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.
This week, take a peek into a day in the life of Sebastian Fratini, an IT specialist in Argentina working with IBM DB2 and IBM Lotus Domino. Learn more about Sebastian in the interview below and visit his profile.
Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
Well I currently live in Argentina and I am 24 years old. I started working with IBM products four and a half years ago in a Business Partner. I started in the Development and Research area and that gave me a lot of knowledge from different software, technologies and solutions. I didn't spend too much time with one product. I just documented what it was needed and then, move to another project, which gave me a great base. I have most of my experience with Domino and WebSphere Portal and WCM but I used almost every Lotus Software, plus Java, TDI, DB2, SQL Server, etc. Personally, I like music. A lot. I enjoy playing guitar and going to the movies, series like House MD and Friends, travel.
Currently I am working in several projects. Two of them are Domino migrations. One from a different version. The other from a different mail solution. I am also integrating DB2 with Domino and migrating some applications. There is another project involving TDI and Domino 8.5.1 to make MSAD the center of the user deployment and administration (This one is quite fun) and also a couple of WebSphere Portal Demos for some projects around the year. So yes, I am somehow busy. It could be worse.
Describe a normal day for you.
A normal day would be a work day! I get up and travel in a Mercedes-Benz with a driver. I call it 'The Bus'. Then I usually need to check that all the servers are working. If the day was bad, I like to go to Burger King. The flavor of the onion rings makes my day better. After I came home I feed my hamster and then watch movies or series. And the whole day connected to the Internet of course.
Do you have an "on the job" hero? If you could "follow" anyone for 24 hours, who would it be?
Mmm I don't think I have a hero like that. I just like to take the good things of each one of the people around me. I think I would like to follow Kevin Spacey. I think that is a great actor. If you were talking about the IT world, that would be Steve Jobs.
Is there anything you think is unique or interesting about working in IT in Argentina?
The more I speak with people around the globe, the more I realized that in Latin America we usually work on the edge. Normally people don't try new technologies until it's settled and tested. Or don't go outside what's out of the box. Here most of the projects require you to dig, integrate, modify, develop, etc. And they are usually very fun projects. At least for me. I believe it has to be that all the canned solutions are out of reach for most LA companies so we need to rely on our creativity and skills.
You have an impressive number of certifications in IBM software - how do certifications help you with your career and skills?
Definitely. I had many projects where the customer specifically asked for a IT guy with certifications. One that could prove that he knew the solution. And I watched the same customers turned down providers for lack of skills. But besides that it gives you a lot of confidence.
What do you plan on learning next?
At this moment I am learning a lot of Tivoli Directory Integrator (TDI) which I've never used before. I always like to keep updated on each solution and the new versions that come out. Whenever that happens, I have to install it and test it. I need to use it. I can't just read the 'What's new in..' but I also like to learn Java, Open Source Solutions, Linux, etc.
How do you use developerWorks?
It would be easier to ask me how I DON'T use developerWorks =). Let's see. I use the Knowledge Base of course because I can't possible know everything. Although sometimes I just read technotes I don't need to be prepared for those crazy errors you might some day encounter. I use the forums. Each day. I am usually around the Domino 6/7/8/.8.5/Sametime/Portal forums. The last two, I only enter when I have spare time. The first 4, I dedicate some time to answer because when I started the guys from those forums helped me a lot, so I am returning the favor. You can actually see me answering each day. I even recognize the name of several 'casual posters'. I also managed a Space which sadly I cannot no longer maintain the way I'd like, but as you saw, I am quite busy at this time. But I keep my developerWorks profile and I found several interesting people from around the globe. It's nice to be part of a network of IT guys which are willing to share their knowledge and help.
How are you using social networking today?
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. All of them on my cell phone. Facebook every time I open the browser. Most of my friends are there and with those three sites I can be connected to all of them. It's hard to keep in touch after you move or graduate so that helped me to keep talking to several friends. I am one of those guys that say "Oh, that's is going into facebook" when something interesting happens.
What are some of your favorite websites/feeds/twitter accounts to follow?
I always open the next sites: Facebook, developerWorks Forums, Gmail, ItMadeMyDay.com, Clarin.com (Local newspaper) and Google. After that, I can go anywhere I need. But that's how I start my day.
Are you a gadget junkie? Any new gadget you'd love to try?
I love gadgets. And I started hating the cell phones when I first got one. Now I cannot live without it. I have the cell phone, the iTouch, the WD Live, PSP and I love many more that I don't have because I want to control myself. I think I would like to test the Kindle. I am just not sure yet.
Star Wars or Star Trek?
- Thanks Sebastian!
vskinner 060000VKGS Tags:  java doors unix rational developerworks telelogic interview argentina student 8 Comments 5,718 Visits
I don't get to travel as much as I want to, so I enjoy the opportunity to meet someone from another part of the world and see what life's like in their corner of the globe. This week my interview with Andres Hojman gives a glimpse into the life of this infrastructure analyst, java and Web 2.0 enthusiast and student from Cordoba, Argentina.
