Today we check in with Karol Jan Kaminski aka fenixproductions, developer from donationcoder.com
Q. Hi Karol,How’s is it going? Thanks for taking some time to answer some of the questions.Please tell us a bit about yourself.
Karol: I am (or am trying) Information Architect who is looking for permanent role for a year now. I am always trying to extend my knowledge because I believe this is what makes you human.
Q. How’d you get started with computers and build up your skill set?
Karol: Long time ago the friend of mine had Commodore 64. It was awesome back then. Playing a games with little fear that flying fly will interrupt loading from tape or starting with basic programming and simple loops idea. Little bit later other colleague bought P100 and with jealousy I took any opportunity to check how it works. In the meantime I was reading dozen of computer related magazines. That is how nineties looked like for me.
In 2000 (or 2k1) I had started my studies in field of mathematics. Year later I’ve wanted to know more about It than than so I’ve decided to change department. First year of learning Information technologies meant for me occupying friends computer because I did not have my own. After that I finally bought P166 MHz with 32MB RAM. With that, I went totally crazy. Thanks to my University I’ve gained basic knowledge about programming but it was not enough. Each free moment I spent in learning myself new things, out of official school’s guidelines.
Because of my personal hobbies I took a job of User Interface Designer for company called BenQ Mobile Poland. Those times will never come back but they learnt me a lot about usability and design itself. It allowed me to try dozen things: from writing specifications for my ideas, up to coding embedded devices (well.. more bug-fixing than that 😉 ) for a while.
After few internal problems of BenQ, whole crew have been overtook by TietoEnator group. This step required from me to get wider view for my job. Responsibilities also changed: I’ve started to be not only responsible for UI but for other types of development too: web apps, Java midlets, Java desktop apps, and .NET at the end.
Finally I came to promise land (U.K.) to look for a chance of getting the job of my dreams . It was a failure for few months, so I did not want to fall into madness, co I had to organize my time. Obviously: learning (“benq” in Japanese) was an answer.
Q. Which is your favorite programming language? Which tool you use for creating apps?
Karol: I am using C# .NET (with Visual Studio Express) for a while because I think it is still getting more and more interesting. Sometimes I am writing small tools with AHK or fixing my old C++ plugins in Borland C++ Builder 6.
Additionally I am using Notepad++ (rarely: Aptana) for creating websites, together with Inkscape and Paint.NET.
Q. Did you “teach yourself” your skills, or did learn from a school or other resource?
Karol: I think I can say “thank you” to my education for 1/4 of my knowledge. Another 1/4 will go to one of my buddies from studies (excellent coder and great friend). The rest of it is mostly my own work. I don’t have a gf so it *might* be an answer 😉
Q. How and when did you get involved in Donationcoder ? What you would like to see in Donationcoder in future?
Karol: Back in 2006 I was looking for an application similar to Windows’ “Run” dialog box and I found FARR. I registered back then because it had required that step for getting a key. Little bit later (2008) due to madness I’ve decided to give a shot and become good participant of DC.
Currently I don’t really know what future could bring for DC community.
Q. Which is DC’s Killer application? Why?
Karol: Currently I am not using DC’s apps because of my bad habits but I’ve used few of them a lot so my vote will go to:
- – FARR,
- – skrommel’s 1h software – (GridMove mostly).
Q. How much time do you usually spend on computers/proramming ?
Karol: Whole free time?
Q. Do you have any other projects on the go other than NANY App?
Karol: I’ve just finished creating one small website for Polish client so nothing is on the go (if we assume that extending Comparer does not count).
Recently I am trying to be more focused on job hunt and closed beta testing for few of my favourite apps.
Q. Do you have any experience with operating system other than windows ?How much you get involved in it?
Karol: For a long time I had no PC so during my studies I’ve been trying to recompense that.
After finding out:
I’ve tried to check all of mentioned OSes and managed to check a lot of those.
From time to time I am trying to get Linux working on my PC but without success. OH! And I’ve been working on MacOS 10.x for two months (long enough to hate it).
Q. What are your hobbies and interests away from the desk?
Karol: In chronological order:
1. Chemistry – back in primary school, up to end of high school;
2. Modern physics (all crap about time, black holes, relativism, quarks and so on);
3. Amateur photography – high school (you can check some photo here: http://fenixproductions.spaces.live.com/default.aspx
4. UI – studies;
5. Japanese culture,
6. dozen other small things…
Q. Who or what in your life would you say influenced you most?
Karol: Maybe 2-3 friend, maybe my closest family or maybe someone else. It is impossible to choose one..
Although the best moments for my soul/mind came from:
– Allen Ginsberg, Steven Hawking, Pink Floyd, Black Sabbath, Microsoft (really! I’ve learnt a lot thanks to MSDN AA).
Q. Your favourite stuff from : Food/T.V.Show/Website/Books/Music ?
- Food: lentil; junk food; meat; experiments
- TV: Sliders; The Outer Limits; StarGate; Simpsons; Futurama; Family Guy; anime;
- Website: too many to count;
- Books: One Hundred Years of Solitude; Les Misérables; Zd??y? przed Panem Bogiem (Polish: Be Ahead Before God), all from Pratchett and Kerouac; all from Wojaczek and Bursa (Polish poets);
- Music: Pink Floyd; Black Sabbath (w/ or w/o Ozzy & his solo CDs); Marilyn Manson; Leonard Cohen; Tom Waits and dozen of others.
Q. Any advice you’d give to new programmers?
Karol: “You can judge real man not by how he starts new things but how he finishes them” 😉
Honestly: You can say you are a programmer if you can finish your projects. Unfortunately: to many can be abandoned in the middle.
Q. Where do you see yourself in future?
I hope some alien race will decide to get me into intergalactic Zoo with some awesome human female. Honestly: I am not looking so far. I hope I will learn Japanese first 🙂
Thanks for the Interview.
Karol: It was a real pleasure.