Solace Developer Spotlight: José Rodrigues (aka, CloudGod)
Hometown: Lisbon, Portugal
Years of being a developer: Professionally, 19 years. Pretty much into IT and development since 1988.
How did you start as a developer?
As most of my colleagues from the 70s, I started with the brilliant Sinclair ZX Spectrum 48k, coding BASIC, and later Assembly. I got hooked and spent most of my free time behind a keyboard and a monochrome TV, playing and programming.
What is your typical day like?
Pre-COVID, I rode my motorcycle to the office, which allowed me to reset my mind. 25 minutes of pure joy, two times a day! During the pandemic, I walk for 45 minutes, before starting my workday.
The rest of my day is divided into many activities. I’m responsible for 2 main areas inside Link Consulting:
Head of Integration, Distributed Architectures, and Innovative Channels
o Designing services to address the market touching these points. This involves constantly listening and understanding the trends and the market needs as well as bridging that gap.
o Pre-Sales, PoCs, MVPs, etc. from idea to delivery. I lead a kind-of Lockheed Skunk Works team.
Head of Alliances and Technology Partnerships
o Alliances and partnerships are key, so I cater to the relationship between Link and 80% of our strategic partners. This involves instantiating reference architectures, solutions, and patterns in a diverse landscape with the best platform or solution for the job. It also involves a lot of advocacy, presentations in conferences, working with the developer community (from students to seasoned developers and architects), which is something I absolutely love.
What is your favorite thing about being a developer?
I’ve always seen development as “LEGO building”. I love taking a problem, understanding the restrictions involved, and creating a solution that will solve this equation. It’s always novel and fresh because business needs do change with time, and new “LEGO pieces” come up every day.
What project are you currently working on?
We launched a new product recently, called EMMA, which is a platform to manage the Electric Mobility Service Providers (eMSPs)’ business. It’s a “pure”, “by-the-book” microservice-based platform, running on-prem or on any cloud provider the customer chooses. The architecture challenges involved in building this from the ground up were one of the coolest things I’ve worked on in the last few years. Needless to mention, the default communication and integration mechanism used is asynchronous, through an event broker, Solace PubSub+ Event Broker, as it should be.
What new skills or technologies are you learning?
As part of my job, I constantly experiment with new technologies and build PoCs with them, trying to find the sweet spot in which they can be used in solutions. I’m now starting to work a bit with Go, which I’m finding quite interesting. ARKit and Unity are also something to get my hands on in the next few months.
What cool tech trends are you seeing?
The coolest thing I’m seeing, and which will be my focus in the upcoming months, is Augmented Reality (AR) applied to retail and industry, by combining this visual interaction with Voice Recognition and Synthesis, and the Virtual Assistant paradigm. EDA will play a major role in these solutions and we will keep using Solace as, at the time of writing, nothing comes close to it for our use cases.
What advice do you have for other developers?
Go beyond pure development and ask yourself: "Why?". Study and learn software engineering patterns and get interested in architecture. It’s key to having a clear understanding of what impact our development will introduce in a system, from the various points of view and dimensions. For instance, every time you use something as “innocent” as a synchronous call (ex: REST call), you’re introducing a bit of coupling. Ask yourself why you need it, and if there’s a different way to achieve what you want.
Also, when using frameworks, try to understand exactly how things work under the hood. You should understand how things work to decide if that’s the best solution for you and to, again, understand the impacts of your development.
If you could retire now, what would you do?
This is a really cool question!
If I could retire now, with a steady income stream that can support my family and me, I would use my time to create, or volunteer in, open-source projects. A lot of open-source projects are helping society to improve and evolve, and I would like to be a part of that. I have so much fun developing and working in IT. I’ll probably do it as long as I can, way past retirement.
If you were a Solace Developer Community admin for one day, what would you do?
I would create some sort of challenge series, with some fictitious cases being designed by Solace to address some specific problems and then see what the community could come up with to solve those. I always find it interesting to understand how different people tackle a given problem and the myriad of solutions to it.
Also, if possible, I would like to see the Solace Developer Community engage with a few universities to try and push Solace in the Distributed Architecture classes, as we need more students on board.
What is your proudest accomplishment of the past year?
My team and I won the Best Digital Transformation project IDC award in Portugal, out of 300+ candidate projects. It was amazing!
A big shout to my team, as I’m very, very lucky to work with such smart, talented, and dedicated people!
If you had a Solace wish, what would it be?
I would love to see the Event Portal being available on-premise, as it would open up much more opportunities, especially in some markets (Middle-East) and industries (Defense) where we work.