Can you imagine a world without programmers? Without their creativity, intellect, and ideas would we be able, technologically, to have reached the point we are now at? Thanks to their knowledge and achievements, our life is much easier and more pleasant. This applies to various areas of life, including: entertainment (computer games), finances (mobile banking), or even shopping (online trading).
The day that Programmer’s Day is celebrated has not been chosen accidently. The holiday is celebrated on the 256th day of the year, because it is the number of all possible values that can be represented in 8-bit (one byte of information) form (256 = 2 ^ 8).
Probably many of you will be surprised by the fact that the pioneer in programming was … a woman! More specifically, Ada Lovelace, also known as the “enchantress of numbers”.
Ada was a brilliant mathematician and came to innovative conclusions about figures. She believed that they do not have to be used only to determine the quantity, but they can also force a machine that supports numbers to manipulate any data represented by numbers. She predicted that machines could be used to create graphics, music, and computer programs
In 1840 she wrote the world’s first computer algorithm and, more specifically, she drew on a piece of paper the calculations that an analytical machine should make. Unfortunately such a machine had been never built in her lifetime. However, her mathematical considerations have had a great impact on the beginning and development of programming that took place 100 years later.
INTERVIEW FOR PROGRAMMER’S DAY
On Programmer’s Day we started a series of interviews with developers working at Dotinum. Thanks to these conversations, you will get to know our programmers. Denis went first – the youngest of the whole team. He has been working with us for about 4 years – almost his entire period of studies. Ladies and gentlemen, meet Denis!
What exactly do you do at Dotinum?
How did it happen that you became a programmer? Have you always planned it or did it happened rather spontaneously?
Since I can remember, I have always been interested in computer science and computers. What’s more, I have always wanted to do something related to computer graphics. My current position allows me to combine my interests. I started to earn money by freelance programming as early as the end of high school.
What’s a man got to do to become a programmer? What skills are required to practise this profession? Is it necessary to have a certain educational background?
In my opinion you can learn everything by yourself, you just need to like this subject and want to develop your skills. The internet is a mine of information, full of valuable content. Going to college is not required, because most of subjects are not useful. Unfortunately the university knowledge in this field is very obsolete and completely impractical.
I graduated from Wrocław University of Science and Technology. My course of study was Computer Science. During my studies I had to deal with many incompetent lecturers who discouraged self-development and unconventional thinking. What’s worse, not much of what I learnt at the university is useful in the real work I have encountered since leaving.
What do you like the most about your job?
I definitely appreciate the lack of monotony and the constant challenges of new projects. The entire IT sector is a very dynamically developing field, so you have to constantly work on yourself and learn new things to keep up with the emerging trends. It is never boring.
What are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of being a programmer?
The biggest drawback is a sedentary lifestyle, especially for people who aren’t keen on sporting activities (like me). I would say that the worst part of being a developer is the need to spend a lot of time in front of the computer. It definitely affects my eyes and the condition of my spine.
On the other hand, being a developer has so many advantages: spending time in a very creative way, freedom of work, lack of monotony and a relatively large impact on the emerging software. And of course there is the satisfying salary.
What qualities should a good programmer have?
I think that the ability to work in a team and the desire to constantly develop are very important. It is also important to think outside the box and solve complex logical problems. Also, in my specialization, you need to possess the so-called aesthetic sense.
What was your most interesting project?
The most interesting project I’ve been working on is PimEyes – a face search engine that I’m a co-author of.
I’ve created this application in my spare time. I put every free minute I have into developing this project. Working on its development gives me a lot of pleasure and brings new challenges day by day.
When you were a child, who did you want to become in the future?
At this time I wasn’t thinking about my future from a financial point of view. However, I’ve always wanted to do something connected with creating video games.
What is your biggest dream?
Above all, I would like to see as much as possible of the world.
What is your favourite place in Wrocław?
I do not come from Wroclaw, but after these few years of living, studying and working here, I think one place that I would always want to come back to is Spiż. You can always drink a tasty beer there. It is situated in the very centre of the city and there is always a chance to meet some interesting people.
What do you do in your spare time? Do you have any hobbies?
I love watching movies and different series. During the winter I snowboard and, if the weather is nice, I like hiking. Maybe drinking beer is not the most creative way to spend free time, but it’s also one of my favourite things to do. I am also keen on cooking. Unfortunately I can’t boast about an active lifestyle. 😛
3 things you will take on a deserted island…
It’s a difficult question. I think that in this situation my technological nature would come out. I will bring a laptop with the largest possible movie collection + solar charger + beer making set. I guess with this equipment I could live on such an island for a very long time.
Check also the conversation with Kuba – our back-end developer!