I am a Toronto-based researcher investigating the social side of software work, with a particular attention to globalization, open source, and software preservation. My first book, Coding Places: Software Practice in a South American City was published this year by the MIT Press.

Some projects




Software in Brazil. I have recently published a book Coding Places: Software Practice in a South American City (MIT Press, 2012), describing an ethnographic study of software developers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. One of the topics that I explore is the community formed around Lua — a programming language developed in Rio de Janeiro that has been recently gaining in popularity.



Geography of Open Source. This new project, sponsored in part by GRAND NCE, explores geographic dimensions of open source development. (In a related project, we also looked at a geography of Twitter.)



Software Preservation. This project, supported by SSHRC, looks at a number of issues in software preservation. We are just starting, so please be patient.



In addition to the academic projects, I also write software for fun sometimes. Google seems to think that writing a Python implementation of Markdown is the most important thing I have done in my life so far. I also wrote a wiki in Lua while doing my fieldwork.

My Book

Some papers

Dissertation

More papers

Presentations, etc.

  • “Free Software in Brazil: Politics and Practice,” Society for Social Studies of Science, Cleveland, OH, November 2–5, 2011.

  • “Global Worlds of Practice”, Junior Theorist Symposium at the annual meeting of the American Sociological Association, August 18, 2011.

  • “Software Livre sob o Olhar das Ciências Humanas” [Free Software from the Perspective of Humanities and Social Sciences] (panel member and organizer), Fórum Internacional do Software Livre, Porto Alegre, Brazil, July 1, 2011.

  • “A Evolução das Instituições do Software Publico” [The Evolution of Public Software Institutions], Fórum Internacional do Software Livre, Porto Alegre, July 22, 2010. slides.

  • “Coding Places: Uma Etnografia da Globalização de Software no Rio de Janeiro” [Coding Places: An Ethnography of Globalization of Software in Rio de Janeiro], Labjor, UNICAMP, June 29, 2010. abstract.

  • “An Ethnography of Globalization and Software Work in Rio de Janeiro,” the Annual Meeting of the Society for Social Studies, Washington, D.C., October 28-31, 2009.

  • “A Tweatise on Twitter" (with A. Gruzd and B. Wellman, presented by Wellman), the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, San Francisco, August 8, 2009.

  • “Porting Lua,” the Annual Meeting of the American Sociological Association, Boston, MA, August 1-4, 2008. (This became chapter 3.2 of my dissertation.)

  • “Technology and Identity in Brazilian Software Industry: what is Brazilian about ‘Software Brasileiro’?”, 2nd Conference of Brazilian Studies in Northern California, Moraga, California.

  • Foreign Knowledge in the Work of Brazilian Software Developers,” CSCW Doctoral Colloquium, November 4, 2006.

  • “Decaying into the Global: Construction, Decay and Re-configuration of the Brazilian Computer Industry,” Society for Social Studies of Science, Vancouver, November 2-4, 2006.

  • Foreign Knowledge in the Work of Brazilian Software Developers”, i-Conference Doctoral Colloquium, November 4, 2006.

  • Online Journaling as a Federated Community of Practice”, American Sociological Association, Montreal, August 11-14, 2006.

  • “Reading the Free Manual: Foreign Knowledge in the Work of Brazilian Software Developers,” Informatics Goes Global, Bloomington, Indiana, March 3-5 2006.

  • Googling across the Equator”, unpublished paper.