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Meet The Spider AF Team, Rui Ferreira

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Welcome to our 'Meet the Spider AF Team' series! This time, we're showcasing our Director of Engineering who makes sure our internal process runs smoothly, Rui. Get to know his background, his role at Spider AF, and what makes him a valuable member of our team.

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

My name is Rui and I am from Porto de Mós, a village in the center of Portugal, part of the Natural Park of "Serra d' Aire e Candeeiros" where a strong battle against the Spanish took place - search for "Batalha de Aljubarrota".

I've lived in the Lisbon area since I was 18 years old, when I started university. I am the youngest of three brothers and I am married, father of two boys, and I am 45 which makes me most likely the "less youngest" of the team. :)

I started working in the software development industry before graduating computer science, and I have stayed here until today.

What inspired you to pursue a career in your field?

I've always been interested in exact sciences such as physics or mathematics and by a logical way of thinking. Thus, following an engineering field was the natural option for me, computer related science was more due to the influence of a close friend. After a few years on the job, I found myself being pulled to areas like management and organization, and happened that it resonated.

While I didn't runaway from the software development teams, I started to spend most of time thinking on how to get the most out of a team, a team of teams, or even an organization.

Can you share a proud moment or accomplishment in Spider AF so far?

I joined Spider AF in the beginning of this year during a challenging moment for the team. I am glad and super proud of the team that embraced the challenges together, and stayed tight and united until the present.

What’s a fun fact about you that many people may not know?

Until the age of the 16, I wanted to be a math teacher. Actually a friend of mine with I used to talk with about the topic, followed the path. Somehow, I ended up feeling that I wanted to have a bit more excitement in my daily job. Maybe, that also explains a bit why I joined the crazy world of startups in 2016 :)

How do you like to spend your weekends or time off?

Farming and growing, plants, vegetables, trees, and spending time with my kids :) I really love the idea of being there almost everyday, seeing those small changes, having those daily cares, enjoying the results and also, learning from the failures.

In short, I am a family guy. Time with family, friends and relatives is the biggest part of it. Sometimes I cook and also make barbecue!

How would you describe the culture at Spider AF?

Can I skip this one and answer with our values? https://spideraf.com/about-us :P

Ownership, Speed, Challenge, Customer Centric, Excellence, Integrity, and Teamwork are for sure among the others I would use to describe our culture.

Where is the best place you have visited?

There's a place I would be visiting forever, feeling at home despite being a bit away, and that place is Portugal. I am a huge fan of domestic tourism, maybe the two kids kinda put that in pause for a while. So that's the place I wanted to return soon, exploring this amazing country :)

What is the best career lesson you have learned so far?

You need to be yourself, otherwise you take serious risks of being extremely unhappy at work. I took tough decisions, some of them after 35 :), and I am really glad that I had the courage and the will to do so. Resiliency is the skill that will bring you closer to the right people and to the right job.

If you had a podcast who would your first guest be?

Physics teacher from the high-school 12th year. He used to be late to the classes because he got distracted with his agriculture achievements :)

He was a colleague of Antonio Guterres, the Secretary-General of the United Nations in university, and I was told that Guterres was the best student while he was the second... Ah, and an outstanding chess player (he would question you: "shall I play without the queen or shall I turn around")

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