Welcome to this month's employee spotlight! We are thrilled to introduce you to Hernani Cerqueira, our esteemed Chief Technology Officer.
Beyond his technical prowess, Hernani brings a unique blend of interests to his role. When he's not engineering SaaS products, he finds solace in the great outdoors, balancing his professional life with family commitments and managing a farm. His expertise has played a pivotal role in shaping the core of Peoplelogic.
In this interview, we will delve into Hernani's personal side, exploring his passion for rock climbing, hidden chess talents, and his ambitious vision for the future of Peoplelogic. Join us as we celebrate the extraordinary individuals who drive the success of Peoplelogic forward!
Employee Spotlight Q & A:
Ashley: What's the most unexpected or unique personal hobby that brings you joy?
Hernani: The thing that fills me with joy is supporting my wife in her animal rescue efforts. Witnessing the transformation of rescue animals and receiving follow-up pictures from the families who adopted them brings immense satisfaction. It's truly a heartwarming experience to see these animals find happiness and thrive in their new homes.
A: What is a work-related accomplishment you are proud of?
H: Throughout my entire career, I have taken pride in the journey that led me to where I am today. It's been a mix of ups and downs, but ultimately, I've reached a place that brings me joy, and I feel a strong sense of respect for the knowledge I've gained along the way.
A: What type of recognition and appreciation do you value most?
H: I don't particularly seek appreciation for individual acts. While I value being recognized in a general sense, I prefer the idea of being like a silent superhero who saves the day and slips away without anyone knowing. Seeing that my efforts, whether in work or other aspects of life, have a positive impact is gratification enough for me.
A: What is your favorite after-work activity and how does it contribute to your personal growth?
H: One of my favorite ways to unwind is playing chess. I primarily play chess online, and while I may have lower tournament ratings, I find it to be a fascinating and intellectually stimulating game.In chess, the initial moves hold immense importance, and many players memorize intricate details. However, I prefer to approach the game with creativity, as I don't always have the time to study extensively. Additionally, I've explored Fischer960, a variant introduced by Bobby Fischer, which eliminates memorizing opening moves by randomizing the starting positions of pieces. Chess challenges me to anticipate and strategize, analyze complexity, and understand the flow of the game to outwit my opponents. Lastly, my username, "masterofdumbmoves" reflects my willingness to embrace failures and learn from them. Despite losing more often against stronger opponents, I see it as an opportunity for agility, learning, and personal development, which is why I intentionally challenge myself by playing against highly skilled players.
A: What is one thing that surprised you about working for this company?
H: One aspect that amazed me about working for this company was observing the inception of Peoplelogic. Witnessing how deeply Matt's past experiences influenced him, leading him to establish a company aimed at resolving significant organizational challenges, left a lasting impression on me.
A: If you did not have to work, what would you do with your time?
H: Oh, so many things. I would probably spend like 90% of my time in the mountains though. 😊
A: What is a small act of kindness you were once shown that you will never forget?
H: A few years ago, while I was in Ampandrotrarana, Madagascar on Christmas Eve, I encountered three kids in dire conditions on a remote mountain. Knowing that they were in a limited financial position, I decided to share some of my money with them. I handed over a few bills from my backpack, approximately 10k Ariary, which may not seem like much ($2 USD), but it was a substantial amount for them. Curious about their plans, I asked the eldest child how they intended to use the money. Without hesitation, he replied that he would buy meat for his siblings. This selfless act deeply touched me. Despite having so little, his immediate concern was to provide food for his brothers. I captured a photograph of those kids, which now hangs on the wall of my living room, serving as a reminder of that special day.
A: If you could live in any historical period, which one would you choose?
H: I would choose the 70s or 80s. It was a time with sufficient technology and knowledge, yet there was still a lot left to explore and discover. The era was relatively peaceful, and the world was not facing the same level of challenges it does today. Additionally, many cultures remained intact, making it an exciting period to experience.
A: What is a common phrase used in your family that nobody else uses?
H: Gear up for a funny story. But first, a little backstory. We have this massive black cat that is a caretaker for small kittens. However, we never bothered to name him, so we just call him “black one.” So, a while back, we had this kitten my wife rescued that didn't even have his eyes open. But for some reason, the black cat wasn't interested. Fast-forward a couple of days to when I was in a restaurant with my son. Suddenly, my wife texts me, "o preto está a lamber o bebé", which out of context can be interpreted as "the black one is licking the baby". This message pops up in my smartwatch and is super weird if you strip out the context. Nevertheless, it was an incredibly positive thing, so now we like to say that "the black one is licking the baby" whenever something good finally happens.
A: If you could switch jobs with anyone in the company for a day, who would it be and why?
H: I wouldn't choose to switch jobs with anyone, to be fair. I believe that each person's role in the company is more challenging than mine in some respects because they may involve tasks I'm not fond of.
A: If you could have superpowers, what would they be and why?
H: Without a doubt, my top choice would be teleportation or any other superfast and effortless means of long-distance travel. However, I'd need the capability to carry at least a backpack to bring along my climbing gear.
A: If you were to describe your work style as a type of music, what genre would it be and why?
H: I would attribute my work style to jazz because it involves tackling a myriad of intricate tasks that might appear chaotic individually, but when combined, they form a cohesive and meaningful whole.
A: Would you rather speak to animals or know other people’s thoughts?
H: Due to my fascination with animals’ behavior, I have a strong desire to communicate with animals, especially cats and dogs, to understand the reasons behind their actions.
A: What is one improvement you would like to see at this company?
H: Currently, our trajectory shows steady progress towards continuous improvement, with a focus on addressing all areas that can be enhanced. For example, the restriction on expanding the workforce is due to financial constraints. However, as we continue to grow, I am confident that this limitation will be addressed accordingly. Overall, I believe that we are moving in the right direction.
A: If you had to eat one meal for the rest of your life what would it be?
H: Assuming no health concerns, I would go for mountain cheese paired with peach jam and walnuts.
A: How do you get motivated for difficult tasks?
H: I embrace challenges head-on. Recently, during a hiking and rock-climbing expedition, I faced the daunting task of trekking 5 kilometers up a mountain with a steep 20% inclination while carrying a 20-kilogram backpack. To push myself further, I set an ambitious goal to complete the three-hour hike in just an hour and thirty minutes. Although I didn't quite achieve my target (I completed it in one hour and forty-five minutes), I still took pride in surpassing the standard three-hour mark. This experience took place in Spain, at a place called Los Galayos, where we tackled the grueling hike, covering an elevation of 1,000 meters (about 3280.84 ft). The journey included climbing four needles over three days. It was a demanding and rewarding endeavor that reaffirmed my commitment to challenge myself and conquer difficult tasks.