36:18
And also, like when you label you might also restrain yourself in terms of like, oh, I have a mentor. So I'm good. But what happens is that different people have different abilities. So I might have a mentor that helps me with my career, there might be a mentor, that helps me with my technical side, there might be a mentor who could help me with my overall insecurities. You know, like, I, they're all mentors, but they don't have to be the same person. And so also labeling you might be restricting yourself in and finding your comfort zone that might not be as good as like finding several people. And each one will help you in a different way.

Tim Bourguignon 36:59
That is very true. Obviously thinking about this one as well. Do you have then people that you don't call mentees in your in your vicinity?

Speaker 1 37:10
I think so, I would like to think so I think as as similar, I think of how you helped people and pointed out in one direction or another. But as some of my people that I say, Oh, I'm so thankful for all the things you've done to me and they say I didn't do anything. When they thanked me, oh, thank you so much for this, I always say I didn't do anything. So I think it's a cycle.

Tim Bourguignon 37:39
I have you tried to do it on purpose, not just somebody coming to you and you not having the impression you're doing anything special. But really trying to single someone out someone and say, hey, this person has so much potential. Let me try and see if I can I can be a partner in crime and really be there for them for a while and see how that's that that helps them evolve.

Speaker 1 38:05
I formed a group with four women less less here, or would give them one hour every week we would discuss some topics, etc. I find that harder because everyone have their own momentum. And so sometimes I would propose an activity and like life gets in the way, right? And then one would do and the other would, and then it becomes harder for you to give all your attention and everything you can you know, so I try that. Not I think it worked for, for the community we created in the friendships that we made and like the empowerment, but not in terms of like, but again, it depends on what you call a mentorship. This was like a coding specific let's go together for x times a week, x times a month in terms of like mentorship, and guidance in terms of like career and this kind of things. I do have one, one, especially person coming in mind. And it's like, yes, my mentee and I will cherish her forever.

Tim Bourguignon 39:15
This is very cool. So So where's your future going? Oh, where are you going? In your future? Data science. But But what else?

Speaker 1 39:25
Oh, that's so hard. Well, for now just survive a little bit. I'm really enjoying what I'm doing at stripe. I love my team in particular. And to be honest, I'm in the moment of my career, where the learnings and the team that I'm on is more important than necessarily the type of challenges that I have. So I'm focusing right now in getting technical skills, learning how to build good products, good things, good API's and and making sure it all like comes together. And then when I feel that I have like confidence in terms of like, I think I now am in a comfortable position, then I can start thinking of new new challenges. I'm not there yet.

Tim Bourguignon 40:17
First get comfortable with Karla.

Unknown Speaker 40:20
Oh, no, I'm, for me right now.

Tim Bourguignon 40:24
Have you considered going to our I mean, oh, no. You seen the signs all the time?

Speaker 1 40:29
Yeah. I know a lot of people love our etc. I think it's powerful. It has its advantages. I had a really bad experience in college. And today, you can choose between Python and R. And they both will work great. But since I have five and like, I wouldn't switch.

Tim Bourguignon 40:49
Yeah, good that check mark? Well, we're still in the languages. How are you in the year on the Python versus this? Is Ruby on your day to day? Are you still mixing stinking up being being annoyed by the way you syntax? And then the way you're thinking of both? Because they're, they're very similar, but very different at the same time?

Speaker 1 41:09
Yeah, I think my, I think I'm becoming more of a robust, although I think my code is still a lot like Titanic, and much more than anything else. I don't think I've ever with Ruby, because it was so close to, to Python, I never actually like sat down and like, I'm going to learn this language. And I'm going to learn the best practice. And the best way of doing this. I'm just like, Okay, I'm gonna do this as a Python and maybe someone will bug me and ask me to do differently.

Tim Bourguignon 41:41
I really love old languages. And I'm, I'm really loving Python as well. And when I write some Ruby, I really have the feeling that something is not right, that I'm not using Ruby the way it should be. So it's, it's speaking Ruby with a very strong Python accent. So it just doesn't work. And when I read code, which was written by true Rubis, it really feels natural. It feels like something that makes sense. It's a whole it's, it's harmonious. At the end, it works. And mine does. map doesn't doesn't sit well, but can move when it doesn't work. Yeah.

