Simplenote

Simplenote – The simplest way to keep notes.

Light, clean, and free. Simplenote is now available for iOS, Android, Mac, Windows, Linux, and the web.

I found Simplenote a few months ago, I start using it and I instantly loved the simplicity of the platform, it has all the features you’d expect on a modern notes platform, cloud sync across devices, search, tagging, note publication, change history and one that I particularly liked: markdown support. All of this completely free.

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Also, it took me a short time to discover that all Simplenote apps are open source!

That’s it, a great notes applications I wanted to share. Download it, give it a try and if you’re a developer submit a PR.

Repos: iOS, Android, macOS, Electron (Windows and Linux).

My Failed Interview at Facebook

– 14 September 2018

I’m with the Facebook recruiting team and I thought I’d check in to see if you might be open to new opportunities.

It all started like this through a message on LinkedIn. At the time I was not actively looking for new opportunities but the idea of working at one of Silicon Valley’s giants was just too attractive to let it go unnoticed so I answered and schedule my first call.

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– 25 September 2018

I had my first phone call with my recruiter, we went through my professional experience and she asked some basic technical questions about the Android platform. A couple of days later she contacted me for scheduling a second phone call.

– 03 October 2018

In my second phone call, my recruiter gave me further detail about the next step in the process, which is a 45-minute technical interview, this is where things get interesting. She gave me a lot of useful information as well as resources so I could prepare for the technical interview, this included videos, recommended readings, and platforms for coding practice as well as some personal tips on how to approach the interview. She also provided some background information about the company and the culture at Facebook.

– 26 October 2018

The interview was conducted through BlueJeans, a video and audio conferencing platform used by Facebook. First I was asked a few questions about me and my experience as well as some Android platform basic questions for about 10 – 15 minutes and then I was presented with the main part of the interview, the algorithm to solve:

K’th Smallest/Largest Element in Unsorted Array

Despite my panic, I managed to come up with the simplest solution, (order the array and return the specified position), but when I was asked to think of a more efficient solution my head just went blank.

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– 30 October 2018

As expected, I got an email letting me know they will not be moving forward with my application this time due to the volume of interviews and the quality of candidates.

– The Takeaway

Interviewing at Facebook, one of the most important tech companies, was an exciting experience for me despite my rejection. I was able to know a little more about the interview process at Facebook and interacted with very nice people who really wanted to help me succeed.

I wasn’t fully prepared and that ended with my interview so if you are aiming to get a job at Facebook don’t be like me and be ready, study, practice, follow your recruiters advise and go get it.

A Developer Job Search

On March 31, 2018, I started a search to find a new job, I’ve learned and grew through this process and it has come to an end recently. I want to document it here.

A few months ago I saw a great image of the 7 phases of a Job Lifecycle:

  1. The honeymoon
  2. Reality sets in
  3. Learning the ropes
  4. Mastering the job and achieving solid results
  5. The first question marks
  6. Demotivation
  7. Burnout

My job search started by the start of 2018 when I was at phase 5, almost 6 of this lifecycle and I started to ask myself if I was really enjoying and growing in my current work, this led me to make the decision to start looking for new opportunities.

Throughout my short 4 years of professional career, I’ve been creating this idea of my dream job and it goes sort of like this:

A mission I feel passionate about, a place where I’m working with awesome people pursuing a common goal which actually makes this world a better place impacting peoples lives in a positive way. And why not? With cool perks like open vacation policy, a competitive pay, remote first, education. What Japanese would call Ikigai, true balance between passion, mission, vocation, and profession.

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As you can imagine, this is not a particularly easy job to find but it’s not a unicorn either.

NoRedInk

So, I started looking for this Ikigai job and sending some applications on March 31, 2018, and after a take-home challenge, I landed my first interview with NoRedInk. Great experience, they were really nice guys and I really enjoyed the process even though it finished with a rejection email. I was aware that most probably I was going to find rejection, however, it’s always hard.

We’ve decided not to move your application to the next step of the interview process.

Doist

Then I applied to Doist, I was very excited about this company, great mission, inclusion, a balance between work and life and values I deeply Identify with. I did my research about the company and found out that they like good cover letters, so I spent many hours writing a cover letter I felt proud of and send it on it’s way.

We regret to inform you that it has not been selected for further consideration.

YNAB

Another awesome company with a great mission I feel identified with. I know the positive impact that their solution is bringing to their users’ lives.

We hate to be the bearer of bad news.

Stop, Breathe & Think

Recently I’ve been very into meditation and mindfulness and I was very excited to think that I could stand a chance in a company like SBT when I found they were looking for an Android developer.

We don’t have any Android positions open at the moment.

All these were some of the steps of the journey, among others, more rejections and some options where I decided not to continue with the process, and finally…

TTEC

I had an interview with them and get identified with their mission and the company values, met part of the team I’d be working with and they were great.

Got really excited about the idea of helping a huge team create customer experiences that really assist and help an even more massive number of people all around the world in a human and meaningful way. That’s impact.

