Ed Rocha is a full-stack web developer who's been with X-Team for just under a year. He's an avid traveler (as many X-Teamers are), a self-labeled Magic: The Gathering nerd, and the indubitable king of the X-Team Loot Raids. Learn more about Ed down below.

Why did you choose to become a developer?

As a kid, I was always a fan of retro gaming and JRPGs (SNES, Genesis...) and that inevitably led me to RPG Maker 2000 (and eventually the 2003 edition too). Although not "real" programming, creating my own RPGs and playing with software really developed my programmer muscles, since basically all of the concepts in RPG Maker transferred very well when I started coding for real. I loved the mental challenge of thinking of a feature to put in a game, like custom menus and battle systems, and to actually implement it with RPG Maker's relatively simple, powerful features that didn't require any coding at all.

When the time came to pick a career I considered many options, from Psychology to Economics. In the end, Computer Science was my inevitably #1 choice. I'm a huge nerd; fan of games like Magic: the Gathering and strategy games, so working on something that stimulated my logic skills was a no brainer.

I only really started coding in my first semester during university, with languages like C and Pascal, but soon started playing with more hipster stuff like Python and Ruby. Naturally, my first few big programs were text-based games, combat system and all! It's funny how that led to an actual game development position a few years later, although I ended up making the switch to web development eventually.

That's awesome. I have fond memories myself playing text-based MUD (multi-user dungeons) like Achaea and Imperian. In terms of work, is there any particular work project that gave you the most experience and/or satisfaction? Something that you are still proud of today?

I started working on a programming role for a company called Supernova Games, here in Brazil, doing a lot of Unity (C#) programming. One of the projects we picked up was to build a gamified experience for the employees of one of the branches of the biggest medical work cooperative here in Brazil, with quizzes and a visual novel vibe (something Supernova was really good at doing).

I mostly worked with the back-end using Javascript, so that was an important skill that I developed, which translated really well when I made the switch to web development. The project was a success, with the majority of the employees playing and competing to get the best scores. I have many great memories from working on it and there were even days that I got to experience working remotely, which was my first experience doing so.

My first pure web development role was also very important, as I had to quickly learn and implement many features across a wide array of technologies. That's when I started to learn the modern web and frameworks like Laravel, React, Vue, among others. It was also my first 100% remote position, where I learned a lot about being fully remote.

About a year and a half later I joined X-Team. Sure, I had many of the basic skills from my past position, but it was really at X-Team that I took them to the next level, getting experience working both on internal tools and also partner projects. Since the team is full of very skilled developers and you're always in touch with them during work, I was (and still am!) learning so much every day, which was something I didn't experience before that I'm very happy with now ๐Ÿ™‚.

That's good to hear. With your transition to remote work, how did you stay productive? Do you have a specific routine that you stick to?

I believe everyone has their own different rituals, but I think it's important to have a routine. We're not equally productive during all periods of the day, so experimenting and finding a routine that works for you is key.

In my case, I really enjoy getting work done early in the day. That feeling of going for lunch with a lot of the work complete already is sweet!

One thing that I really enjoy about being remote is the possibility of trying to work in new environments. It's a perk that I definitely enjoy, having traveled a little bit while working a few times, and that I think it's worth a try for everyone that is able to.

Absolutely. I also enjoy getting as much work done out of the way before noon comes around.

Now let's talk about goals. Apart from winning the Thursday Games three times in a row, what would you say was the biggest accomplishment when it comes to your personal growth in 2018 and early 2019? Do you have any particular goals for 2019?

I know, I know, I'm very good at our loot raids... ๐Ÿ˜† Ever since I joined X-Team, I feel like my skills skyrocketed, and being part of the team was a big personal accomplishment ever since I got to know about the company in 2017.

2017 was also the year where I first used one of the biggest perks of being remote and tried working while traveling to new places. It was a huge success and tons of fun!

Over the years I got to know so many people, online and offline, that my social network has spread not only in my country (Brazil, which is pretty huge) but also internationally. One of my main personal goals of 2019 (and onward!) is to actually travel and visit as many friends in as many places as possible. In fact, at the moment I'm writing this, I'm in Sรฃo Paulo doing exactly that ๐Ÿ™‚.

This also means traveling internationally, something that I haven't done in a while ever since I spent a year studying in Toronto. It's something that I'm super excited about. And going to a developer conference (for the first time) is also high on my list ๐Ÿ˜„.

Nice! Travel broadens the mind like nothing else and is always worth it. In terms of projects, what's your favorite personal project right now?

As a Magic: the Gathering nerd, traveling to meet friends that live far away also ties in nicely with another personal project of mine. Every time I travel, I make sure to bring a Magic card for my friends to sign, normally a card that I think that matches their tastes and personality. I collected quite a few already, and the idea is to put them on a wall in my home at some point!

Some of Ed's signed cards

In terms of more technical projects, I love automating things in my life, so a personal project that I really enjoy working on from time to time is a personal bot that I use for crazy specific things, like scraping when there are good deals in the place I go to watch movies and posting daily cat pictures from Reddit in a Telegram group chat I'm a part of. I made it in Python, which was very fun, although I'm considering rewriting it in Typescript just for fun and making it open source ๐Ÿ™‚.

You totally should! That's what being able to code is as well; creating software for your own purposes, however specific or strange.

How has the Unleash+ budget and the X-Team Seasons helped you with any of those passions?

Unleash+ is insane! I'm a huge fan and use it every month to buy new games (both digital and board/card games) and try out new restaurants (even more useful when traveling). Nice food and new games, what's not to love? As a huge Magic: the Gathering nerd and someone trying to get more into board games lately, I couldn't ask for more.

X-Team Seasons are sweet, and I love the concept of trying new things and getting rewarded for it, which Season bounties are perfect for! I even managed to get to the top 3 list of bounty hunters in season 1, and I'm proud of it (and getting my muscles ready for next season) ๐Ÿ˜!

You bet. You're always high up on the rankings when it comes to collecting bounties. You'll love Season 3! As a final question, what lasting impression do you want to leave on the world?

When I was younger I used to think that "one swallow does not make a summer", as I'm just one person in this big world, so why even try that hard? Growing up, though, I started questioning that and noticing that, although I, as a single person, maybe can't make a huge impact in the world by myself alone, people as a community can definitely impact the people around us, and that's already huge.

So being the best version of yourself when dealing with others and making choices can be way more impactful than we think, and I like to always keep that in mind whenever I can make a choice that can help others. I like to think it inspires others to do the same ๐Ÿ˜„.

Absolutely. Being the best version of yourself is good for you and for everyone around you. Thank you so much for your time and best of luck with your travels and the games in Season 3 ๐Ÿ˜บ.