Coming from almost as far from Winnipeg as her team member Anderson Pires Pereira (10,000 km), Julia Chiarello Passamani also hails from the Brazilian sub-tropical state of Rio Grande do Sul, but from Passo Fundo, a city of about 180,000 people some 9,300 kms south of us. Following two academic semesters of Business Information Technology, Julia is just days away from completing her year-long stay here and her current project with Bit Space Development. The good news for her team members is that she will maintain a virtual connection to the project and continue to contribute after returning to her university in Brazil.
Like so many others, Julia had no clue what career to follow after graduating from high school. “I was completely lost!” After her father suggested a computer technician program, Julia finished the 2 year program and liked it so much that she decided to go further in the field. Then, while in the Technology for Information Systems bachelor’s program, she too was given the opportunity to participate in the Science Without Borders scholarship program. And off she was sent to the BIT program at Red River College!
Q: What were you hoping to get out of this BIT Space Development project?
Experience in my field of study, as well as a look inside how business relationships are made in the IT community in Winnipeg/Canada.
Q: Have the program, the project, and Winnipeg met your expectations?
For sure they have met my expectations! I came here to learn new technologies, and both the program and the project have taught me plenty of new programming techniques. Winnipeg is a wonderful city in which to live, but not during the winter! I was already expecting the cold, but Winnipeg really surpassed those expectations. I felt like a popsicle!
Q: What has been the most useful thing you have learned so far through the project?
I would have to say that working as a group has been the most useful thing for me for sure. Before this project I hadn’t realized how much flexibility you must have when dealing with different people, ideas, and coding styles.
Q: What is the most challenging thing you have learned so far through the project?
Wordpress would be the most challenging thing for me I think. It was hard in the beginning, but after a while I got the hang of it. Now I’m proud to have the skill on my resume!
Q: What has been the most enjoyable part of the project?
Working as a team with my friends that I met in this program has been a great joy! Also having great managers, flexible with my hours when I need time, and easy to get along with.
Q: What has been the most frustrating part of the project?
Working on a project already in progress and written by others was a challenge. Some design choices had to be revised and we spent considerable time learning how the existing code worked.
Q: How will what you have learned so far (and anticipate learning) through the project impact your future?
Eventually, I would like to pursue a career in Business Information Technology in a city like Winnipeg, so I think the sense of the business I’ve gained from this project will help with that.
Q: Can you explain what you have been working on for the past week?
For the past week my main focus has been fixing bugs. After creating a function desired by one of our clients, we are troubleshooting the changes to be sure they are smoothly implemented.
Q: What have been your biggest challenge and your proudest achievement?
My biggest achievement was figuring out how to add more panoramas to the website. Figuring out how the previous coders implemented this was so far off the norm, that once I did figure it out I was quite pleased.
Q: What advice would you give to someone considering the BIT Program and Project?
Be ready for a challenge. Sometimes it seems like you’re getting nowhere, then suddenly when a breakthrough in problem solving is achieved, the sense of accomplishment is well worth the effort! Teamwork is key to the BIT Project.
Q: How could the BIT Project be improved?
I think the project management system Scrum works very well. Each week ends with a team retrospective and, by nature of how it’s managed, the project improves itself.
Q: What will be your best memory of Winnipeg?
My engagement barbecue! All my friends and the love of my life celebrated with me! (I was just missing my family and friends from Brazil :/ )