What did you want to be growing up?
A wealthy investor who could splash his money around and watch it grow with his feet up on the desk. Yes, I’ve always been quite lazy, but combined with pragmatic creativity, that can actually be a useful trait for a developer as it pushes you to the simplest possible solution.
What influence has your upbringing had on your work?
I grew up in a small town in Hungary while communism was still around. But I got lucky as the Iron Curtain fell just as I started school, so I could learn English instead of Russian as a second language. My Dad worked in a big, heavy machinery factory which got bought by General Electric. Their offices were one of the first places in Hungary to be connected to the internet, so I would sneak in and use my Dad’s computer while he was out and about on the factory floor.
This opened up the world for me and made it easy to learn English just by reading stuff on the web. It also made me more interested in computers, and eventually programming and digital design. so I just self taught these skills first without even realising.
How (if at all) is the subject you studied useful to your current role?
I studied economics which has almost no value at all as a developer, but I did recently use this knowledge as a foundation to build some product management skills on.
What were your first jobs?
In my very first job I assembled bits for roadside signages in my Dad’s friend’s factory, which, in all honesty was quite grim. It made me determined to push on with studies so as not to end up spending a lifetime in a job like that.