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Season 2, Ep. 18 – Meet the team: Gun.io’s UI/UX Engineer, Regis Camimura

We wanted to call this episode “Just get it done,” because that’s what our UI/UX Engineer-turned-one-man-Army, Regis Camimura, has applied to most situations in life. In this episode, he talks about his development journey, life challenges, and how unacceptable it is to not know when the World Cup is happening.

Faith Benson
Faith Benson

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Transcript

Faith (00:05):

Hi, Regis!

Regis (00:06):

Hey, Faith, how are you?

Faith (00:08):

Good. How are you doing?

Regis (00:10):

Just fine.

Faith (00:12):

Is this your usual background?

Regis (00:14):

Yes, it is. It is. I have some flags here that my daughter just put up recently. 

Faith (00:22):

Oh, that’s cool. Did she color them?

Regis (00:23):

Yeah. Yeah, she did. She’s excited for the World Cup, so that’s why they’re there.

Faith (00:31):

When is the World Cup?

Regis (00:34):

Uh, what? You don’t know when is the World Cup? <laugh>

Faith (00:37):

I don’t know. I’m not–I’m a terrible sports person. I feel like it was my, uh, my critical flaw at birth. Like, I’m good at a bunch of other things, but I’m terrible with sports. <laugh>

Regis (00:51):

Yeah. Well, even people that don’t like sports here, know when the World Cup starts. <laugh>.

Faith (00:59):

Okay, fine. I’ll Google it. Regis, welcome to the Frontier Podcast.

Regis (01:07):

Thank you.

Faith (01:08):

I’m excited to talk to you. We’re gonna talk today about literally just you. Um, I wanna know, you know, what brought you here, kind of what your career journey has been so far. I actually don’t know when you started writing code, and I feel like for most people on the team, I kind of understand their history a little bit better. So I’m excited to talk about that. And then whatever else we get into. So I guess to start, do you wanna just introduce yourself and share what you do at Gun.io?

Regis (01:42):

Sure. Well, uh, I’m Regis <laugh> and I’m here at Gun.io since October 2020.

Faith (01:56):

Yeah. I think so. Yeah. 

Regis (01:56):

2020. Yeah.

Faith (01:58):

Two years. That’s crazy. I can’t believe it.

Regis (02:01):

Yes, yes. Time flies.

Faith (02:05):

It does.

Regis (02:06):

I started coding because I was kicked out from the college. I was–

Faith (02:15):

No way. I didn’t know that.

Regis (02:17):

Yes. I, in my early twenties, I was more or less lost in life as most of 20’s persons  are.(Faith:  Yeah.) Right. And a couple of things that, that I tried didn’t work. And so I start doing the only thing that I would know how to do it, which is coding. I was not even good at that. But <laugh>

Faith (02:45):

You became good.

Regis (02:47):

I hope so. I hope so. ‘Cause I spent my last 20 years doing that <laugh>

Faith (02:53):

<laugh>.

Regis (02:55):

So yeah, I start coding, Uh, I first start with ASP Classic..

Faith (03:02):

Okay.

Regis (03:02):

That’s not even a thing now then, but the opportunity that came to me was on PHP that I didn’t know anything about it, but I got my way through and learned how to do it. I started in a local company, a very small local company, for three months. They never paid me <laugh>.

Faith (03:29):

No way.

Regis (03:30):

Yes, they should pay me, but they couldn’t. But it was a good starting point, and I’m grateful because that put me on a career that I still follow to this day.

Faith (03:44):

Yeah.

Regis (03:45):

When I was 25, I had a tumor on my right leg, and that was a big trouble. I couldn’t work anymore. I spent one or two years just trying to heal that leg, which I did it. I got better. I’m here. I’m healthy. More or less healthy <laugh>. But it was when I start working remotely, because I couldn’t move that well around the city, I couldn’t drive. I couldn’t take bus, I couldn’t walk long distance. So I found this job on Yahoo Groups.

Faith (04:35):

Oh my gosh.

