The Meet The Aptoiders series rolls on, as we continue to feature members of the international Aptoide team who are leading change in their respective fields, and helping shape the future of Android and mobile technology.
Today we introduce you to Cristina Nunes, one of the leading figures in our web team and one of the most experienced bad-ass engineers at Aptoide. Having started her career with the internet boom back in the late 90s, she is currently responsible for a lot of Aptoide's "invisible" processes of the backend. Read on to learn more about Cristina!
1. Hi Cristina! Tell us about yourself. What’s your background and how did you end up at Aptoide?
Hi all. I started in IT a while back, mostly in web development, during the internet boom in Portugal. Last year, I saw a job posting from Aptoide looking for senior web developers and I applied. It's a great project with much to do and good challenges.
2. You’re one of the Senior Web Developers in the Aptoide Web Team. What are your main responsibilities currently?
My main responsibilities are maintaining the websites running, such as the main site, the web services and the backend PHP processes that sustain several tasks that are "invisible" to the front end users. We are also in the works of migrating data and processes from legacy infrastructure to a more modern framework, which will allow us to move forward towards more efficient and maintainable services all over.
3. You started working in IT back in the early 2000s. In your opinion, are IT problems that much different? Or the essentials have remained the same?
IT is a very big "package". There are many challenges in different areas in IT, like infrastructure, back-end development, front-end development, UI/UX, etc... Each with its own issues. Some remain the same, but other have evolved and will keep evolving as requirements change as well. But, as engineers, it's our job/joy to find solutions and implement them, and that's what drives me the most: the challenge, the implementation and making things work as best as they can.
4. Your background involves a lot of back-end related technologies such as Perl. Do you feel Perl still has a place in the web technology stack, or that it might still have a comeback? Or do you feel stuff such as NodeJS render it obsolete?
A lot has been said about Perl's demise, but the reality is that Perl simply works. It may have its quirks (but what language doesn't?), but it's stable enough to be proven a reliable choice in sensitive areas, as well as an easy to learn and quick to pick up language. The main reason why people tend to give up on it is mainly that you need to know what you're doing. It's not just "copy/paste". You have to know the context to make it work. And nowadays, it's easy to fall prey of the "easy way out" with the illusion that "quick and easy" fixes are the solution. But I'm biased since Perl is my go-to language.
5. In IT in general, and on Aptoide in particular, there are quite a few people that never actually finished their degrees (or even attended college). Do you feel that formal education is essential for a career nowadays? Or do you feel that having the ability to learn by yourself is the most important part?
I have met people from both sides of the question: graduates and non-graduates. I do feel that a basic understanding of structures and basic algorithms are important, but those we can learn by ourselves too. So I would say the most important aspect of an IT professional would be the ability to learn. Either by him/herself or with the experience of others, as in all aspect of life itself, really!!
This is especially true in IT, since it's an industry that's ever changing and evolving, it's really important to keep up with the advances.
The only difference I can see is that with a good background, you can find your way around the "new best thing out there" more easily than someone that wants to experience every little cool thing, which often leads to bad decisions. But, then again, that counts as learning by yourself - the hard way :)