hello@aldasmallthings.com


"A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved." - Kurt Vonnegut

alda pontes here on the keyboard!

But, please allow me to introduce myself more colorfully: I am an outcomes-driven technologist, professional laugher, artist and aspiring community-builder. I'm a full-stack data & software jedi who lives to design and implement innovative solutions to pressing problems. Fancy algorithms are not inherently beautiful to me.

fast facts

🍌 I minimize assumptions & prioritize simplicity.
πŸ’‹ I am Occam’s razor.
πŸ’» I measure outcomes & add complexity only as needed.
😍 I am able to solve wide-ranging problems thanks to my friend-teachers & open source tribe.
πŸ₯‘ My fuel is black tea, broccoli, low-fi hip hop & cabernet sauvignon.
πŸ¦‹ I'm often inspired to make beautiful & fun doodles in collaboration with Simit.
πŸ––πŸ½ My daily routine includes stretching, reading, calisthenics & researching a new technology.
πŸ€¦πŸ½β€β™€οΈ I'm frustrated @ how unequally resources are distributed...
⚑ ...but I think there's something we can do about it.
πŸ₯° My goal is to do 50% of my hours pro-bono for humanitarian endeavors. Need help? Let's talk.
🌍 I am currently exploring the world with my partner and my backback. This is where we are.

rewind: background & dreams

I was born and bred between Brazil, Japan & the USA. I'm a cultural byproduct of Brazilian populism and liberation theology. I'd like to focus my time on improving living conditions for folks who are struggling the most.

Over the course of the last decade I have dedicated my educational, professional and personal life to exploring this thread. I spent two years quantifying the impact university-level quota systems in Brazil have had on education attainment (study link, no spoilers here!). I've spent the last six years doing a mixture of projects in data science & software development. I've developed a bend towards deploying the minimum amount of technology to solve 90% of the problem. I'm responsibly afraid of complex solution & of solving non-issues. For the past three years, I have been focused on using technology to mitigate resource-distribution inequities (primarily in access to water, healthcare, food, and education). Check out my portfolio if you're hungry for more details on past & current projects. And here's my CV, in case it helps paint a broader stroke. I love working with others, and I think the feeling is mutual. Check out what my peers say about working with me.

Through ALDA SMALL THINGS I started a new experiment: I'm splitting my hours into a blend of contract and pro-bono work (in roughly equal parts). I partner with for-profit organizations on a contract basis to deliver software & data products (work is done remotely). I volunteer with not-for-profit social welfare & justice organizations to help out however I can; that has looked like teaching, operations, software, construction, design & architecture. These are made possible through rewarding collaborations with my partner Simit Rajwadi.

many thank yous

I stand on the shoulders of giants. Thank you to Simu for always encouraging my curiosities. Thank you to my parents for the endless love & carinho. Thank you to Nando Moreira from whom I borrowed many design concepts for the second version of this website. Thank you to all the wonderful artists who have contributed with open source imagery that added some spice to these words.