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Anna e só

Open Source Generalist

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

I’m Anna e só, an open source generalist born, raised, and based in Brazil. I’m an Outreachy organizer by daylight and an Information Systems undergraduate by moonlight. I’ve been working with FOSS (free and open source software) communities for almost four years. Back in 2017 I had a pretty defined career path in mechanical engineering, but I had such a good time on my internship with the Wikimedia community I changed my mind and decided to get into tech instead. I joke that my career may seem a bit confusing at first—I’ve worked for or volunteered on a good range of projects in different contexts and roles so far—but the thread that connects them all is my passion for problem-solving. I like to think of myself as a bridge builder—someone capable of reconciling different points of view, consolidating knowledge, connecting people, and helping them thrive.

I didn’t have much time outside work or school before the pandemic hit, as I was juggling two part-time jobs and my undergrad. But spending so much time at home made me evaluate the way I was living my life—I realized I needed a better work-school-life balance. This helped me find joy in gardening, building puzzles with my partner, watching bad movies, and recovering my love for gaming.

Anna e só's setup
Sources of joy close at hand

What hardware do you use?

I have a ThinkPad T480 running Fedora 34 and a desktop PC I’ve built myself running Windows 10. My ThinkPad is connected to a Gen 2 ThinkPad USB-C docking station.

Both computers are connected to two 23’’ Dell monitors (P2319H) and an old-school KVM switch that lets me use the same peripherals and all USB-A ports on my monitors with them. Talking about peripherals, I have a Moonlander Mark I with a Logitech MX Vertical placed right in the middle of its two halves. I use Sony’s WH-1000XM4 headphones to combat the noise coming from the street nearby and a Blue Yeti Nano alongside a Logitech C920s Pro for meetings and occasional livestreams and podcasts I’m invited to.

I had the chance to buy my dream office chair—a Herman Miller Aeron, size B—two months ago. For someone who spends so much time on working and studying (with breaks, of course!), it’s an amazing investment (and it forces me to not slouch, too).

I have a wall full of art by foreign and Brazilian artists (Arcasian, Doki Rosi, nani, and an original painting by a friend of mine, Lily). On my desk there’s a frame with a drawing of a frog by Maria Carvalho with a play on words from an old children’s song (“O sapo não lava o pé”) as a reminder to not be so hard on myself: “It’s okay to have days where you can’t even wash your feet.”

Anna e só's art wall
Art brightens the workspace

I also have a few plants in my office: a Monstera deliciosa right by my window; an Epipremnum aureum and a Dieffenbachia Camilla on the left side of my desk and two Dracaena trifasciata on the right side; a Fittonia albivenis and a Epipremnum aureum cutting on the shelves of the pegboard; and yet another Epipremnum aureum and a Peperomia scandens on the upper shelf.

Anna e só's plants waiting to be watered
Plants waiting to be watered

And what software?

I use jrnl to organize daily work notes alongside VS Code. I’ve tried a couple different projects like Joplin and Obsidian, but I keep coming back to basic .txt files filled with emojis. ✨ I use LaTeX for academic notes and assignments.

Outreachy’s website uses Django and my personal websites use Hugo, so from time to time you can find myself trying to do some web development work with Python, HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. We use Git to manage it all.

I use Fedora with GNOME and a few extensions like gTile and Just Perfection. I manage wallpapers for both my monitors with HydraPaper. (By the way, the wallpapers you see on my monitors were created by paperbeatsscissors.)

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

In my first few months with the Moonlander, I tried to create a layout that would resemble a “normal” keyboard, but with some optimizations. I was too focused on adapting to this new form factor to think about expanding its functionality. (I talked about my two first weeks with the Moonlander in this post in Brazilian Portuguese.)

But as I learned a bit more about QMK and how layers work thanks to a macropad my partner and I built together (YMD09), I started incorporating more and more tricks to my Moonlander’s layout. My main goal with an ergonomic keyboard was to avoid what I call “finger gymnastics”: stretching my fingers too much. That’s why I have Auto Shift on by default and started adding a lot of shortcuts to my thumb clusters:

I tried a few custom keycap sets but I kept coming back to my Moonlander’s originals. I like their texture, that black-with-red-accents aesthetic that goes so well with my ThinkPad, and the plated Launch/Any keys that accommodate the tips of my thumbs so comfortably. I did remove the costar stabilizers (as I chose very light switches—Kailh Speed Silver—and the stabs would add a bit of resistance on every keypress) and the original wrist rests (I prefer softer ones).

What would be your dream setup?

I’d say my current setup is already a dream! But my office is currently part of a bedroom I share with my partner. Due to the pandemic, our plans to renovate our apartment and have a dedicated office space had to be delayed. I’d love to build an office for us in a way we both have plenty of space to accommodate our respective nerdiness.

Anna e só's plants in the sun
May Anna's plants continue to thrive!

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