Learn more about Andres in the interview below and visit his profile on My developerWorks to ask him to be your colleague.
Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you're currently working on?
My name is Andres Javier Hojman, I'm 23 years old, I live in Cordoba city, which is located in Argentina , I'm studying Systems Engineering at "Universidad Tecnologica Nacional". On the professional side of my life, I'm spending my days working as an "Infrastructure Analyst", at the software center that EDS (an HP company ;-) has in my city (about 850 employees working here).
How did you get started in the IT industry?
Since we have several big globally-known IT companies (Intel, Motorola, EDS, Indra, Globant, IBM, etc.. ) locating their software centers or service offices in our city, it's been quite easy to quickly find a position to start my career due to the day-by-day increasing need to fill different positions. I took my first career steps when I decided to join Motorola as a " Software Engineer ". After that, I had the opportunity to jump to my current employer; so I can say that I'm focused on my career growing and improvement in the IT field.
What's a typical day like for you working on UNIX Security administration?
Our "routine" consists mainly of delivering "Access Management" services, meaning that we take requests for access or permissions (creating or modifying existing user accounts), on different servers or systems, based on several platforms (Solaris, AIX, HP-UX, Linux or Windows) ,from our customer's users (..my team work scope is the US EAST coast, meaning that most of the requesters are located there). I think that the best part of my job, is the chance to do my work following a "objective based" routine, meaning that I can control how many things I have to do daily and the way I do them, allowing me to use my time freely when I'm at the office. Also, I have the chance to do some "work@home" time, saving me traffic delays on the freeway road to the office, and I can attend university classes when I need to.
What kind of IBM Telelogic DOORS projects have you worked on?
When I was at Motorola, I was part of a team that supported and managed DOORS along with its databases and servers, and also a feature of it called RMSE . The company used DOORS to keep control of every requisite document (functional or non-functional) that they had for every product project located on America or EMEA regions. I was in charge of the user management side, and we performed several test case phase activities, making sure it was functioning properly, before any version release or change could be applied on the running DOORS environment.
How do you use developerWorks?
Actually, I'm using the site like a tool to be in touch with another Java developers, or people with the same interests that I have. Besides that, I really enjoy joining groups or participating in different forums, in order to learn more about different technologies or ways to work, because I have the upcoming idea to start being a freelancer at some point of my career. I guess that this site can help me on that.
What publications / websites do you read / visit?
I like to visit any kind of technological web pages or blogs(.. speaking of programming languages, X-Box 360 games, social media, design, freelance, etc..) , also I like to be aware of upcoming releases of products, or read their reviews before buying them.
I consider myself a " web 2.0 enthusiast "; since I like any kind of web page that can make my browsing experience more complete. Most of my entire bookmark collection is tagged online on delicious.com; and a few interesting tagged web pages I'd to share are the ones under these four categories:
How are you using social networking today?
I'm handling social networking in three main ways..
First of all, I use Facebook to keep in touch with friends, family, ex classmates, coworkers, or just to know new people from my city.
Second, I like to use LinkedIn to be connected with my company colleagues, or just to make business contacts for the future.
And three, I'm using these days a new tool called Popego.com, which is like a " social portal " that takes your likes and dislikes around different web pages or web services, and it automatically builds site recommendations based on the information you've dropped.
Also, I enjoy GrooveShark.com to listen to music on-demand while I'm online, and also I can recommend songs or play list to my friends, as well as learn about new artists.
What gadget, which you currently own, can you not live without?
I think I can not be without my cell phone (..like everybody I guess :-P), and it's getting more addictive, since they are coming out with new features every day (..GPS, Wi-Fi connection, great graphics engines for games, music player..)
What future technology would make your life easier?
I guess that the idea of "technological integration" will be the next step ahead to develop, meaning, smarter devices which will allow you to interact freely with another tech devices around your house or office, simplifying your daily routine, and keeping you focused on what's important, saving time to carry a lot of things with you, and avoiding to miss important appointments.
I'm also thinking about the growth of the Wireless protocols or services (WiMAX for example), that will allow you to be connected from any place.
I don't want to leave out the "Cloud Computing" idea, which is becoming more famous (..and efficient) every day.
In your spare time, what hobbies or activities interest you?
Actually, I'm currently defining my academic objectives (reach my MCSA certification and finish my grade and CCNA studies as well), so, that's keeping me busy. And of course, I like to spend my free time surrounded by friends (going to parties, playing video games or poker matches - it's incredible the money you can win from your friends :-P -, and also, I really enjoy going to the cinema, listening to punk rock music, swimming, the gym, etc.
- Thanks Andres!