Did it all start with pizza?

4 minute read Published: 2024-06-17

In Brazil, there's a saying that translates to something like "..and it all ended up in pizza." You'll typically hear this in a political context, where corruption is the subject. It means that the parties involved in some scandal found a more friendly and beneficial way to resolve their problem by sweeping it under the rug, and no one suffers the consequences.

When I was younger, this expression always confused me. I guess it's because I always loved pizza, so I couldn't understand why ending up in pizza could possibly be something bad. But now, we can agree that politicians having pizza together and getting away with some crime is pretty infuriating. Anyway, some decades later, here I am, and something didn't end up in pizza, but I think it started with it.


A couple of weeks ago, a work colleague caught me to discuss a crazy SQL query that had gotten stuck for minutes on our server, consuming a crazy amount of memory and affecting multiple customers. I went to his desk, and while he summarized the situation, he grabbed that huge query from NewRelic, opened a new tab in Chrome, and typed something like "SQL formatter." A zillion results showed up; he picked the one that seemed most trustworthy, pasted the query there, and ta-da, the query was readable. Personally, I usually use Sublime with a SQL Beautifier extension. Like my browser, I always have Sublime open. This event reminded me that I do use JSON Pizza when I quickly need to format a JSON that I've just copied from somewhere. So I thought, shouldn't we have SQL Pizza so my colleague could use it with no risks involved in pasting queries on some random website?

Two days later, I bought the domain, inspected json.pizza, discovered it uses Monaco Editor and Next.js, and decided to spend some hours learning a bit of Next.js to create SQL Pizza. I spent the next three nights reading documentation and coding it. Soon, I had it up and running on AWS Amplify, shared it with my colleagues, got some "That's cool!" comments, posted on Hacker News, received 4 upvotes, learned the basics of Next.js, and refreshed my memory on Google Analytics and AWS CloudWatch. And that was it.

As a husband, father of an energetic toddler and a dog impatient for night walks, BJJ practitioner, and immigrant, my nights are usually very busy. I honestly spent around 5 or 6 hours from scratch to deployment. Five to six hours on a simple app that now gets 2 to 3 users from around the globe daily. It's a small number, I know, but I find it cool and fascinating that I can spend so little time on something, learn from it, and give a little help to some people here and there.

Don't think, just do it

So, why do I say it started with pizza? Well, now I'm starting this blog because of it. Not only this blog, but I'm also starting a new habit of spending the few hours I have during the night on a little project, a new programming language, or just learning about anything by reading some blog posts.

What I'm really focusing on is doing things without overthinking, without considering if I'll be able to make money from it or not. I remember when I was in college, I'd spend hours through the nights studying and coding the most nonsensical stuff. None of it generated any direct income, but somehow, spending those hours writing a Tinder-like app for flight passengers brought me here today. Although my schedule is tight, I can still make time to do fun stuff without thinking about the revenue I'll have from it.

So, I guess I'm just trying to reconnect with what made me enjoy software development in the first place. Maybe this will lead me to another, better place, like it did in the past. Maybe not, but right now I don't care. I'm having fun.