Life, summarized

I was born in 1983 at Rio de Janeiro, RJ, Brazil.

I started playing with computers at 6 years old, with the help of my father and his Commodore 64 and built my own 286 PC (with a lovely orange-only CRT monitor) at age 9. I mainly used it for games and started teaching myself programming in Basic soon after that.

I’ve practiced Judo from 4 years old to about 12 years old. I think I got up to a green or blue belt.

I’ve played roller hockey (with inline skates) from 12 until 18 years old and loved it. It wasn’t an easy sport to practice in Rio, with the heat and without access to good equipment, but we did our best.

I’ve practiced Krav-Magá for a few years, between 16 to 20. I got up to the orange belt, but both times I was about to take the exams for advancing to the green belt I broke something in my body (a hand, a finger) the week before, which was a bummer.

I’ve studied in private, hippie and expensive schools up to 10 years old, and then switched to a great public school in Rio (one of the few that are managed by the federal government here in Brazil). It was an amazing and character-building experience.

When the time came to apply for university I didn’t really know what I wanted to study, much less what I wanted to be” (as we say in Brazil). I applied for computer science in half the colleges and for economics on the other half, expecting to let my admission tests decide for me. The plan backfired when I was admitted to all of them, so I chose the one I thought at the time would teach me more new stuff (and was a walking distance from home). That’s how I started studying economics at UFRJ in 2001.

By the last part of the course, though, I realized that was not really what I wanted to work with. After some brief internships in finance, I switched to software development full-time, starting as a junior programmer at Riopro and have not looked back ever since.

I eventually graduated from UFRJ and I don’t regret my course choice and the time I’ve spent there. It gave me a new perspective on life and how the world works, plus I’ve met some of my best and closest friends there.

After that I focused my career exclusively on software development, first as a programmer only, then as a tech lead, later working also as a product manager and eventually as Chief Technology Officer. Although currently I’m not coding hands-on most days, I’ve come to enjoy managing teams of developers and helping bring product ideas to fruition through code and teamwork. I do miss the joy of programming though, which I keep sharp at it through studying and doing a lot of side projects whenever possible.

I started cycling late, already in my adult life, at 29 years old. It was the best sport I’ve ever tried and the one I was best at by far. It got me to be in the best shape of my life and to feel comfortable with my body for the first time. I’ve done a few races (both competitions and gran fondos”) and in 2018 I completed 6 full stages of the Giro d’Italia, in the same days as the professionals but a few hours earlier. I rode 1150km with 16000m of accumulated elevation gain from near Rome to near Venice (stages 15 to 20) and it was one of the best (and hardest) experiences of my life. I hope to do more challenges like that in the future, although I haven’t ridden as much lately, and have lost most of my hard-earned fitness and form.

I have a small tattoo on my right arm with the words Pale Blue Dot. in it because this photo and these words by Carl Sagan serve to me as constant humbling reminder of my (and ours) place in the universe.

I tend to obsess when learning new stuff, but to abandon it when the next great thing to learn arrives.

I’m not so much into family, as in, I don’t believe there should be any special relationship between two people just because they share some DNA. The same goes for nationalism, for that matter. I do believe, however, that the people you choose to have in your life as friends and loved ones are the best things in the world, and worth fighting for.

I love street Carnaval in Rio, and I’ve spent all Carnavals here in my birth city every year since 2008, dressing up in increasingly elaborated costumes and partying with friends, both old and new. I tried opening a business as a Rio street Carnaval-only travel agency with my best friend, but we couldn’t make it work.

I love reading books. I have a huge list of to read” books, and I try to alternate between fiction, non-fiction, and technical books.

Recently I’ve also fallen prey to podcasts (which are competing for time with the books), and it’s now one of my favorite pastimes, especially when driving, walking around, working out or doing house chores. I’m that guy that keeps recommending podcasts episodes for all his friends now.

That’s also one of my favorite things to do: recommend stuff for friends.

I have not been to a lot of places in the world, but I cherish each trip I have ever done, and I strive to have at least one major travel vacation each year. Most of my fondest memories are from some of my travels, especially the ones in the company of good friends and loved ones. For me, traveling is always money well spent.

I have been stubborn and hot-headed at times, but I’ve been learning with my mistakes and improving with age. Or at least I try to.

According to the Political Compass test, I’m a left-libertarian” (although far from the extremes). And according to the 8values test, I’m a social democrat”. Both tests sound about right to me.

I’m also a skeptical and an atheist, although I concur with the thesis that atheism” is a term that should not even exist since we don’t have words for non-astrologers or non-alchemists for example. Seriously, though, I think a belief in a god or gods is not necessary for a good life at all, and a non-religious interpretation of the golden rule is enough as a starting point for a secular moral philosophy. I do love the idea of the Flying Spaghetti Monster, though.

I’m very aware of the privileged life I’ve lived so far and don’t take it for granted for one second. Most of what I accomplished in life and described in the previous paragraphs were only possible because I won” in the lottery of birth. Of course, there is personal drive, dedication, hard work and discipline involved. But there’s also connections, access to resources, a great and supportive family environment (thanks Mom!) and sheer dumb luck sometimes too. I don’t feel special at all.

I’ve been in a loving relationship with my partner Carol for over 9 years now (6+ of those living together in our home). We were planning to get officially” married sometime in 2020, but the pandemic delayed our plans. We hope to finally do it in May 2022. Carol, if you’re reading this, I love you!

Social Networks

I’m @rodrigtassinari on Twitter, which I use almost every day but mostly as a reader, with a lot of re-tweeting and occasionally posting random thoughts and stuff I find interesting. Yes, I know my name is wrong” on my Twitter handle there, it’s not a typo; it’s a consequence of Twitter’s (current) 15 characters limit on usernames. I do hate the official Twitter clients; my client of choice is Tapbots Tweetbot, both on iOS and on macOS.

I’m @rodrigotassinari on Instagram, also a frequently used app, in spite the fact that they refuse to release an iPad version of their app (or at least make an universal app that uses the iPad correctly). It’s a private account though, mostly used to share life’s moments with friends and relatives.

I’m rodrigotassinari on GitHub, still, the go-to place to work collaboratively and share code, although since I’ve started working at Nuuvem and using GitLab every day, my GitHub usage has been in constant decline.

I’m rodrigotassinari on Strava, which I used constantly in my cycling days from 2013 to 2018, not so much these days, unfortunately.

I’m rodrigo-tassinari on GoodReads, which I think is the best social network”, or the best companion to an avid book reader. The fact that my to read” list keeps growing at a pace that will never be matched by my read” list has been accepted as a fact of life.

I’m rodrigtassinari on Letterboxd, a new (to me at least) tool I’ve been using to keep track of movies I’ve watched and movies to watch.

I’m rodrigotassinari on Pinboard, where I save the occasional bookmark of sites I want to keep as reference — remember Delicious? It’s like that but frozen in time at the good moment, before all that Yahoo takeover crap.

I’m also on Facebook, the social network I keep promising myself I will delete from my life, but I still have not found a good substitute for it’s Events” use case — both public ones and friend’s events.

And finally, I also keep a profile on LinkedIn, that dreadful thing, which I try very hard to never use, except when work absolutely requires. I hate everything in it with a passion.

Get in touch

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