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Cover image for Darko Meszaros is a utilitarian developer... and other things I learned recording his DevJourney (#145)

Darko Meszaros is a utilitarian developer... and other things I learned recording his DevJourney (#145)

timothep profile image Tim Bourguignon πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡«πŸ‡·πŸ‡©πŸ‡ͺ Originally published at timbourguignon.fr ・3 min read

This week, I published Darko Meszaros's #DevJourney story on my eponym Podcast: Software developer's Journey. Among many other things, here are my main personal takeaways:

  • Darko's story started with a C64 and type-in programs. But that was in the early 90s. It remained his only computer until 2001, and it is now part of his collection of old machines. Like many other guests before him, Darko used the C64 for programming right away. The usermanual for the C64 was outstanding, it taught you how to program the C64 right away. I know it was a necessity, but I love that Companies sold machines to program them. Just imagine if iPads came with such a manual nowadays!
  • Between 2001 and 2004, Darko was limited to using a Windows 95 machine without Internet. He was able to use the internet at a friend's house, but not with his machine. This tinkering time with the limitation of a low cycle time between searching and trying out what he had found was very forming for his curiosity and problem-solving skills; he "really had to try."
  • Back at school, a teacher told Darko "to be a developer, you need talent." This triggered him going into the SysAdmin path, and only later describes himself as a "utilitarian developer." But today, he would not call himself a developer.
  • Darko didn't become a Developer Evangelist in one day. Due to the many systems he had worked with as a SysAdmin, Amazon reached out to him and offered him a premium support engineer position. Then he moved toward helping people to build things as a Solutions Architect. Finally, while being a SA, he started appearing on stages and speaking at conferences. This finally led him to become a developer advocate.
  • I asked Darko how the last year confinement has been for him, as a developer advocate, not traveling to conferences. His first answer was that not being able to look people in the eyes, seeing their approbation of what he is talking about taking a long time to get used to. He even stuck googly eyes on his webcam to remind himself to speak at the camera.

Advice:

  • Don't take things too seriously
  • If you want something, ask for it!

Quotes:

  • "I love that you have to count CPU cycles when you program in Assembler [...] it feels very cozy"
  • "I wish one day, I can be a person who has a laptop and who is called in the middle of the night to fix things" (cf. this Tweet from 2021-04-01: "Fun fact: This is the first time, that I bought myself a new laptop! 😍)
  • "The best programming language is the one you are good at, the one you have fun with, and the one that makes sense (for what you want to do with it)"
  • "I like the terminal. It reminds me of my C64 days. I like when things are simple"
  • "My role as a developer advocate is to step back and listen to you, be your voice inside AWS."

Thanks, Darko, for sharing your story with us!

You can find the full episode and the show notes on devjourney.info or directly here on DEV

Did you listen to his story?

  • What did you learn?
  • What are your personal takeaways?
  • What did you find particularly interesting?

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