I am self-taught fullstack engineer who studied Political Science :D, Ask Me Anything!

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I started coding when I was 12 years old. As the title suggests, I studied political science and international relations in the university. I am now working as a fullstack engineer at tutti.ch, an online marketplace operating in Switzerland with more than 15m monthly page views (that's a lot for Switzerland :P).

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hhhh I got a couple of questions:
Why a political science degree when you already had hands on coding since you were 12 ?
Also I identify as a liberal myself but I kinda feel that any change for a better future in politics is hopeless, what do you think ?
Recently through Europe,there is a kinda scary rise of white supermacists, far right movements, why Switzerland is not affected ? What make your democratic system this stable and how it is different from the rest ?

 

I grew up in Turkey. The educational system there is built in a way that a 14 years old kid needs to determine which path to take. Either you choose social sciences or natural sciences. I didn't want to study physics and chemistry back then, so I took the other way :) I speak 4 languages, so I thought an international study would be more appropriate for me and that's how I ended up with political science and international relations. I actually loved studying it. I learnt a lot about how the world works. Also, for me programming was more like a hobby, I never thought it would be my profession.

Regarding your second question, I guess this an essay question :) But in short, it depends where you look. The level of Swiss democracy is very advanced. People live in prosperity here, and they actually govern the state. The politicians are here to represent us and do the paper work. Obviously, you have cases where politicians are corrupted, but for the third year in a row, It's ranked as the third least corrupted state in the world :) Turkey, on the other hand, is very corrupted. Unfortunately there is no more independent institution in the country. From the media to the judiciary system, everything is under the control of the government. So if you take Switzerland as an example, politics can actually work. If, on the other hand, you look at Turkey you will be very desperate about the future. I believe one advantage when compared to the older times is the social media tho. People are much more informed than ever. This might change something hopefully.

Hmm, the last question is a bit tricky. The level of education in Switzerland is very advanced. Also they are very bound to the rules. If you break the rules, you will be warned/criticised by the people before receiving a fine by the police. There is social pressure to be correct here. Education is expensive tho, but luckily Switzerland is also very rich. Zurich is one of the top paid cities in the world. So people can afford education. The more educated a person is, the better he/she will reason when voting for a bill. In other words, the society is the regulatory body for the political institutions. They're directly involved with the political affairs. This wouldn't work in Turkey tho, as the average Turk is uneducated and mostly they vote for a leader without even checking what's in the proposed bill. So I guess the secret is the combination of education and wealth. That's what makes it work here.

 

I beg to differ on the effect of Education, here in Tunisia, education is not that expensive and the majority is educated yet we are still ending up over and over with the same faulty corrupted governements. In our case it might be because the big majority of voters are the older generations deciding the future they won't be part of, it might be that corruption got normalized (it's pretty normal to talk about bribery and inherited work positions, cheating,...: it might be funny but this is a real thing, kids inherit their parents jobs here).

Yeah the political culture is also a major factor in determining the level of stability. I understand what you mean because I grew up in a similar culture and the worst thing about it is that it's very difficult to change it. Perhaps that's why I didn't work in politics but rather decided to start an engineer career :)

It's kinda ironic, one can't do politics in 3rd world countries that critically needed since making a change impossible, and don't have to do politics in developed countries like Switzerland since the system is in constant evolution (in a good sense of course).

 

What are your thoughts on regulating internet companies? Specifically things like privacy requirements a la GDPR?

 

Nice one!

From a political perspective, I come from a liberal mindset. I believe that people are free to choose the tools they want to use and don't want to use. If a person chooses to use a platform which is free-to-use but their business model is collecting data on my platform usage, then I'm totally fine with it as long as I see targeted ads on THEIR platform.

What I am totally against is companies collecting my private data to sell it to third parties so that these third parties can call me on my private phone number (which happens very often in Switzerland).

I believe GDPR is helpful in these cases to protect the individuals. I think it's important to know what's gonna happen with your data.

What are your thoughts on this?

 

My biggest problem is the lack of consent. And no, I don’t think clicking “I’ve read terms and conditions” is consent. We all know that no one reads that legalese. Most people don’t understand what it is they’re giving away or how it can be used against them.

Also data protection is just a nightmare, so even if you trust a company to hold personal data they’re bound to leak it eventually and they won’t be punished. I think we need some real insensitive for businesses to take security and privacy seriously. GDPR is a step in the right direction, we need something like that in the US.

 

Very cool to see another poli sci major taking this path. Very inspirational to me as a newbie!

 

You’re definitely taking the right step, you’ll not regret :)) Let me know if I can help you with anything. Cheers 🙋🏻‍♂️🙋🏻‍♂️

 

Do you have a free position for a developer from Hungary? Let me know if true or false ;)

 

False unfortunately, I guess you're late. An Hungarian backender is joining our team in two weeks :)

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I am a fullstack developer specialized in frontend technologies like reactjs. I also love programmimg in go. Currently im working on https://stormkit.io to make developers lives easier.