Yin meets yang
Blog Authors: Valerie Skinner 060000VKGS is part of the IBM developerWorks team, getting to know the real developers who make up the My developerWorks community and exploring the world of social networking. I'm enjoying learning what makes developers tick! I'm very interested in exploring online communities and social media and understanding real world application - how they can help people solve problems and work together.
vskinner 060000VKGS Tags:  students academic_iniative brazil java pt-br ai mydw my_developerworks interview 4 Comments 8,441 Visits
This week get to know Loiane Groner, a member of My developerWorks from Brazil who is sharing what she knows about Java and reaching out through the IBM Academic Initiative. (And if you haven't already heard, developerWorks is now in Brazilian Portuguese - check out the new site!) Learn more about Loiane in the interview below and find her in these places:
My developerWorks profile
Portuguese-Brazilian blog, English blog, and My developerworks blog
Java User Groups where Loiane is coordinator/leader: ESJUG and CampinasJUG
Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
Well, I'm Brazilian, 23 years old; I have bachelor degree in Computer Science, 4 years of experience in design and development of Java applications. Currently, I'm working at IBM Brazil as Systems Analyst/Java Developer in an international project (health care customer). I'm an IBM Academic Initiative Ambassador. It is a voluntary work and this project provides to universities IBM tools, courses, lectures and a relation with IBM that help universities to graduate students with better qualification and ready to the market. I’m also JUG (Java Users Group) coordinator/leader of the following jugs: ESJUG (Espirito Santo Java Users Group) and CampinasJUG (Campinas Java Users Group)
Why did you decide to go for an IT career? How did you get started?
This is a funny story. When I was in High School, I decided I wanted to go to Law school. But I did not like to memorize all the dates and facts about History to pass in SAT tests. I always liked Math and Physics a lot, and in senior year, I resolved I'd like to go to a computer/math school. I always liked computers (my parents gave me my first one when I was 10 years old), so my final decision was to do a major in Computer Science. I did not know anything about algorithms, and my first class about it in college was not so good. Some classmates have already heard anything about it, and everything was new to me. I studied a lot, and I learned it, and I fell in love with computer logic and algorithms in my first semester. In my college senior year, I won a merit award (Senior Year Computer Science Student - 2008), and I did make my parents very proud. I'm glad about the decision I did made some years ago, and I can say I love my job.
What inspires you in your work?
I'm very fortunate. I have/had the opportunity to work with brilliant minds. These amazing professionals are my inspirations. So I study and work hard to be like them in the future.
What do you want to learn about next?
There are many Java frameworks I want to learn. I know a little bit about Hibernate, Spring, Struts, JSF, iBatis, and I want to learn more about these frameworks. I also want to learn about some programming languages, such as Phyton and Ruby, and study more about C and C++ languages. And I want to learn about UNIX OS.
You blog in both Brazilian Portuguese and English! Is that tough? What is your favorite thing about blogging?
I started to blog in Portuguese, which is my first language. I write the tutorials for myself, my blog is a log of everything I've learned. My job requires some English knowledge, so I decided to start to blog in English to improve my English skills and vocabulary. I know I have a lot to learn about it, and some readers are helping me. This may sound a little awkward: recently, I tried to first write a post in Portuguese and then, translate it to English, but it is very hard to do this way. It is easier to write in English first and then translated it to Portuguese. It is interesting how our brain works! I think the best way to learn a foreign language is to learn how to think in it; forget you know your mother language and try to communicate only in the language you are learning. This method has been helping me a lot.
The coolest thing about blogging is the networking. You meet a lot of people from all over the world. And some of them you can meet in person - and maybe become real friends. It is very nice when you go to a conference and someone tells you they read and like your blog. It is an amazing feeling when you write a post and someone leaves a comment that it helped to solve a problem. It is a great reward!
How do you use developerWorks?
I use developerWorks as a source of knowledge. If you google about Java (or any related technology), you will find an entry in developerWorks website. It is great for students and professionals. (developerWorks is now in Brazilian Portuguese - check out the new site!)
What are some of your favorite websites/feeds/twitter accounts to follow?
Some interesting twitter accounts: ibmacademicbr (IBM Academic Initiative - Brazil), KathySierra (coauthor of Head First Java and Head First EJB), martinfowler (author of Refactoring: Improving the Design of Existing Code), developerWorks (that is a lot of interesting links), jduchess (a java users group for female developers). There is a lot more (I follow many interesting people, it is hard to list all of them).
When you have free time, what hobbies or activities do you like to do?
I love computers! So I spend a lot of my free time in front of it: blogging, programming contests, playing games. I also like to spend some time with my family and my dog (pomeranian puppy), and I love to travel.
- Thanks Loiane!
vskinner 060000VKGS Tags:  developerworks academic_iniative students student_portal interview ai 6 Comments 4,735 Visits
When I first moved from academia (as a college student) to a cubicle it was a jarring leap. At times I felt my nights working in restaurants, juggling trays, cooks and customers, had been better preparation than my days skimming textbooks (although one spectacular writing professor stands out as an exception). I regret that I didn't take advantage of things like web sites, professional associations, and mentors to better prepare me for a transition to the professional world.
That's why I am excited to put the spotlight on new resources for technology students in this interview with Laura Niemi. Laura's focused on the developerWorks outreach to students, and so I wanted to hear, straight from the horse's mouth, what's new for students this year.
So, the fall semester's officially kicked off... What's IBM doing for students this year that's new?
We put a renewed focus on students as an audience we want to reach out to - they are the developers of the future that we, our customers and our business partners need. Last spring we conducted a survey asking students what they want from an IT portal, what technologies they need skills in, what formats they prefer their skill-building materials in - all sorts of information that helps us meet their wants and needs. Over 1500 students from 46 countries replied - a terrific response.
We want to make sure that students can find the resources they need from IBM, on developerWorks and elsewhere, so we enhanced our Student Portal and added news items, more beginner learning resources, a community page with a number of social networking links, and information on Professional Certifications geared towards beginners. We're now working on additional enhancements and would love to hear from students via our Student Group on My developerWorks or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
What kinds of things do technology students need?
Technology students today need a broader set of skills than ever before. Businesses are looking for people with an interdisciplinary focus, not just a detailed technical background. Communications, business, economics, social sciences - all these fields deepen a person's background and make them more valuable in the workplace. Creativity, problem-solving capabilities, collaboration - you need all of the above since the world is so interactive. You can't work in a vacuum.
How can developerWorks help?
My developerWorks is a great place to get started - set up a profile and use the community to network with IT industry professionals, fellow students and professors around the world.
What are the top three things you would advise a student to do this year to take advantage of what IBM offers?
First, understand the job market that exists today, with all its challenges. Get experience - from your classes, projects and work experiences - that focus on technologies the market needs.
Second, focus on networking, both to learn about the IT industry and make contacts in the field.
Third, take advantage of the developerWorks skill-building resources through the Student Portal. Encourage your professors to join the IBM Academic Initiative and take advantage of our no charge offerings designed to prepare you for the IT marketplace.
I'd like to add a postscript to Laura's responses... If you want a glimpse into the everyday world of IT professionals, what kinds of jobs are out there, what people are working on, and where they get inspiration, subscribe to my blog's RSS feed. Each week I enjoy interviewing a new member of the My developerWorks community. These are multi-faceted people, with a variety of skills, experiences, and passions working on all sorts of projects, giving you a peek into what's happening in the IT professional world. You can also add them to your colleagues in My developerWorks and contact them with questions.