Meet Node.js developer Michał Prokopowicz. Michał lives in Poland and has been working with X-Team for just under two years now. He recently became a dad, loves cycling and enjoys a good popular science book. Find out what makes him tick down below.
Michał, let's start with two rapid-fire questions to get things going. What are your three favorite games?
- Age of Empires 2 - Probably the best thing Microsoft has ever done. I spent lots of hours with my brother and brother-in-law building great empires and doing epic battles.
- Forza Motorsport - Because the driving model can be pretty challenging, because I can explore amazing cars and because it’s completely different brain activity for me.
- Transport Tycoon Deluxe - Because of the amazing train tracks you can build there and improve them all the time.
Wololo. And 3 favorite movies of all time?
- Intouchables (2011)
- The Pursuit of Happiness (2006)
- Rocky Balboa Series
Intouchables is such a good movie. I think they released an English version of it now, but I doubt they'll be able to improve on the French original.
Alright, thank you! Now some more in-depth questions: why did you choose to become a developer? When did it start, and what was the motivation?
It came to me naturally. I was passionate about computers from an early age. I can still remember the specs and parts that my first PC was build of.
I think I had the best motivation, which is curiosity, which IMHO is natural to a kid exploring endless possibilities and necessary to become a successful developer. I'm not quite sure when it exactly started, but I can recall that my dad bought a book about Visual Basic 6.0 almost 20 years ago, and my baby steps with web design in FrontPage 2000 back then.
In fact, one of the first thing I built (and it was actually published) was a web page for the European Union Club in primary school. It was built using Microsoft FrontPage (100% WYSiWYG ) and the first bug and most surprising thing for me was that it looked different on other screens.
Microsoft FrontPage! Ahhh, the nostalgia. And is there a particular project that gave you the most experience or satisfaction? Something that you are still proud of today?
I was lucky enough to work on long term projects during most of my professional career, and I would love to describe most of the projects, but I want to mention two projects specifically:
- My first game -"Gra słów" ("words game") - written in VB6 in primary school. I wrote it for a local contest. My computer classes teacher gave the idea and convinced me to do develop it. It was my first project that didn't just end on my HDD.
- My current client at X-Team. It's fantastic to write code that is then used by hundreds of thousands of people. We had to deal with a massive scale, and I have an opportunity to work with some great minds, and still, I can have ownership of my code.
What would you say was the biggest accomplishment when it comes to your personal growth in 2018? Do you have any particular goals for 2019?
2018 is an exceptional year for me because I became a proud dad. That is an indescribable feeling, but also a challenge, especially when working remotely. So I would say that my most significant personal accomplishment in 2018 is developing a new routine and work-life balance.
Thanks to my remote work lifestyle I'm able to spend quality time with my boy and wife and still be productive. For example, I can eat breakfast and lunch with my family; I can see all the key moments in my boy's life, I can take my son to a walk when I need a break. It wouldn't be possible if I'd have to go to the office every day.
In 2019 I want to start building a house, so I hope I can learn something from Diego 😄.
Besides programming, what are your other passions?
I don't have another passion as strong as programming, but I love road cycling and reading books, usually popular science. My current favorite author is Yuval Noah Harari.
Excellent choice of author. Has the Unleash+ budget helped you with those passions? Or with your remote lifestyle and your family?
For books - I can buy every book I want to read, simple as that. We also have the #book-club slack channel, so I can share my thoughts and find inspirations there.
For cycling, we do have the #fit-quest which is a significant motivation boost to go out and make your heart pump some blood. If I need some new small sports gear, Unleash+ got my back. We also have #cycling-club channel and weekly contest there.
That's good to hear. And have you been to an X-Outpost? If yes, how was it? If no, would you like to?
Not yet - so far my "excuse" was that I have a small kid, but we now have X-Outpost for families, so I hope I will join one soon!
And finally, what lasting impression do you want to leave on the world?
We all live in different worlds. One of my worlds is my family and friends. I hope to be recognized as a person that was always there when needed. Another world is the open source community. I want to be an active contributor because it's phenomenal what people around the whole world can create together.
Thank you very much for taking the time to speak with me. Best of luck to you and your family!