Speaker 1 42:23
I don't know. I think I've been writing Ruby for so long at this point that I might be writing Ruby code. And I don't know, like, I don't know. We've been in helm for a year writing Ruby, I might be a reverse at this point.

Tim Bourguignon 42:39
You'll figure out when you come out of your house, your cave after Yeah. I'm a I'm a Ruby is now. Coming. Okay. What will be the one advice that people should hear?

Speaker 1 42:52
Oh, my God, learn how to learn. I think that's the most important skill ever. I think everything else is transient. The technologies that we have today, most of them weren't even think about a thought about five years ago, I think the only constants is that things are going to change. And if things are going to change, you have to learn the way you learn best, because we will always need to learn something. So for me, I know that I need to write things down. So I need to actually sometimes even in pencil, and pencil and paper, you know, like, I need to go and write it down and write it down and write about it. And then I know I'm going to eventually get it in my head. But some people is listening, some people is watching some people is I don't know, something else. I think that that is like the major skill. And I think that is valid to any profession. I don't think it's only with software developers. But if you are a software developer, and you are learning to learn, I would also recommend writing a blog. It's very easy to have one. You don't have to even put your photo there if you don't want to is like a very even a very, very shy person can do a blog. And it's always good to have something to show

Tim Bourguignon 44:10
and it is thank you very much. Very good advice. That's really, really cool. Okay, where could people find you online if they wanted to, to get in touch start talking about Ruby versus Python? And what is better and

Speaker 1 44:21
Oh, no. I don't have the answer. I have a blog. My blog is I think the main go to is L E S Leticia Portello with two L's dot com. So if you go there, you can find me on Twitter, and GitHub and some other places, I think, and you can even send me an email. I still receive emails. Yeah, you can find me there and maybe read something if you're interested.

Tim Bourguignon 44:54
And he wants to see you. In real life when COVID ends you're you're in Dublin right um

Speaker 1 45:00
In Dublin, yes. Era, Python was supposed to be here last year. And this year is going to be online as well. So maybe we're a Python next year PyCon us for sure. I'm gonna go there and see everyone Duly noted.

Tim Bourguignon 45:13
Anything special you want to plug in before we call it today.

Speaker 1 45:16
I'm really I'm really happy to be here. It's always interesting to tell my story. And I like I've, I've told it so many times that at one point it gets, it seems to normal for people to be interested. So it's always interesting when someone says, oh, this is nice. i It feels like I'm going back to the beginning of my career.

Tim Bourguignon 45:36
That is very cool. That's the pistol, the best compliment ever. That was really cool. That was very nice. Thank you very much. Thank you. And this has been another episode of Deborah's journey. We see each other next week. Bye, bye. Okay, I have one thought, community community community, the power of communities will never cease to amaze me. I love how those men realize that they didn't manage to make her feel welcome. And they had to go back to the drawing board. I love how they created the conditions for that and reach out to her. And finally, I love how they helped her become a creating force for their pilot community. Those stories that are really so inspiring. I mean, all I'd love to hear more about your thoughts listening to Leticia story. You can reach me on Twitter, I'm at @timothep, you can reach me by email at [email protected]. Or use the comments section on our website at devjourney.info. The one quote that it's still smile about is when Leticia spoke about her first Python scripts. She said at first my Python scripts were very MATLAB Yun esque. First of all, I loved the word MATLAB umask. I'm going to reuse that. But also, I love her who cares attitude. She she gave me the same feeling when she spoke about her Ruby skills. She said something along the lines of I quote as best as I can. And people will tell me that's not alright. That is in fact, exactly how I learned the German language. And that is exactly how I wish we would behave with colleagues. So now, you're up. Did you like this episode? We did the best we could. And if that's not a right, I would love to hear that. And if it was alright, how about leaving last review on Apple podcast or any other platform? Just do this. Thank you