Hi, I’m Quil.

Sometimes I look like this.

I’m a programmer, artist, writer, and programming language designer from Brazil. I’ve been working on software professionally for about 8 years now. During that time I’ve helped build (and led the development of) user interfaces, web applications, programming languages, and developer tooling.

Outside of my daily job I’ve also worked on computer games and open-source software for things that mattered to me. The experiences of working with so many different people, all across the world, were really valuable to me.

People are still my biggest motivation. I want to work on more projects that will have a positive impact on their lives. I want to help build technology that will let people achieve their goals more efficiently. I even made my short bio “working to make computing more human-centric!”

My current personal project is an experimental research called Purr. It draws inspirations from fields such as sociology, psychology, mathematics, and computer science. And aims to realise a very specific view of programming:

“We should be able to collaborate with computers in the same way we collaborate with humans.”

When people talk about collaboration, they generally mean helping humans get work done together. That’s a very good start. Purr aims to extend that view of collaboration to include computing systems as well, through the use of two principles: rich interaction and feedback, and trust.

Equally important, however, is the fact that Purr has a cute mascot.

Purr-tan and her adorable kittens, Caramel and Creampuff.

All The Languages!

I’m somewhat obsessed with languages. It’s quite amazing to me how languages both allow us to express things and constrain how we do so. The way language shapes and colours our thoughts. And, of course, all of the cultural and social elements that are inherent to “language”.

I speak both Portuguese and English. And I’m learning Japanese and Swedish. There’s a lot of fun to be had in reading the etymologies of words with an Indo-European root which you almost never get from Japanese.

In the future I’m hoping to study Italian, German, Finnish, and Korean. Unsurprisingly, my language-learning wants are pretty much driven by my hobbies and seeing interesting linguistic bits on the internet.

I quite enjoy thinking about programming and mathematical languages, too.

What pronouns to use?

TL;DR: Use my name whenever possible. If the language doesn’t allow you to, use feminine (preferred) or masculine pronouns as you see fit. Avoid “they/them” pronouns.

Here are some examples:

  • (English) Quil is a programmer, artist, and writer from Brazil.
  • (Portuguese) Quil é uma pessoa desenvolvedora, artista, e escritora do Brasil.
  • (Japanese) QUILはブラジル人のデべロッパーやイラストレーターや作家。

Less flattering examples, please avoid them if you can:

  • (English, gendered) She is a programmer, artist, and writer from Brazil.
  • (English, non-gendered) They are a programmer, artist, and writer from Brazil.
  • (Portuguese, gendered) Ela é uma desenvolvedora, artista, e escritora do Brasil.

Sometimes (particularly in Portuguese), it’s too much trouble to avoid pronouns. But again, use them if you need to. Just don’t go for pronouns as your first option, particularly in writing. Repetitions are fine in writing. Your goal should be to make your writing as clear as possible. Even if you’re writing a novel. You don’t have to sacrifice clarity for rhythm and beauty–have your cake, and eat it too.

The reason I ask to avoid “they/them” pronouns is just that I find them confusing. English is already devoid enough of grammar that makes it very hard to get a clear understanding of sentences. Particularly in writing, where the subjects you’re referring to may be distant. Something like (some of these people are fine with their significant others referring to them as "girlfriend", but they still don't want you to use "she/her" pronouns to refer to them) is very hard to understand for me. Again, repetitions are fine in writing. Just make things clear, goddammit.


Pronouns are complicated. You’ll see many non-binary people put “they/them pronouns” in their bio and leave it at that. It’s great if you only ever talk about them in English, but how do you refer to them in a Romance language, like Portuguese, Spanish, or French? How do you refer to them in a Slavic language, like Croatian or Russian? How do you refer to them in German? What about in Japanese, which doesn’t even have (these kind of) pronouns, but sometimes you might end up using some “gendered” terms like 彼女 (“kanojo”, which roughly translates to “she” or “her” when it has the role of a grammatical pronoun).

Pronouns are complicated because languages are complicated. And we live in a multicultural world–chances are, increasingly, that the people around you speak more than one language. How should your friends (and colleagues) refer to you in their native language? Or in a second language they speak when hanging out with some of their own friends? Or when writing about you in a social network group where people don’t speak English? (did you know that there are more languages than English in the world? Now you know!)

Anyway.

Pronouns are complicated, and that’s why I’ve avoided putting them in my Twitter bio. But it also feels kind of shitty to just leave “whatever, be respectful” there–what is respectful, anyway? There is no way for someone to know how I’m feeling a certain day in order to know whether some form of referring to me will be perceived as respectful or not. Which doesn’t really create a good basis for communication.

And that’s is why I decided to include this section here, with some guidelines on how to refer to me in writing or speech.

That’s all :)

More trivia about me:

  • I really like cats. I could spend a long time watching them, and playing with them.

  • I like dogs and other animals as well, but I feel really uneasy near dogs in real life. There’s no rational explanation for that.

  • Precure and Aikatsu are my favourite series, despite being shows for children. It’s great to be able to enjoy something straightforward like that and forget your worries.

  • If you follow me on Twitter you know that I spend way too much time talking about Japanese idols. Perhaps too much money too…

  • I’ve been addicted to phone rhythm games for a couple of years and my wallet hates it.

  • Quil is pronounced as the English letter “Q”. Or /kju:/ in the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA). Or キュー in a Japanese phonetic rendering.