A few days ago I started a post talking about how I got to this point in time and space that I’m living right now. I decided to start exploring some motivations I had during my childhood, since they’re the fundamental understading I aprimored throughout my life. My life isn’t very interesting, doesn’t have car chases or magic beans, doesn’t have adventures or crazy stuff. Just a regular life of a regular guy. But maybe this can light something up in someone’s head about what they can do with their own life.
My formal education
Getting past my basic education (up to 8th grade and highschool in Brazil’s educational system), I started a technical course in Informatics at a public school from a wider educational system called ETEC (an acronym for Technical School in portuguese), where I spent 3 semesters studying IT with an emphasys in development. By that time, I was learning how to develop in Pascal, Delphi 7 and Java.
I was pretty good in those at that time, my final project was with a friend who already was a mechatronics technician and we built an industrial storage control system prototype using Delphi 7 to control an external board with relays to start a motor to move a claw to certain positions, where it would then store or get products in a storage room. He did all the physical part and the integration, and I did the database management and GUI. It was good times.
One important thing that I took out of this time is: whenever I finished doing my tasks, I would go to other student’s computers and try to help them debug their software, understanding the error messages and reading their codes to find for errors. This would help me a lot to learn to quickly understand those error messages and where to start searching for mistakes in the code to fix, or even learn some strategies to debugging those codes with prints and echos for tracing the execution.
The point here is: optimize your time, don’t just stand there doing nothing and waiting, try to find something that interests you and invest time in these.
After finishing this technical course, I started studying at a university called FATEC (acronym from Technical Faculty in portuguese) that was mostly based on the same educational principles of the school I went for my technical formation. This time, I would ingress in a course called Security Information Tecnology Course (in Brazil, technology courses are courses with a quicker formation around 2,5 ~ 3 years to quickly deploy new capable people to the job market) which was a course with emphasys in computer networks. Actually, that’s an interesting and funny story: I initially intended to ingress in a Game Development Technology Course, which one year before my ingress you’d do 1 year of a common curriculum and then choose which way you’d want to follow: System analysis and development, game development or information security. I chose the IS course because it was the least crowded course for the selection process, but I ended up finding out later that I wouldn’t be able to change my course, so I stayed there hahahaha.
In this course I learnt a lot of things about computer networks, security mechanisms and services, risk managing and other things. The two most important things I got from this course was: (1) your life will be easier if you find something of interest as soon as you enter the course, because you can focus to learn about it along the years and then just apply it in your final project. At that time I was interested in behavorial psychology and similar areas, so I studied about Social Engineering (through Kevin Mitnik’s books, of course!) and just applied it in a scenario where I could gather data to make my final project. Well, and (2): If you’re interested in teaching, you can teach anything well if you study it well. I had some teachers that weren’t even from IT, but they had studied and learnt what they were supposed to teach us, and did it so well that it seemed like they had control over this all along. Other teachers (and one of them is like a mentor for me up to now) that got the classes with a lot of fallbacks and could do it so perfectly that no one was left behind, no matter their difficulties in the beginning.
That’s all for now, folks!
I’ll start discussing about my professional life and my later formal education in the next part of these topics. For now, I think those 2 parts are already interesting to be said =)