Juan Gabardini

thumb_juan_gabardini What attracted you to software development?
I got in touch with my first computer back in 83, a TI 99/4A. At this time the high school “Computer Lab” was been installed. It consist of 8 computers. Wow! Just too cool stuff for a nerdy guy, who already thought that soldering transistors and LEDs to make a VU meter is the coolest thing on Earth. Add to this that teaching computer, and so using the Lab, was starting with the then first year students, which I wasn’t!. Ah, eating the forbidden fruit!

For some time I dwelled in the gray area between hardware and software. I finally made my mind due to software’s greater freedom to create or maybe a lack of interesting hardware projects around.

Who influenced you the most early in your career, and how?
I started my carer in a low tech environment, Chaco is not known for its high tech industry. That makes the work of the late Luis ‘Lucho’ Verga more inspiring. He set up an institute where computer skills were taught to children and grown up people. Logo, Basic, Assembler … different students, different teachers, but the same willingness to learn and share in an environment that nourishes it.

How would you summarize your early professional years in technology?
My first job, with 17 years old, was teaching Basic. Then I worked 3 years in business software, in various software companies and freelance. After a period pursuing my engineering degree, I started working in Nuclear Medicine imaging software at Veccsa. This was the first time in that I really felt proud of my work. I designed and built software that interacted with hardware, was supported internationally, had complex algorithms and user interaction, … Paradise.

What are you currently working on?
I’m on agile developing! I’m practicing (mostly testing), teaching and coaching agile development. I also taking part in the organization of Ágiles 200x and the Agile Open Tour.

What are the core values and principles you’ve acquired during your career?
Trust people: in doubt, trust.
Naiveté: I try to keep my mind open and listen, really listen, to people.
Simplicity & Balance: both in technical and human problems, I try to keep it as simple as possible, but not simpler.

How do you stay productive?
I look for learning opportunities, interesting projects and great teams to work with. I talk with different people (as many as I can) and ask them how they do things.

Where do you see the software industry in 5 years?
More people will be exposed to increasingly complex and powerful systems, for instance multi core processors that put parallel processing in the hand of every developer, or smart phones that put computers in everybody, everywhere, everytime. New tradeoffs will emerge about how we program them, what can be done, how we interact between us and with computers.

I think that Apple will continue to be restricted to the high end market and eventually decline due to it lack of community. The walled garden mentality will not nourish it. Open standard, as Android, will grow stronger. Microsoft will be playing catch up with Google for a while. Will Microsoft follow the IBM path, losing dominance? Or would it come out stronger as after the Internet/Netscape episode? If Google maintain its dominance in the cloud, it can get the heat of being the big guy,…and so, it would be also the Bad guy. As we all move more and more to the cloud, tensions between a centralized/commercial data repository vs federated/community model will grow stronger. After free / libre open source we will have a free / libre data social movement. Sites like Facebook will become the new Microsoft.
Interesting times!

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