In 2004, after delivering a few more projects at CTBC, including a customer service dashboard and a digital document management system, I found myself moving to the capital of my state and jumping at the opportunity to work for Stefanini, a multinational IT consulting firm.
I was hired to turn around a troubled project. For the first time I was responsible for hiring and leading a sizable engineering team, which peaked in size at 20 team members. After successfully delivering, I had gained the trust of the company which opened the doors for me to lead a series of internal initiatives related to improving internal engineering practices, researching and promoting new trends and mobilizing those with an entrepreneurial spirit to collaborate with me (often during their spare time).
At Stefanini I worked for a variety of clients in many verticals (e.g. telecom, health, manufacturing). Besides working full-time as a software architect, I assisted with proposals and pre-sales and even traveled to give lectures at CIO/CTO events across South America. In 2005/2006, service-oriented architectures (SOA) were a big trend (see Gartner's Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies in 2005) and I became an expert and evangelist for it within Stefanini. It was that exposure what positioned me so well for an opportunity in the U.S., to work for Bunge Global Agribusiness, one of Stefanini’s clients and one of the biggest commodity trading companies in the world.
For being in Belo Horizonte, I wanted to take advantage of my proximity to one of the best Computer Science universities in Brazil and, in 2005, I was accepted to UFMG's full-time masters program. With the consent of Stefanini I also continued to work full-time and was in-and-out of the office as necessary to keep up with my class schedules, often making up on weekends for the work I couldn't finish on week days. As crazy as it was, it wasn't different from my college days when college and work were also both full-time. In 2006 when presented with the opportunity to move to the U.S., I made the hard decision to abandon my master studies.