2021 Noonies Nominee General Interview by@gaborboros

2021 Noonies Nominee General Interview

Gábor is a senior full-stack web developer, working mainly on the Open edX platform. His favorite city is Barcelona, though he loves Florence, Pisa, and Budapest too. His passion is to give back to the community which gave him a lot over the years. The most exciting technologies of the present are related to the web, he says.
Gábor Boros HackerNoon profile picture

Gábor Boros

I'm hacking open-source software all day, and I love it.

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First of all, a huge thank you to the HackerNoon community and staff for nominating me for a 2021 Noonies award! I’ve been nominated in the following categories please do check out these award pages and vote:

  1. HackerNoon Contributor of the Year - UI

When people ask me to speak about myself, I always start with my name, where I'm from, and all the boring and usual introductory sentences. So, let's change the order for now.

My favorite hobby is traveling with my wonderful wife, though I just started it some years ago; I was at places I fell in love with immediately. My favorite city is Barcelona, though I love Florence, Pisa, and Budapest too. If I would need to, I couldn't decide between them. The vibrancy of the city and the people living there are incredible and all different.

By this point, I'm sure that you realized I'm not a native speaker, so let me introduce myself. I’m Gábor and, thanks to the independence I have, I don’t have a constant place to live.

I'm a senior full-stack web developer. Although I always wanted to be a programmer, I had several jobs over the years. I used to envelope letters; I became a certified Red Hat System Administrator in the aviation industry. Oh, I used to be a bartender for a while, but that was more like a hobby.

As someone in the software development industry, I believe that the most exciting technologies of the present are related to the web. Learn more about my thoughts, opinions, and my journey in the tech industry via the interview below.

1. What do you do and why do you do it? (tell us your story)

At the moment, I’m a senior full-stack web developer, working mainly on the Open edX platform. I’m in love with open-source projects, and my passion is to give back to the community which gave me a lot over the years. Hence, I’m running my own smaller open-source projects and keen to contribute to other projects too, just like Celery, Kombu, or RethinkDB.

Why am I contributing to open-source instead of proprietary or closed-source software? Besides my passion, I truly believe that we could build a better community by giving back to those who gave us values. Regardless it is software or other communities. Since I’m a developer, the way I can help is through my profession.

2. Tell us more about the things you create/write/manage/build!

Nowadays, I am focusing on building the Open edX platform as part of the OpenCraft team, and when I have time, I am learning and developing my open-source projects.

The Open edX platform is the software that powers edX, an online education platform used and supported by institutions such as MIT, Harvard, Berkeley, and others. Working on software like this allows me to work with clever and outstanding people while I contribute to the daily learning experience of hundreds of thousands of students every day, which is a great feeling.

3. How did you end up on your current career path? Do you like it?

Since I am out of elementary school, I knew that I would like to work in the IT sector, though I found what I wanted to do daily in the 2nd grade of secondary school.

One day I visited a website and started to think about how a button can look that ugly. I read about the topic to learn more about how I could create a button that looks better. A few weeks later, I got experience in HMTL, CSS, and some Javascript. As I dug deeper, my interest became higher and higher.

After I knew enough to build my ugly button and became comfortable reading and writing HTML and CSS, I wanted to do more interactive tasks. That’s how I ended up learning and using PHP. I successfully built a login/registration flow that gave me more confidence to do other things.

Some years later, in the last week of secondary school, a group from Lufthansa Systems came to introduce their new youth program and looked for people who want to join them. I took the opportunity and started my career as a system administrator in the aviation industry.

As every system administrator in the field, I learned the basics of scripting languages to become more productive. There, I met with the Python programming language. The simplicity and elegance of the language grabbed my attention, and I worked hard to become a professional in Python. Nearly three years later, I quit my job and joined Prezi to build a presentation software and integrate payment providers into their systems. That was the first official programming job I had, and that’s where my real career began.

4. What tech are you most excited or passionate about right now and why?

Nowadays, I’m most excited about those solutions that are built around protecting the privacy of users. Those who are working in the tech industry know how to avoid those websites which privacy policy or security standards are questionable. Unfortunately, that’s not true for people outside of the industry, putting them in a situation where they cannot protect themselves.

5. What tech are you most worried about right now and why?

I am most concerned about data collection. As a software developer, I know that the best way for software to evolve is by analyzing its usage. This way, we can get reliable information about how the software is used by its target audience, though collecting information can put these users in a vulnerable state.

6. If we gave you 10 million dollars to invest in something today, what would you invest in and why?

That is a difficult question to answer. I would divide this money into three pieces.

First, I would invest in self-education for sure. What I learned over the years is that we cannot stop learning if we want to keep our position in the tech industry.

Secondly, I would invest in some long-term opportunities. It could be stock or securities. Of course, in a divided way.

Lastly, I would invest in other companies' growth. Not necessarily tech companies. That way I could help companies that are passionate about making our world a better place, in a way or another.

7. What are you currently learning?

Currently, I am learning programming languages to have widened my perspectives. Besides Python, which I am learning continuously, I learn Go and C++. I know the latter sounds odd, but I always wanted to learn it.

When I have more time, I would like to learn to build distributed applications too.

8. What’s the best advice you’ve ever given someone?

Whenever someone asks me what advice could I give, I always advise them to not give up on learning and do properly what they are doing. Completing something halfway done costs more in the long run than doing it once and well.

9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My grandfather told me when I was a child: "Choose your hobby as your profession, and you will never treat that as hard work.”

I am glad that I took his advice; he was right, and I always treated my job as a hobby, and I love what I do.

10. Please give us the links to all your relevant social media profiles so we can use them to promote this interview! (Twitter and LinkedIn would be a huge plus)

11. Would you also be interested in joining us on the HackerNoon podcast? If so, what would you like to chat about?

  • Open-source vs closed-source software development
  • Benefits of open-source for individuals

About HackerNoon’s 2021 Noonie Awards

The annual Noonie Awards celebrate the best and brightest of the tech industry, bringing together all who are making the Internet and the world of tech what it is today. Please be sure to check out our award categories, nominate, and vote for the people and companies who you think are making the biggest impact on the tech industry today.

The 2021 Noonies are sponsored by: bybit, Dottech Domains, and Avast. Thank you so much to these sponsors who are helping us celebrate the accomplishments of all our nominees.

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