Born and still living in Lisbon, my interests circle around technology, science, sports and art. Because time is never enough to do a bit of everything everyday, I tend to shift my focus on these subjects over the years.
On the subject of technology, I currently focus on development tools, languages and methodologies with emphasis on open source software. As for science, my current interest is Machine Learning, having also done research on Semantic Web principles and technologies. On the sports subject I’m a biker (also a motorcyclist) in both the road and cross country disciplines. Finally, regarding art, I enjoy photography and hope someday to publish some videos of my own.
My first experience with computers dates back to 1985 with a ZX Spectrum, having a year later bought my first personal computer, a Timex 2048. At that time resources were scarce and in order to see my brand new computer working, I had to teach myself how to program it. For some time I was unable to store my own little programs, having to wait before getting my first cassette player/recorder; this one was high-end back then. This meant I had to code everyday for fun, even when it included rewriting the code done on the previous day. Also, I was unable to load other existing software (including games). From those days I keep recalling the times when the software was almost fully loaded and for no apparent reason it would crash and restart the computer. I guess using cassettes was better than punched cards, but still very cumbersome.
My professional career started in 1995 in the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) industry. I had to work with DOS, Windows 3.11, Windows NT 3.51, HP-UX, IRIX, Novell Netware and other now obliterated technologies. Back then we had no switches, the network speed was 10 mbps on a bus topology and we accessed the Internet on an network isolated computer with a 28.8 kbps modem. Until 1997, I was proudly involved in national and international projects, some of those were establishing the first digital cartographic data for the General Direction of Forests (DGF) and the European funded projects for Demining in Angola using remote sensing technologies.
In 1998 I started developing software for some companies as a freelancer, ended up developing the ticketing solution for Torre Vasco da Gama during the Portuguese Expo ‘98. Sometime later I began consulting for Enterprise Resource Planning national software producers via authorized partners. Became an entrepreneur promoter in 2003 and helped to create a software development company targeting markets with administrative and spacial requirements in their business processes. These markets included Environmental Management, Infrastructure Management and Facilities Management. Some of the companies still using these software solutions are Somincor and the Portuguese Air Force.
Three years later, I became a working student at Instituto Superior de Engenharia de Lisboa (ISEL), having graduated with highest honors as top of the class of 2010 in Information Systems and Computer Engineering. Right after graduating, I became a member of the (now extinct) KDBIO research group at INESC-ID. At the same time I began my master’s, also on Information Systems and Computer Engineering, at Instituto Superior Técnico (IST). During my time at KDBIO I’ve researched Semantic Web principles and developed some tools for user interaction, one of which was sdlink - a web application supporting the FP7 projects Pneumopath and BIOHYPO. This tool enabled linked data browsing and analysis by dynamically creating a user interface from underlying ontologies described in Web Ontology Language (OWL). It also featured a SPARQL query builder enabling users to query the data without requiring them to first learn the querying language.
I was later invited to collaborate on starting up HeartGenetics as IT director. During the course of one year I was able to design and implement an Information System for combining genotype and research data on heart related pathologies, enabling the company to provide an innovative healthcare service and still comply with the legal requirements for privacy on clinical data. My master thesis provided me with a deep insight into these subjects, since it consisted of a proposal for a global healthcare system compliant with data protection laws.
In 2014 I decided to return to my personal research project on Machine Learning, focusing on neural network training optimization techniques, while keeping a part-time occupation as independent consultant and software engineer.