Regis (04:36):

Yeah. Yeah. But I guess that still exists today. I think so.

Faith (04:42):

Does it really?

Regis (04:43):

I think so. Yeah.

Faith (04:44):

Wow. What a relic. That’s awesome.

Regis (04:46):

Yes. Yes. Uh, so I start working with those guys. They really teach me a lot about how to work remotely. It was a little bit too much. Uh, I was doing daily reports every single day. I would need to fill a report telling them what I have done through the day one line per each, each half hour. I would need to report that.

Faith (05:16):

Oh my gosh. Yeah. And this was, this was like 20 years ago, right? So like early 2000s?

Regis (05:24):

Uh, no, not really. That was like, uh, 2007. Yeah. Yeah. Early 2000, yeah, 2007. But the second half. Yeah.

Faith (05:37):

I can’t imagine how different remote work was in 2007 than it is today in 2022.

Regis (05:45):

Not so different, in my opinion.

Faith (05:46):

Really? (Regis: Yeah.) Wow. Even with tools, you know, like we’ve got Slack now and all of these tools that are kind of optimized for remote work. Was the company that you were working with remotely based in Brazil as well?

Regis (06:01):

No, it was, American, United States Company. Yeah. (Faith: Okay.) Uh, for the records, it’s a company that’s still out there up and running software. (Faith: Wow.) Pretty bunch of good guys. Yeah.

Faith (06:16):

Cool. That’s awesome. (Regis: Yeah. So–) I was also laughing a little bit because it’s such a testament to your personality that your first job that where you worked and they didn’t pay you, you’re still like, ‘But it was a good experience and I’m grateful for it.’ I feel like most people would be very salty about that. So, if you’ve never met Regis, that is a great insight into just like, who you are as a person.

Regis (06:43):

I know how, how I am, and I know that. (Faith: Yeah.) Any, anything that you are, that you have, it has a good and not bad thing. And I, and I need to, to handle this struggle of that bad thing, of being a person that accepts any circumstances without complaining. That’s actually something that I actually work on–to complain more, to put on some conditions, to impose respect on myself. But, that’s a talk that I’ll have with my therapist <laugh>.

Faith (07:26):

I mean, maybe we can get part two of the Frontier Podcast could be Team Therapy.

Regis (07:32):

<laugh>.

Faith (07:34):

Um, okay. So that was your first remote role as a developer, 2007 or thereabouts. And from that point on, were you mostly doing remote engagements with U.S.-based companies?

Regis (07:49):

Yes. Yes. Since then, I work with a company from England, a company from Switzerland, but was not huge experience, just small tasks here and there. Quick, quick jobs. Yeah. But mostly U.S. companies. From up and running software, I got some other clients that I got for myself. I work a bit with clients from Upwork. Yeah. Upwork, but at the time they were called Odesk. <affirmative>. And after that I actually work with Odesk themselves.

Faith (08:34):

Oh really?

Regis (08:35):

Yeah. It was when they were transitioned to Upwork.com. It was previously Odesk.(Faith:  Got it.) Not so great experience. It was not that fun. But it adds to my curriculum, I guess.

Faith (08:51):

Yeah, that’s right. And then you joined Gun.io as a developer. I mean, I feel like I remember seeing you on the platform when I first started working here. Like, you, you’ve been around for a while.

Regis (09:04):

Yeah. I guess it was like three months. And I got hired by Gun.io. Because of the pandemic most of my clients just drop off our contracts. So I start looking again. I have been always super busy since, but then the pandemic started and I had to, to look, uh, for more opportunities, which was really great for me because I was more or less too comfortable where I was at and wasn’t learning new things. Like I was more a one man army like kind of stuff. So that–that being too much isolated. It’s not good for personal growth.

Faith (09:57):

Right.

Regis (09:57):

So I’m happy that that happened because I found Gun. It was, since time I look at Gun, it was like loving at first sight, right?(Faith: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>), I really like the platform, the way it was done more are not out, not so much out to monetize it, more (Faith: mm-hmm. <affirmative>) human-handled. And I really like that. I remember we–I exchanged a couple of emails with you. I’m not sure if you remember that.

