Master in Computer Science from DCC/UFMG's Compilers Lab contributes to the development of JavaScriptCore (JSC)

Thu, 08/19/2021 - 14:15
High quality education, internships on the field of compilers, plus lasting friendships characterized the MSc and the professional life of DCC's former student

Caio Lima has a Bachelor in Computer Science from the Federal University of Bahia and an MSc, also in Computer Science, from the Federal University of Minas Gerais. For many years, he has contributed to the development of open-source compilers. Due to this experience, Caio has decided to pursue a master degree in the field of compilers, choosing DCC's Compilers Lab to carry on his studies. To do so, he left Bahia in 2017 and joined DCC/UFMG right after. In 2019 he got his master's degree under the supervision of Prof. Fernando Pereira, with the dissertation "Guided Just-in-Time Specialization".

According to Caio, the area of compilers requires an extensive background in language theory for the development of relevant projects. “When I joined DCC, I started researching compilers and, mainly, working on optimizations for the JavaScript language. Together with my master's adviser, Prof. Fernando Pereira, we gave a more research-oriented look to an open-source project on which I had already been working as a volunteer. This brought me a great deal of learning; mostly in technologies used in the development of JavaScript compilers for browsers. This work in the compiler industry led me to a research internship at the Institut National de Recherche en Informatique et en Automatique (INRIA), in France, where I also learned a lot about compilers and code optimizations”, he stated.

His time at DCC/UFMG bore Caio many fruits, including the publication of the article "Guided just-in-time specialization". Also while pursuing his master degree, Caio worked as an intern at Apple. Before graduating, Caio had already started a career at Igalia, a Spanish company that develops much of the JavaScript technology found in the Safari browser. Caio currently lives in Bahia, while working for this foreign company. “All the experience I gained at DCC was relevant to get me this job. The area of compilers is very competitive and, in the two years of my master's degree, I managed to focus on it, to achieve extremely positive results”, he said.

According to Lima, some graduate programs are a bit distant from the job market, in contrast to DCC's. “The principles that I learned during the master's degree are present in all my professional discussions. The area of compilers joins theory and practice very well, and the insights I had during my master's degree were and are very important to solve problems in my daily professional life”, he explained.

At the same time, Caio emphasized that the friends he made during his master's degree accompany him to this day. “Many of my colleagues from the DCC era are now very close friends. They make me always think about returning to Belo Horizonte. That is a city that I love and that has a much more vibrant IT market than Salvador, where I currently live”, he concluded.

Fernando Pereira, Caio's former MSc adviser, said that while at Igalia, the code that Caio writes is used by millions and millions of people. “They maintain the JavaScript execution environment used by Apple's Safari browser. Today Caio even participates in the TC39 Steering Committee, one of the technical committees of the ECMA International standards organization. That's an achievement that makes us very, very proud,” he celebrated.




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