The Meet The Aptoiders series rolls on, as we continue to feature members of the international Aptoide team who are leading the change in their respective fields, and helping shape the future of Android and mobile technology.
Today we introduce you to Rute Correia, whose ultimate goal is to keep bringing you interesting and fresh content. On Rute's Android apps rollercoaster, there is never a dull moment. Kickstarting her career at Nintendo, Rute eventually landed at Aptoide where she heads our editorial team, that continuously strives to curate the best Android apps to our user base. Read on to find out all about Rute and how she juggles a radio show, festival planning and knitting while playing games at Aptoide.
1. Hi Rute! In a nutshell, who is Rute Correia and what is it exactly that you do?
Hello! Let’s see… In a nutshell: I am in my late twenties, was born in Lisbon and raised in Lisbon suburbs. I have a degree in Communication Sciences and a Masters in Radio Production and Management – yes, radio as in radio station. I’m passionate about tech, music, radio and open culture. I also love a nice cup of Earl Grey, ham & cheese toasties and use knitting and sewing as a kind of personal therapy.
I am the Lead Apps Editor at Aptoide. It’s a bit of a hybrid position that sits between content management and localization. My responsibilities are split across two main things: coordinating our Editors’ Choice and the whole editorial side of Aptoide, such as bundles, and managing the translation workflows for all Aptoide products. In terms of actual tasks, this includes a variety of things that can go from literally counting words, to playing super cool video games for Android.
2. Your experience includes working in the gaming industry at Nintendo, among other things. How did you end up at Aptoide?
I lived abroad for almost four years, including nearly two years at Nintendo of Europe – first as a QA Localization Tester, and then as a Junior Online Content Coordinator. Then, after finishing my Masters in the UK, I decided it was time to come back to Portugal. At first, I was looking for something in the radio and music industries, since that was the natural progression for me at that stage, but none of the offers that came up felt right. And then I saw the Apps Editor position on Aptoide’s website. It was like a match made in heaven. I had all the experience Aptoide was looking for, and Aptoide was exactly the type of company that I wanted to work for.
Coming from what is mainly a media and content background, the dream of being part of an open source company might seem a bit misplaced. However, for someone who is not a programmer, I am pretty much as open source as it gets. I have been building bridges between open source and non-tech areas (particularly media) for about ten years. In fact, my final project for the Masters was my White Market Podcast, a radio show dedicated to free music and free culture, focusing on Creative Commons licensed music and related topics, such as open source and digital rights. So, becoming part of Aptoide was simply the perfect opportunity for me.
3. You're the brainiac behind Aptoide's Editor's Choice. How do you stay on top of things and how do you select the best apps every week?
The process involves a few different steps. There is a manual approach, where I try a ridiculous amount of apps every week (sometimes hundreds!). I am a bit of a scavenger, one of those people who are constantly installing new apps just to give them a try. I also read a lot of Android, video games and tech specialized blogs and media. For some markets, we get some extra help. For example, we now have a team working exclusively for the Brazilian market, and Aptoide’s team in Singapore gives us a lot of input about popular apps in Southeast Asia. Occasionally, we also get the help of certified publishers and other partners when delivering local picks.
Additionally, we have software that help us scout through top and trending apps both locally and globally. However, more often than not, what seals the deal (or not) is our community. What apps do they love? What games are they playing? What’s happening around them? Aptoide’s Editors’ Choice (and the rest of the editorial content) has to be tailored to our community: we have to feature apps that make sense in their lives. Of course, there are different types of user profiles, and it’s my responsibility to ensure there is a balance when catering for them. We let the machines help us when making the final decisions, but in the end the Editors’ Choice has to be a choice made for people and by people.
4. You developed a portfolio of freelance and self-made projects, which includes different podcasts, articles published on several media, and an independent music festival. How in the world do you do it all?
Don’t tell anyone, but I’m also not quite sure. I can tell you most of the time I actually end up doing only half of what I’d like. In most cases, one thing leads to another – you meet people with similar interests and motivation levels, and new projects flourish naturally. I have loads of unfinished and even unstarted projects, and usually the thing that I struggle the most with is indeed finding time to do everything. It takes a lot of effort, good will and some patience to become part of many things simultaneously, but it usually pays off. For me, the hardest thing is to accept that I can’t do everything at once and that I need to have some priorities. (tear emoji, ah ah)
At the minute, I am trying to help with the localization of an open source navigation/maps app to European Portuguese, I am getting more involved with the Portuguese Ubuntu community and I am part of a recently-formed association that advocates for digital rights.
5. On top of working as our Lead Apps Editor at Aptoide, you have your own radio show, White Market Podcast, about netaudio, Creative Commons music and free culture. Open source & Creative Commons music - is it safe to say you're all for a sharing economy system in a modern globalized world?
Well, it is safe to say that I am all in favour of community-driven ecosystems. Having a resource that simultaneously feeds and is fed by the community seems to me as the way to long-term sustainability. Of course, the model itself come with its own share of challenges, but there are already great success cases in this area. Aptoide is one of them. Like many other open source products, there are still things that would not exist if it wasn’t for the powerful input of the community. For instance, some of the languages we support on our native Android apps are kept exclusively by volunteers that love Aptoide and want to make it better.
Some of the most exciting things the internet has given us are community-driven, and I’m not even thinking about social media. You have one of the world’s largest (if not the largest) public knowledge repository, Wikipedia; you have the Android Open Source Project that gave us tremendous Android distributions like Cyanogen OS (rip!) and now its successor Lineage OS; you have more than a billion works published under Creative Commons licences that allow free sharing – that includes books, photos, music, films and other things. The list is endless! Having access to things like these empowers people. All it takes is a bit of time and motivation to get involved.