Faith (10:30):

Yeah. And Slack.

Regis (10:32):

Yeah. It was a picture of pencils. ‘It’s easy to look sharp when you haven’t done any work.’ (Faith: Yeah.) And it’s cause that’s how some working platforms would ask for very strict code tests that I feel like, okay, this is great if you’re in college. That’s true academic. It tests your skills on very picky, tricky specific points of algorithms.

Faith (11:02):

Yeah. And it’s, you know, that’s obviously not what we prioritize here. It’s very different. Very human, human-based. And I guess, I mean, we can get into what you do at Gun.io too, which I failed to mention at the top of the episode. So Regis is on our engineering team. And I feel like our team generally can wear a whole bunch of hats. Like we don’t have, to my knowledge, we don’t have a really hyper-specific frontend person or hyper-specific backend person. So what, what do you usually take on when it comes to the kind of task and project breakdown on the engineering team?

Regis (11:46):

Well, the role that I applied for, it was, uh, UI engineer. And I start like doing front end things with Wade, me, and Richie, was working mostly on the front end part. I like to suffer, I guess. So <laugh>,  I saw an opportunity to learn to study a little bit of Python and Django. What that, that is the technology that we use for backend things. So I went to Wade and ask him, ‘Do you want me to get into that? I’m not very experienced in Python. I know this little bit. I worked with Django years ago. I’m very outdated. But do you want me to, to look at that?’ ‘Cause I also feel the need that to first, to understand the system as a whole. I, and I don’t like to understand just the bit that concerns me, that this is my responsibility.

Regis (12:57):

The other side of the coin, they would have to provide me. I’d like to understand the whole picture. So it was an opportunity. I saw the need to, to help Wade to do backend things. I would like to be more independent as well. Like, I need to implement this feature. Uh, this piece is missing on the backend. I will need to ask Wade to implement it. When the APIs ready, I will implement the front end. No, I want to be able to do the whole thing. Yeah. And, and I guess that’s something to do with my–the way I was.  I was–I was used to work, like doing, like being a one Army man. (Faith: Mm-hmm. <affirmative>) that doesn’t work with teams. So maybe that’s it. But, uh, I saw that opportunity and so I moved to doing more backend things.

Faith (13:52):

I had no idea that you learned Python and Django while you were here. That’s really cool.

Regis (13:58):

Yeah. Really cool. But, uh, maybe that’s not <laugh> the proposal of Gun. Like we have that, that line, right? People are not learning to, to do. But man, I, I, I gotta know, I gotta say that any developer needs to keep learning. No ones know everything. If you have a developer that knows everything, you know one thing: that person is a liar, he doesn’t know everything. He might have touched that thing just a little bit. And he says, ‘Okay, I now do that.’ But, well, that’s what developers do. They need to learn fast to discover new things. ‘Cause things are always changing and (Faith: mm-hmm. <affirmative>) and technologies come and go. So we need to, to have that capability of, of learning on a daily basis.

Faith (14:54):

Yeah. I think it’s such a–it’s such a kind of unique experience to be in a place where you’re not pigeonholed. I think especially as developers, there’s usually a really specific need and there’s a lot of work to be done within that specific need, especially as you get into larger companies. So it’s rare to find a place–like, it’s, it’s cool to hear that Wade was like, ‘Yeah, learn some Python and Django and we can, you know, start with small projects and kind of build up.’ I see what you mean too, about being able to run kind of like a full cycle on your own without having to ask other people to jump in for certain things. That’s often true with all kinds of professions, not just software development. But a lot of people in those scenarios would be like, ‘That’s not my job. I don’t wanna learn how to do that. Like, I’ll let somebody else.’

