Gonçalo Ferreira

INTERVIEW! #episode3 Front-end UX/UI Developer ! ✏️


about Gonçalo

Gonçalo is our UI/UX designer. We consult with him on almost every project where graphical user interfaces are developed, and he occasionnally gives a hand on more general design and marketing material for DataThings. Thanks for taking the time to answer Gonçalo !

gregory, assaad, thomas, francois

→ Hello Gonçalo, what's your position/role at DataThings?

Gonçalo: Hi! I am UX/UI Developer at DataThings. My role is to make sure that there is a holistic and consistent design implementation in our projects.

→ Great! In a few words, for what kind of clients and what kinds of projects do you work on?

Gonçalo: Currently I am more involved in Alva, a map web-based tool that helps operating and managing energy grid systems: we're currently working on for Creos, here in Luxembourg. I also contribute to other projects such as AIXpert, a general purpose data analytics and machine learning application. 😃

→ Which technologies/programming languages do you use on a daily basis?

Gonçalo: My main programming languages are JavaScript and TypeScript, within the React framework. I leverage all this with Greycat on the back, which allows to easily kickstart and connect the frontend to the backend. It is my go-to stack! I make use of other tools such as Webpack and Parcel (bundlers), D3.js and D3FC (data visualisation library). Additionally I use Design tools such as Adobe CS—mostly Photoshop, Illustrator and Xd, and also Figma for low-fi prototypes and mockups.

→ What is the best aspect of your job?

Gonçalo: My favourite part of my job is to be able to do and being involved in everything. I mean, really everything! In the morning I might be working on a Greycat API function and apply it to the front-end web app in React, only for quickly integrate some visuals for one of our research projects, after developing and presenting some mockups. 🧑‍💻

→ Are you more formal or relaxed at the work?

Gonçalo: I think I am a bit of both! 😃 I take my work very seriously but one cannot be serious after seeing the way I lose at a soccer table match! 🙇‍♂️

→ What professional experience has shaped you the most?

Gonçalo: That's a tough question! I had a quite diverse background: for both my academic and professional life. Everything influenced me a lot, but before DataThings I'd say that my half-year at the LIST (Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology) working as an intern in research (BIM and Generative Design algorithms) shaped me a lot—because it was my first experience abroad, in Luxembourg and somehow more focused in programming. That was were I became acquainted with Machine Learning, so yes! That's it. 😊

→ Home office or on-site?

Gonçalo: a mix of both! It is super convenient to be able to work from home some times, but the office life is great! 😁

→ DataThings we have collaborators from very different backgrounds, can you tell us where you come from?

Gonçalo: I come from Aveiro, a portuguese city by the sea, 60km south of Porto. I've always dreamed of working abroad: I have some family roots here, but definitely what helped the most was Luxembourg's international environment. I don't see myself going back now! 🤭

→ So let's start with lighter questions: Are you more of a ovos moles/or pasteis de nata?

Gonçalo: I can only chose one right? If I go to Portugal I will definitely go for some Ovos Moles (they're a typical sweet from my hometown, in Aveiro), although here in Luxembourg I can get some nice Pastéis de Nata, so I can't complain!

→ Sea or mountains?

Gonçalo: With life in Luxembourg I tend to appreciate much more life in the mountains, but... I always need to get to the sea at one point after some time away. Can't help it! 😄

→ What is your background?

Gonçalo: I did my Bachelor in Design (2010-13) and Master in Engineering and Product Design (2013-20) at the University of Aveiro. Professionally I worked as a Mechanical Engineer (2015-17) and as a Product Exhibition Designer (2017-18) in Portugal. I then did the aforementioned internship at the University of Luxembourg in the second half of 2019. I finally joined DataThings in the summer of 2020, after some… in-home vacations! 😆

→ At the office's table soccer, do you rather play with “attackers” or “defenders”? Are you more into "mean diagonal attacks" or more a "brute force" guy?

Gonçalo: Being honest, as not-so-prolific attacker, I am just for not “going under the table”: an honor given to those who do not manage to score a single goal. 😂 At the time of this interview I managed to survive. So I guess “brute force” is my answer? 😜

→ How do you come to work on a daily basis?

Gonçalo: Usually I come to work by train but sometimes I use my car.

→ What is your favorite hobby?

Gonçalo: Playing the guitar and surf! 🏄‍♂️ Also a lot of programming-related hobbies and learning. For example I'm currently having fun with building an automated trading bot for trading systems.

→ What attracted you to DataThings?

Gonçalo: The way the founders approached me surprised me quite a lot. They were super informal and showed me the company's long-term goals and ambitions. That and the way the interview went… I can't really explain it, but I knew I could not pass on this opportunity!

→ What are the 3 emojis you use the most?

Gonçalo: 😂 / 😅 / 😎 … okay, to be honest I go this from my history. Don't ask me why, please. 😂😅

→ What would you say to someone willing to apply at DataThings?

Gonçalo: I'd say that the international environment from Luxembourg is amazing! That's the great part of working here. Everyone has such different backgrounds, you'll be exposed to a very specific diversity of inputs that I think is a bit rare to find in other European cities. Everyone speaks English as their non-native language, so everyone's leveled, in a way! As for DataThings: it is the place where you can learn a lot about programming, its applications and to be a professional soccer table player! 😎

→ Great! Gonçalo thank you for your time, and one last question. What is your favorite place to walk or relax in Luxembourg? 😎

Gonçalo: Every place in Luxembourg is great to walk! Both in the city as in the suburbs. There's no lack of greenery! To relax there are a lot of places to grab a drink in the evening. 🍸

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