Interview with Ivan Raszl
Published in April 2020
Product Manager / Ruby Developer, Ads of the World
3 years of development experience
Computer science degree
How did you learn to code?
When I was a kid I had a ZX Spectrum microcomputer, and I learned BASIC, and I loved every minute of it. Since then I wanted to be a programmer. I had several careers, but finally, I had the time to learn a modern programming language, and I chose Ruby for its beauty and power. I love being able to solve any kind of problem using Ruby.
Given that you don’t have a computer science degree, do you think that made things more challenging when transitioning careers?
Yes. I will have to learn fundamentals at one point to progress. There is no way around it.
Tell us about your first personal projects.
How did you get your first job as a developer?
I volunteered to build in-house projects to automate business tasks in my free time for the company I worked for at the time.
What were some of the challenges that you encountered when you started to code?
It's easy to learn anything if there is a tutorial available. But it is much harder to come up with a piece of code for something that is entirely new and nobody has created any tutorial for it.
The amount of time to figure things out it exponentially more. I wish I could find a course that would teach how to approach new and complex tasks.
What advice would you give to other developers who are getting started in their careers and building projects?
Don't just rely on one source to learn, instead learn the same thing from multiple sources.
The different approaches will give you a better understanding of the underlying concepts.
What soft skills developers should have to be successful at their job?
Clients typically know what they want to achieve, but not the how. You need to be able to understand the actual need that the client is trying to solve and then offer a solution, which may be different and simpler from what the client is imagining the solution is.
For example, a client may say a user form should collect the age of the user. What they really want to collect is the birth date, so we can always calculate the correct age at any point in the future, not just know the age at the present time.
What are you up to now?
I'm building a cool app for a hardware company that will allow customers to monitor and control the given hardware from any browser. Can't give details as it hasn't launched yet.
Useful tools and resources that you would recommend - courses, books, podcasts, people to follow etc?
GoRails courses helped me a lot. And to get a deep understanding of Rails, I recommend the book: The Rails 5 Way by Obie Fernandez.
How can we reach out; where can we find you?
You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter.
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