Faith (15:47):

So that’s really cool to hear. So that was a good–I think a lot of folks will appreciate that advice of, you know, don’t stop learning as a developer. Even if you know, you think that you’re in, you’ve kind of like made it, because it’s always helpful to have a broader collection of skills. What other advice would you give to somebody who’s hearing your professional story and is like, ‘That sounds cool. I think that’s, that’s the, the path I wanna pursue as well.’

Regis (16:23):

You already mentioned they need to keep learning.

Faith (16:25):

Mm-hmm. <affirmative>,

Regis (16:26):

You are either a genius or you need to work hard. <laugh> (Faith: mm-hmm. <affirmative>.) I’m the second case. I work hard ‘cause <laugh>, I’m not a genius. And you, you really got to work hard, and to work hard, you need to appreciate what you do because otherwise you won’t work hard, or at least for not too, too long. ‘Cause nobody can live like that doing jobs they don’t like for too long. (Faith: Right.) That’s something that I’m really grateful here at Gun. I’m happy to–very happy how, uh, how Wade handles things. They let us free to choose what we want to work with, what part of that we feel more leaning to, to be work on. Uh, so try to, to find that for yourself. Something that really gets you learning. It’s not easy. So you need to have a reward when you doing all that much of hard work. And always be in touch with the clients, with people who employ you. Because most of the struggle that there is in remote jobs specifically is to handle with timelines and clients’ anxiety. So to overcome that, you need to communicate, to be transparent, to be honest. Show progress. And that’s it.

Faith (18:22):

That’s really good advice. Specifically for folks that are kind of pursuing contract remote work, which is what you’ve done for most of your life. And I feel like we can say all day, like, ‘Hey, communication is important and you need to keep your clients updated.’ But unless you implement a cadence and like an expectation for yourself around that, it’s really hard to like stay, um, stay committed to that, right? ‘Cause you just get so deep in the work that it’s easy. It’s easy for that to be the thing that slides, is like a weekly check in progress report, that kinda thing.

Regis (19:00):

Yeah. Well, if you are honest and you don’t like to do meetings, it’s very usual that developers don’t like to do communication things–documentation or meetings–they don’t like doing that. If you don’t like doing that, be honest and you’ll be fine. ‘Cause whenever the client gets anxious and ask you, ‘Where’s my system? Where’s this thing, where’s that?’ You can say, ‘There it is. Just get into your site. You see the feature, that implement that today. You don’t have that yesterday. You now have it.’ Get things done, get things done. I saw a lot of that happen. Clients that want to have features, they would dream about having a system that would fulfill their needs. But that seems never to happen since a very far thing that you, you never reach. Help them to reach what they thought. It was a long journey. Get things done, and you, you’ll be fine. And you need to communicate less to balance things. Yeah.

Faith (20:19):

<laugh>. Yeah, we can make that the title of the episode: Just get things done.

Regis (20:26):

<laugh>. Yeah.

Faith (20:28):

Well, Regis, that was really good. That’s really good insight and advice. And for folks listening, if you want to ask Regis just questions, learn more about kind of what brought him here and what he does on the team. Uh, he’s in the Cantina slacks. If you’re a developer with Gun.io and you’re in our community, hit him up. He’s my favorite person to chat with and hear stories from. Uh, which I’m sad we couldn’t just spend the whole episode today listening to your stories, but, uh, maybe part two.

Regis (20:59):

Yeah. Thanks Faith. That was really fun to do.

Faith (21:05):

Good. Yeah. And I might need to commission some of this flag art from your daughter, because now we’re gonna also be celebrating the World Cup in my household too, so.

Regis (21:15):

Yeah.

Faith (21:16):

All right. Well, Regis, thanks so much. I’ll talk to you on Slack.

Regis (21:19):

Thank Faith. Later. Bye bye.

Faith (21:22):

Thanks for listening to The Frontier podcast, powered by gun.io. We drop two episodes per week. So if you like this episode, be sure to subscribe on your platform of choice and come hang out with us again next week and bring all your internet friends. If you have questions or recommendations, just shoot us a Twitter DM at the Frontier Pod and we’ll see you next week.

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