With 12 years of Greek public education in my back, I managed to become one of the 50 lucky guys to access the Biotechnology school of the Agricultural University of Athens. I achieved the 3rd best score in the admission tests and was very proud of it.
After 7 years I announced everybody (myself included) I would not finish my studies and never become a brilliant biotechnologist. During my last 3 years as a student, I also became part of the working class. Spent 2 1/2 years in a bookstore and publishing house in Athens downtown as a salesman. Realy nice days!
Moved to Barcelona Spain looking for better educational and professional opportunities. My first neighborhood was La Nova Esquerra de l'Eixample.
Started messing around with web stuff and decided to go to school again. Attended a course of web design and development in a private school. Learned the basics of HTML, CSS, some JS and Adobe CS tools for designers.
I still consider myself a self-taught developer however. I learned reading and listening to people like Scot Jehl, Eric Meyer, Addy Osmani, Jen Simons, Mike Monteiro, Jason Grigsby, Brad Frost, Karen McGrane, Jared Spool and Paul Irish
More or less at that time also started getting my hands dirty with CMSs and building websites. I did some Drupal, Magento and Wordpress.
Barcelona is a unique place but not so unique when it comes to living expenses. I had to pay my rent and bills each month. My best solution was to get a job. Until this point, I got temporary jobs mainly in call centers helping people with different types of problems with their products (LG, Logitech, HP)
This was enough for paying the bills but didn't allow me to grow as fast as I wished my web dev skills. They still kept growing however and it was a matter of time to do the step and present myself for a full-time web related job.
I had already made the step to leave the tech support industry for something closer to development. I was working in data management for a small company operating online, when one of the front-end devs decided to leave. I changed my LinkedIn profile title to "Front-end Developer"(this proved to be a wise decision) and offered myself for covering the orphaned position. My skills were not exactly what they were looking for. But...
I then received an email from a startup in Germany looking for junior front-end devs. After a skype interview they appreciated my skills and offered me the opportunity to join them in Munich.
There we were in cold Munich. I and my partner Anna had a very interesting experience there. For the following 10 months, I would be learning a bunch working as a frontend developer in a team which trusted me from the very first moment. It was GREAT working in Westwing but...
We decided Germany was not the place we'd want to invest for the future. There was only one next destination. Back to Spain.
Started as front-end developer at Netcentric and we're doing brilliant things there.
Finally writing something for my website.
Some things learned so far:
- People and places are extremely important.
- Web development too.
- People should have an opinion about things they care and change it when realize it's wrong.
- Machines should also be respected.
- Componentized UI development, Angular, BEM, ES6, building with npm scripts, Git, the single responsibility principle, Redux, Vue, the JAM stack, Mobile first, Reading specs and doing daily standups.
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