In the end, I got an offer from TTEC and I said yes without thinking about it twice.

The Wrap Up

So it took many applications, challenges, interviews, people I met, rejections, learning, preparations but at the end the result was great and that was the path I need to go through in order to get to the end. Here are some tips from what I learned through this process.

  • You will find rejection. Don’t worry too much about it, learn from it and move on, remember it’s a step closer to the end of your job search.
  • Do your homework. Before applying to any job do a good research about the company, their mission, their values. If it’s really what you’re looking for, then become what they’re looking for.
  • Prepare for code challenges. There are plenty of sites where you can take challenges for pretty much any skill or programming language. By solving these exercises you will be more comfortable finding quick solutions and most likely you’ll find some of the questions or quizzes in your interviews.
  • Expose your work. You surely need a nice CV, but I’ve learned is much more important to have a good exposition of your work, public code repos, your personal blog, blog posts on dev sites, StackOverflow, you name it.
  • Open source. Start doing open source contributions, it’s a huge opportunity for people to see your great work and get a very clear idea of your motivations, creativity and besides, you’ll learn hugely.

Health Anxiety & Dr Google

You’ve just noticed a weird symptom, it may be a dull pain, a discomfort, a sensation, you name it, and suddenly you start typing on Google looking for an explanation, a benign and harmless cause. Guess what? You will not find that.

You should never consult Dr. Google

You’ll start following links and eventually, you’ll end up certain that you have a very rare sinister illness that will bring you to your inevitable end within a few days or weeks. How did you not notice before?

monsters inc fainting GIF by Disney Pixar

Ok, maybe it’s not that way for everyone but if you are prone to anxiety you’d better resist the temptation, you may end way down the rabbit hole, reading and searching for hours in uncountable websites about your symptoms. The worst thing about it is that your mind is so powerful that it’ll start creating new symptoms for you to worry even more in a horrible vicious circle. I’ve been there.

The web is not your doctor.

How to deal with it:

  • Identify the temptation and the triggers
  • Put your device down
  • Use a relaxation or anxiety reduction technique
  • Live the moment (focus on your work, activities, people around you)
  • Keep moving and physically active, don’t let health anxiety paralyze you
  • Ask for professional help

Consult your real doctor if you are worried about any symptoms or if your symptoms persist.

 

Why Everyone Should Try Meditation

When I was close to graduate from University I was in a peculiar state of mind. I was overwhelmed by all kinds of troubled thoughts at the time, I was trying to finish my degree smoothly, I was already working and deeply engaged in a software development startup, my love life was a mess, I was moving to a new apartment and as far as I was concerned I was officially an adult.

happy i love you GIF by Rodrigo Tello

That mixture of feelings and thoughts pushed me to look for ways to get some peace of mind. That was how I started learning about meditation and mindfulness and I changed the misconception I had about it:

A mysterious practice that only a few wise ancient people from far away lands did while levitating.

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I found a couple of cool apps that helped me to get rid of that idea, I read about the many benefits of meditation, so I thought. Why not, let’s give it a try.

Now I’ve been practicing meditation and mindfulness for a few years and here are a few reasons why I encourage everyone to try meditation.

Reduce Stress

I’ve learned that, as much as you try, you’ll never have control of the situations you find in your life, some of these are pleasant but some are not: Stress is inevitable. Meditation has helped me change my relationship with stress and stressful situations, it allows me to have the space I need to handle stressful moments with clarity and peace.

Relate Better

We live in a web of relationships, from your co-workers to your loved ones and the people you cross with every day. These relationships affect and get affected by your emotions and feelings. When you feel good about yourself, when you’re able to be aware of your emotions and feelings you become less reactive, regulate your moods, increase empathy and kindness and allow others to be, instead of projecting yourself.

Good Night Sleeps

We all know that sleeping is essential for our well being, sleep gets deeply affected by a troubled mind, personally I’ve experienced Insomnia and restless sleep and it affects you mentally and physically. By doing a short meditation before going to bed I’m able to clear my mind, leave trouble thoughts behind and set the conditions for a restful night.

Health

Meditation just makes me feel healthier, It encourages healthier habits and there’s plenty of studies that explore the connection between health and meditation. Reduction of blood pressure, pain relieve, anxiety reduction, memory loss prevention are just some of meditation health benefits.

Live the Moment

Last but not least, by meditating I’ve learned to be present. It’s truly mind-blowing how I’ve found myself doing things completely in automatic mode, meditation has helped me to be aware, about the simplest things, like standing up from my chair or eating my lunch. It sounds cliché but I’ve found great experiences and happiness in the most simple things. Just had to pay attention.

I urge you to give it a try, here’s a couple of apps I like where you can start practicing meditation and mindfulness right away.

Headspace | Stop, Breathe & Think | Calm

And my personal effort to bring a little peace to this world, a simple Android app that helps you recover your natural innate breathing with a simple breathing exercise.

One Breath

Meditate and share your experience!