How I Became a Programmer
I remember when I was 7, my father brought home a Soviet programmable calculator.
It had a lot of buttons and a green/black digital screen. And even in such limited
conditions it was possible to play games and even have some sort of animations (when
executing a program the calculator was blinking showing intermediatory results and by
doing some tricks like simulating a moving dash by displaying
1800 => 1080 => 1008
where “dash” was nothing more but an element of 8 it was possible to make a feel of
Although I already had experience playing some games at a NES clone as well as at ZX Spectrum, I was still amazed by the power and simplicity of that device. And with the help of articles from a magazine called “Nauka i Zhizn” (“Science and Life”) I first just typed the new programs (needless to say it was a form of assembler) and later got the ideas of iterations, conditions and operations.
That was so exciting that since that time I knew for sure that I’d become a programmer. Should I say that my dream came true? :)
P.S. If you are interested you can try an emulator for Elektronika MK-52.
After graduating from the University I worked as a Network and Billing administrator in a couple of companies offering Internet services. In my last company is this area I had an iniciative 1to create a new Helpdesk system for the employees and customers (at that time, back to 2007 I used Delphi for the desktop application and PHP for the server-side app). After leaving the company in the year 2008, I decided to start working as a freelance programmer and in the year 2010 I moved from Russia to Czechia (Prague).
As a freelancer, I got a lot of experience especially in terms of communication with clients, often absolutely non-tech people. However, some of my clients were programmers as well.
These are some projects I had:
- Website scraping (Python).
- WIN32 PE EXE obfuscator (32-bit assembler, C++; again, no, I’m not a C++ or asm programmer, but I do have some skills).
- A lot of WordPress coding (price comparison plugins, shopping cart, OSS Restaurant Menu Plugin, etc.).
- Frontend part for a traffic monitoring system.
- Full stack development for a patented system to “design” dishes via given ingredients.
- Ad network full stack development.
- Server setup and optimization (nginx, haproxy, traefik).
- And a lot of small tasks…