Kelson Martins Blog

As previously planned, today I have the pleasure to start a series of planned posts with interesting interviews with some amazing people from the tech area. Most of these interviews will happen with people that I have been meeting along the way on my career. These people have interesting stories to share and they all have great information and advice that were valuable to me. Saying that, nothing better than sharing these with you.


Igor Souza is an experienced Software Engineer working at Idiro Analytics, a tech company providing advanced analytics to clients in Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
Based in Dublin-Ireland, he is one of the main developers of the open source application Red Sqirl, which is a browser-based big data application that simplifies the analysis of big datasets.
On the side,  Igor runs and organizes a community and meetup events aimed at the Brazilian community of IT professionals in Dublin area.
Igor and I connected at a few years ago at a Google Developer Group event in Dublin and we are in touch since then discussing technology in general.
Also, he wrote an interesting article that became pretty popular on using Big Data to predict where Pokemon would appear, but let’s discuss this later =).
Without further delay, I present you, Igor Souza.

Igor, tell us a little bit about yourself, your background and your expertise.

I am Software Engineer with over ten years experience, mostly in Java development.
My past career roles included positions as Business Analyst, J2EE Engineer, Technical Lead and Scrum Master.
Over the last years, I have been working in a web-based Big Data application that simplifies the analysis of large datasets called “Red Sqirl”.

You were one of the main developers of Red Sqirl, can you explain to us what the tool is and what it is used for?

Red Sqirl is an Analysis Platform that runs in parallel with the Hadoop platform and other Hadoop Technologies. As a browser-based big data application, Red Sqril has the goal of simplifying the analysis of large datasets enhancing the productivity of data scientists and analysts.
The idea behind the tool is to provide simple drag and drop elements into a canvas that allow work-flow-based mechanisms to manage and schedule Hadoop jobs.

You wrote an article that became pretty popular on using Big Data and Red Squirrel to predict where Pokemon from Pokemon GO would appear. What was the experience gained from that?

It was a great experience.
I wrote some basic articles on my blog about Red Sqirl and Pokemon. After that, I decided to write an advanced article to publish in a Plusralsight Hack Guides competition.
As Pokemon Go was a trending topic at the time, I decided to collect some datasets and use it along with Red Sqirl to provide a prediction on where Pokemon would appear.
The article was widely shared and it was a great experience to realize that many people wanted to play with my datasets.
I became pretty popular in my company as well.

What are a few of the major technologies or tools that you are using these days?  Any technology that stands out that worth experimenting with?

As I believe that the Hadoop ecosystem is something that will be in the mainstream for a while, technologies such as Hadoop, Oozie, Spark, Hive, and Pig will be something that all engineers will need to have some contact with.
Especially if they want to thrive in this new Big Data era.

On the side, you organize a monthly meetup aimed at the Brazilian community of IT professionals in Dublin area. How many people attend and how that started?

The “It in Dublin” meetup started in October 2012. Originally the meetup was just a reunion with some friends but since then, monthly meetings with up to 100 attendees are happening.
We also have a Facebook group with 7000 participants and we will be just now celebrating our 5th anniversary.

What can you share on the experience that you gain by organizing such events?

Interaction with all sort of attendees (professionals, students, enthusiasts) provides a great deal of valuable information.
We exchange information ranging from startup ideas and technical content to topics such as interview tips, jobs and etc.
In summary, there are loads of geek talk and of course, we enjoy a few beers and drinks.

From your perspective, what is the importance on an IT professional on attending on such events?

The main takeaway is to meet people and exchange experiences. Networking is fundamental in the tech area.

What is a book that you recommend us and why it is worth reading?

For a technical book, I recommend Clean Architecture by John Martin
It provides tips on what choices you should make on situations and why those choices are critical to your success.
The author offers direct answers to key architecture and design questions.
Clean Architecture is an essential reading for any software architect, systems analyst or and software manager. It is also fundamental for any programmer who aspires to become a great engineer.
For a non-technical book, I recommend Storm in a Teacup by Helen Czerski
The book presents physics applied into our daily lives, making it a fascinating reading.

What can we expect from you in the future? Anything you can share?

I am the process of transitioning to a Data Engineer role, so I have been diving deep into the Hadoop/Spark ecosystem.
On this process, I have been focusing on taking the Cloudera Certifications, which is my current goal.
Also, I am involved on some hardware projects and I am a big enthusiast of raspberry pi. Expect some cool projects in the future.

Where can people connect and follow you?

You can found me in all social networks by igfasouza, twitter @igfasouza or Linkedin.
Also, you can find interest in some of my blog posts.

Interview Notes

You can find his article on using big data to predict where Pokemon will possibly appear here.
You can find Red Sqirl on Github here.
You can find the Facebook group “IT in Dublin” here.

Software engineer, geek, traveler, wannabe athlete and a lifelong learner. Works at @IBM

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