Current Location: Barcelona, Spain → GMT+1

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Languages: Portuguese, English and French. + some German and a bit of Greek. Currently learning Spanish and Catalan.

Pronouns: She/her, they/them

Slack: @etiene

Nationality: Brazilian

Loves: Making barbecues

Hates: Melons

Quick Intro

Heya there 👋 I'm Etiene. I'm a senior software engineer passionate about languages with an MSc in computer science researching computational linguistics. I started Polygloss as my MSc. project and now I'm very excited to see how it is going to evolve.


Software Engineering, Computational Linguistics, Language Learning, Start-ups, Strategy, Rolling up my sleeves, Saying Yes, Saying No.

More about me

I grew up in Niterói, a city across the bay from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. I went to a local community school until middle school, than a technical public high school in Rio city, where I learned about how to be a pharmacy lab technician. My first official work place was an internship at the Brazilian Jockey Club, where I was preparing the anti-doping test samples of race-horses for spectrophotometry. I went to that school because I wanted to study medicine and help people, but I quickly found out I wouldn't be able to handle such a career. Already only in high school I burned out, got severe depression, had a few seizures, was misdiagnosed with epilepsy and took strong medications for years. So when I finished highschool I gave up on writing the internship report for the technical course and went to Music university instead, where I studied classical piano. Turns out that was very stressful too (which any musician could have told me). Trying to focus on studies several hours a day for months to prepare a repertoire for a bunch of old men waiting for you to fail and having no big career prospects after all of that is also quite a bummer. The routine to be successful is bonkers and there is no space for being mediocre. I dropped out at the third year and started the course on Information Systems at PUC-Rio, which I also didn't finish due to lack of money to pay the university fees. Luckily I got a scholarship for a university in France where I did finish my degree as a general engineer in Systems, Perception, Information and Decision, specializing in Software Engineering for Embedded Systems. Later I got into a Computer Science MSc which is when I started creating Polygloss.

Throughout this journey I did many different jobs within Software Engineering: game development, data engineering, web development, developer advocacy, cloud infrastructure, mobile develpment, natural language processing... Every job has been different than the one before! I also moved a lot. Besides Brazil and France, I lived in Berlin, London, and am now trying to move to Barcelona. That's 11 flats in 10 years.

As you can see, I am very chaotic, this is how my brain and how my life works. But I consider myself to be chaotic good. Even though I am not always coping with my ADHD and my social anxiety, I am always trying my best. I'm everyday learning new things to improve on myself and the world. I'm very concerned about quality of mental health, the current advanced state of capitalism and human suffering, and how to exist and resist in this world full of stressful events. I'm a feminist and a radical leftist, slowly moving towards anarcho-syndicalism.

My role models are Paulo Freire, bell hooks, David Graeber and Bette Graham.

Favorite song (specifically this interpretation)

How do the things I care about align with Polygloss?

A lot of things align, since I started the project :) But I want to add that my whole life was transformed by learning English. It enabled me to learn so much more about anything I want. I'm really happy to do the change I want to see in the world. Besides, learning languages is healthy for cognition, something that I am personnally concerned about.

What do I want to learn next?

I'm really interested in politics, education and, more recently, complex dynamic systems. I'm keen to learn more about agent-based models and unite all of these interests to create a transformative human-centric language learning experience. I'm also very interested in learning more about managing people towards a common goal and fostering knowledge-sharing and trust.

What do I really like doing?

Research (fancy way to say I like learning stuff). Planning and prioritizing.