Saturday, May 25, 2013

Five surprising facts about myself

In my hello world post I said that I was just another Android hobby programmer out there. Well, that may not be entirely true. Perhaps I'm still far from being a genious coder, but there are definitely things that make me unique, as there certainly are for you. Sometimes I feel like there are so many people smarter and better than me that my success seems extremely unlikely. That's why I decided to make the following list and perhaps make you realize what makes you one of a kind as well.

Fact 1

I don't own an Android device. It's not a spelling mistake. I've actually created all my apps using only the emulator, my brother's tablet which he would lend me for testing purposes and later also my girlfriend's phone. I'm not very proud of it. In fact I recommend you test what you write on as many different physical devices as you can. What I'm trying to say is that you don't need much to start your Android adventure and make your first app. Perhaps your excuse for not trying out a good idea is quite different, but keep in mind that most obstacles can usually be overcome this way or another and it's all in your head whether you take action or keep dreaming.

Fact 2

My apps got me a full time job as an Android developer. It wasn't and still isn't my main goal, but it definitely boosted my self esteem. In fact, I must have beaten some people during the interview process and my apps must have proved good enough to actually get me hired. The job itself might not be perfect, but I'm definitely learning a lot this way. I virtually doubled my Android knowledge during those two months and there's still much studying ahead of me. Also, did I mention that I work from home and that my salary doubled compared to my previous job? Pretty nice, isn't it? I'm intentionally omitting some not so positive stuff here, like the amount of time that I had to work at first or my boss's not so friendly character. Nonetheless, I'm happy to be able to have this experience and to show you that being a hobby Android developer may have other advantages than just earning money on apps.

Fact 3

I'm Polish, but I've been living in Milan (Italy) since January. It's been quite a change for me to move to another country, learn the language, and deal with everyday situations. I can't say I feel at home now, but it definitely gets easier after some time when you learn your way around and get to know a couple of people. Anyway, after staying for four months in a friend's apartment (she left for Peru to finish up her thesis), I finally have my own place. Although it's not very big, it's quite cosy and I have to say that I quite like it. Now I'm waiting for my first paycheck to buy some crucial stuff and make it less shabby. Hopefully, it will come soon. As to my future plans, I'm not sure if I'm going to stay here long. The city is extremely expensive to live in and there isn't much it can give back in return. I might go back to Poland after some time, but there's still so much world to see, that I'm tempted to take another detour. Where do you think I should go?

Fact 4

Recently I stopped to think about all the various stuff that I had a chance to do in my life and I was amazed at how diverse it was. Let's start from the beginning. During my university I was and intern making Java SE and Symbian GPS navigation software. Then I got a full time job as a C++ programmer, writing stuff for large retail stores, so that they didn't get lost in what they sold, to whom and for how much. Occasionally, I had a chance to use Python for internal scripts and even ASP.NET for an online store prototype. After that I switched to Java EE, JSF and some web centered technologies. Suddenly HTML, CSS, JavaScript and related things became my everyday life. In the meantime, I did a couple of small projects in Python for a friend's company, not to get too rusty. I also started learning Android because my work seemed more and more boring. Eventually, I decided to quit and try some freelancing. I was hoping I could make my Android apps get me at least a minimum amount of money to be able to survive. A friend asked me to help him with an online store in PHP and I thought it was a good idea. Well, neither of my hopes really worked out. I did some short term PHP projects, I built a website for my friend who is an architect, I learned some more Android and released a couple new apps, until I ended up where I am now. Pretty crazy, isn't it?

Fact 5

I have a ton of random skills and I've done a handful unusual things. I can juggle pretty well, and I'm not just saying that I can do the basic shower - I can do the inverse one as well as Mills mess, Rubenstein's revenge and some other not so basic tricks. I slackline, although I'm not one of those guys who do backflips and handstands while they are on the line. I'm not a bad swimmer. In fact, I used to work as a swimming instructor at a camp in New York. I also did some lifeguarding. I know the basics of POI and I hope that I can learn to be better at it when I find a bit of free time. I enjoy sailing and windsurfing whenever I have a chance to do it. I'm a huge frisbee fan and I was a member of the local ultimate team for some time. I love photography and I take my camera with me whenever I travel or something interesting happens. At some point in my life I had a job in gokarts, gardening, giving private lessons (mostly math and physics), being a camp counsellor, a construction site worker, and a computer technician. I honestly hope that I can at least double this list in the next ten years. What I hate is routine and doing the same things over and over again.

Surprised? I hope at least a little. Have you done anything interesting lately?

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