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Strive to “Go to sleep a better person than when you woke up in the morning” ─ An Interview With Extreme Hero Lariana Luy Peixoto

Mitch Reyes Program Manager, Channel Published 24 Nov 2020

When you approach a person, who is so passionate about what she does and stands out for her great knowledge and experience, you know you’ve just met someone truly outstanding. Ladies and gentlemen, please give it up for Lariana Luy Peixoto from Secure IT Brasil – our Extreme Hero of the quarter!

Everyone can probably agree this year hasn’t exactly been what we hoped it would be. Lariana, do you remember your last carefree moment in 2020? Perhaps an especially memorable holiday trip? Or maybe a great moment shared with loved ones?

I was in Phoenix at the Wireless LAN Professionals Conference 2020 just a few days before our lockdown. It was a great event (as always!), and I got to spend some lovely time with my dear friends, enjoying good food, amazing coffee, and, of course, Wi-Fi.

Monty Python taught us all to always look on the bright side of life. During the Wireless LAN Professionals Conference, you received the ‘Rookie of The Year 2020’ award! What does this achievement mean to you?

It was both a great and an unexpected moment ─ just like this interview! The wireless community works really hard to share as much knowledge as they can, so it’s always a pleasure to be a part of this group, even if I’m more of a behind-the-scenes kind of person rather than someone who likes to stand at center stage. Receiving such recognition from this community is a huge satisfaction and honor to me. It’s definitely one of the most rewarding moments of my career, and it has inspired me to further deepen my knowledge and obtain even more qualifications.

You’re an engineer with over 10 years of experience in wired and wireless networks. You specialized in the design and analysis of wireless solutions, network architecture, and IT infrastructure. You’re also one of the few ‘rookies’ with the title of professor. You teach information security, risks, information technology management, systems analysis, and development at Faculdade Senac Blumenau school in Santa Catarina, Brazil. What do you enjoy more; learning new technologies or teaching others? What brings you the most satisfaction in your professional life?

That’s a tough question! It is really hard for me to tell, as I am really passionate about both learning and teaching. It is very exciting to learn new things, explore new technologies, and face the challenges of an ever-changing environment. However, it is also very rewarding to replicate this knowledge and, even if only a little, to help prepare new generations of professionals for their future.

You have been awarded four CWNP certifications (Network Administrator, Network Trainer, Analysis Professional, and Design Professional), as well as numerous Extreme certifications, including the much sought-after ExtremeDojo Black Belt. Where does one go from this point? What are your professional goals in the short and long-term?

As I said, I’m naturally passionate about seeking more knowledge, exploring technological innovations, and constantly learning. The journey you’re describing has been very long and required a lot of effort – many sleepless nights studying, endless hours of training, countless days in the field and labs. But it was certainly all worth it. Continuing to develop skills and increasing knowledge to become a more capable and complete professional are my permanent goals. Thinking about the long term, there are many areas that I am interested in, and some I’m already studying and exploring, like, for example, AI and machine learning.

We’re seeing more and more women pursuing careers in technology, which is great. As a professor, do you foresee more young women following in your footsteps?

Fortunately, yes ─ at least from what I can see in my classroom. More women are being engaged in the world of technology, and that’s amazing! It’s a slow process, but it’s just the beginning. I do everything I can to encourage and help my students pursue their dreams and passions.

If you could meet your past self, what advice would you give her? And if you could talk to yourself 20 years from now, what would you hope to hear?

To my younger self: don’t listen to your oldest brother Leo, who will convince you to become an engineer (laughs)! But seriously, I would tell myself to study more, move faster, and take some risks. Remember, no challenge is too big if you have the will to overcome it.

And if I met Lariana 20 years from now, first I would like to hear: “Hi, I’m still very much alive, healthy and happy!” Then I would like to hear what else I should learn and dedicate myself to, what paths to take, and what experiences to enjoy more so that 20 years ahead, I could be the best professional and person I could be.

Do you feel like a hero sometimes?

No, I definitely don’t feel like a hero. More like a regular girl, who just loves to study, likes challenges, and sharing with people what little I have learned on this journey trying to help people who, just like me, want to go to sleep a better person than they woke up in the morning.

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