A reflection on 10+ years of professional life - in badges

Last week I found myself organizing a collection of badges and I couldn’t help but be swept away by a wave of nostalgia and pride. These aren’t just pieces of plastic, paper and fabric, they’re milestones marking the path of my professional life over the last ten years.

Scattered around are badges from various conferences, each unique in color and design, yet collectively representing a journey of growth, learning, and networking. They are memories of inspirational talks, insightful breakout sessions, and unexpected encounters that ignited transformative ideas. They also stand as symbols of personal triumph over shyness, marking the times I stood before audiences, sharing my knowledge and passion.

There’s also a metal badge among them, slightly heavier, slightly shinier, a trophy from participating and winning my first hackathon. It’s for me a reminder of the collaborative spirit, the thrill of creation, and the sweet taste of success after hours of relentless effort.

Winning team of Cadence Brazil first hackathon - 2015 Winning team of Cadence Brazil first hackathon (2015)

Then there are the badges from the company I call my professional home for the past almost 11 years. They’ve evolved in design as I have in my role, adapting and growing from a naive intern trying to figure out adult life and career, to a Principal Software Engineer dedicated to crafting exceptional solutions and fostering innovation in a constantly evolving industry.

Among these tokens of my career, there’s one that stands out for its uniqueness – a badge from my time as a volunteer at a FIFA Confederations Cup. It’s a symbol of teamwork and the global community, a reminder that sometimes, the most valuable experiences come from serving others.

FIFA Confederations cup 2013

Vollunteering at the FIFA Confederations cup (2013)

These badges are more than just keepsakes, they are chapters of my story, each a building block that has shaped me into the professional I am today. They remind me that every event was an opportunity, every challenge a lesson, and every encounter a chance to connect and build bridges.

As I lay them out, I see not just a reflection of the past, but a constellation of experiences that illuminate the path to my future. Here’s to the adventures and the chapters yet to be written, a story told one badge at a time.

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