Cléber Zavadniak Website

Switching to English

Since July of 2021 I’ve been working as a contractor with an American company. It’s been a big paradigm shift for me, for a couple reasons.

First, I kind of never thought I could speak English without much trouble. I always felt as though my English skills was not enough and as if it’d always bring some kind of discomfort while trying to get my job done.

I was very happy to find it was far from the truth.

Also, there’s always that fear that, thanks to cultural differences, I’d say something that hurts or offends someone, somehow, probably without even noticing it.

But that’s hardly the case, since “multicultural teams” tend to take easy this kind of thing. We must always consider people are not trying to be offensive and we know that cultural stuff may be hard to get.

Second, there’s a huge difference between currencies: US Dollars (USD) are much stronger than Brazillian Reais (BRL) and even an entry-level position will pay an excellent salary after currency conversion.

This part became very, very, interesting, because after I started receiving in USD I also started donating to open source projects I like, because, wow, now I can donate. And that leads me to rethink some assumptions we usually have here in Brazil, that donating or even paying for services subscriptions “is not in our culture”. That’s a lie! Brazillians don’t have these habits simply because we are very poor (even if most people don’t realize that as now I’m able to), so each cent counts. As long as you get rid of this poverty, any Brazillian will feel perfectly comfortable with these things. As I did.

Anyway, right now I completely lost interest in working with Brazillian companies… They simply can’t make an offer that’s good enough to me anymore. I still love Brazillian people and respect a lot Brazillian engineering teams, but now I decided to write in English as much as I can because it makes a lot of sense to reach an English-speaking audience instead of limiting it to Portuguese speakers.

(Besides, most Brazillian programmers can read in English very well, so it’s not like I’m going to lose them.)

It’s a lot easier to maintain my blog, too, since it has only one language, now.

I hope you all enjoy. I’m planning to translate my old content and write some new pieces.


Back to index