Team Spotlight: Ante Gulin
Our Ante, Head of Development at Spotsie, got his job before the end of his high school education, and because of his previous experience, he did not think that he needed a higher education for the job of a developer.
When did you realize that you would like to be involved in software development?
I was 11 years old when we got DSL internet connection at home. I was very interested in hacking, so I joined several internet forums and regularly visited IRC channels for pentesting / IT security where I found educational materials and learned from others. In the same places, I discovered programming and realized that developing software is more exciting to me than looking for security vulnerabilities in them.
How did you develop before employment, what were the learning models?
I gained my knowledge through working on personal projects. I would start with an idea for an application, break it down into smaller tasks, and only then start learning about the technologies or concepts that I will need to realize the project. Over time, I also started doing freelancing, and often have accepted projects where I had no previous experience with the given technology, so I would learn it through project design and end up being paid for it. The highlight of my amateur career is a project that I developed in the first and second grades of high school. It is a gaming platform / social network for e-sports that I brought to production, which in 90 days resulted in almost a thousand registered players from eastern Europe. I started getting positive feedback from people I didn’t know, which further motivated me to improve the product.
Developing this project in particular, but also the smaller ones I pushed my limits, gained knowledge, and most importantly, made a lot of mistakes from which I learned valuable lessons.
How do you educate yourself today?
Today I am mostly focused on IoT, cloud-native ecosystem, DevOps, and DX. I started working at Agency04 as a full stack developer, later as an R&D engineer, and today as Head of Development for Spotsie.io. I am constantly exploring t new technologies, and also contributing to OSS projects. The sources of learning today are primarily official documentation of the technologies I use or books when it comes to concepts and methodologies in development. There are also Github issues, Stackoverflow, Discord / Slack for technical discussions and collaboration, tech podcasts, and blog posts where valuable information can be found. Among other things, Twitter where I follow a carefully selected number of engineers and authors of OSS projects.
How challenging is the job and what would you say to those interested in software development?
Software development can always be a challenging job, and that’s amazing. I hope that all my next projects will have some kind of challenge included because that’s what makes the job interesting. Each project is different and requires a certain set of skills and technologies. You can specialize in certain skills and excel at them, or constantly expand your horizons.
How about Spotsie?
Spotsie is the most challenging and interesting project I have had the opportunity to work on so far, although we are a small team, it is made up of ambitious and extremely capable people. In addition to developing a great product, through collaboration we share our knowledge and learn from each other.
It’s a Software-as-a-service solution, meaning the entire infrastructure runs in the cloud. Organizations and individual users can easily access their employee and asset location data through Spotsie Dashboard and integrate with existing systems using our cloud API. In the process of design and development of Spotsie, I faced many interesting challenges which made me a bit smarter than when I first began working for Spotsie.
Spotsie being the most challenging project for me so far has also been the most successful. Solving real-world problems and improving large industries through employee and asset tracking is a meaningful thing to do.