7 min read

This Brazilian teenager is a self-taught web deveoper who travels the world

Lenilson travelling

Lenilson Dos Santos is a young Brazilian self-taught web developer who at the tender age of 18 is already travelling the world while working remotely. I chatted to him about dropping out of high school, learning to code, tips for newbies and what it's like working remotely.

Hey, so can you give a short introduction for people who don’t know you?

Hey there. I'm Lenilson, born and raised in Brazil. I work as freelancer developer and have coded since I was about 10 years old. I'm also interested in startups and SaaS business in general having helped co-found companies since I turned 15.

You travel around the world while working at 18! I know people who are 30 who struggle so it must be a huge growing experience for you! How are you enjoying it? Any highs or lows you want to share?

I like to joke that being location independent is my default. I left my parent’s home at age 14 to study in a different city, and again later to work, so since an early age I never really "settled" anywhere.  

The biggest high I can share is of course the adrenaline pump of always being in contact with totally different cultures, people and places, which makes all the stress (and often the loneliness) of having to move from time to time worth it. It's been about 16 months since I last had a fixed address and about 8 months since I left Brazil. I’ve never been more at peace with myself.

It's of course a challenge to find your own pace with this lifestyle. There's a lot of sensationalism and nonsense about working and travelling but the truth is that it's just another way to experience life, with its own set of challenges that might or might not make it worth it. It works for me, it might not work for others, and that's ok. The important thing is to always have critical thinking to experiment and make our own conclusions about how we want to go about life. 😀

Where are you based currently and what is your work environment like?

I am in Istanbul for two more months. I usually like to go out in the morning for breakfast and then move to one of my coffee shops of choice. I almost never work from co-working spaces. Usually I sit for long hours until my todo-list for the day is done and then leave to explore my surroundings or do something in the city.

I struggle a lot with concentration and focus. So I try to keep my smartphone as far as possible from me when I'm working, and I also have HeyFocus working in the background to block any distracting apps or websites.

I keep Things open with my todo list for the day (that I try to prioritize in the morning, before I start working) and go on to isolate myself from distractions and tackle it task by task. It's of course super hard and I can't always keep myself in line - fighting against procrastination is also part of my workflow, haha.

Lenilson smiling

This post is for paying subscribers only. Join No CS Degree to get full access.

Join No CS Degree