From Theatrical to Programming Stage. Meet Cezary – Android Developer with Gymnastics Background
For most of his life, Cezary was passionate about gymnastics. He even became an acrobatic instructor for kids. Then he got a professional acrobatic role in a musical play! Eventually, he decided to self-learn programming and said goodbye to the gymnastics world. Why? Check out the amazing story of Cezary. Also, meet his lovely dog Tola.
Is it true that you had been an acrobatic instructor before you became a programmer?
Yes. Doing sports has always been a crucial part of my life. During middle school (Polish Gimnazjum), I joined the rowing team. Also, I was practicing gymnastics. The latter was more attractive to me. I was doing both for years but at the end of high school, I decided to fully commit to gymnastics.
After graduating from high school I went to Civil Engineering studies but I didn’t really enjoy them so I resigned and went to the Gdansk University Of Physical Education and Sport. I was focused on practicing gymnastics. Naturally, I couldn’t be a pro because I started that adventure when I was 12, and you should start practicing gymnastics when turning 6.
Eventually, I became an acrobatic instructor for kids. I also auditioned for the acrobatic dancer role at the Music Theater in Gdynia. I got a role with some of my friends. So I was an acrobatic dancer in the Notre Dame De Paris show. That was pretty cool.
Photo by Piotr Manasterski. Source: Facebook
However, I felt that my body had enough of the intensive training routine. I couldn’t do it forever. I felt I needed to move on and then I decided to become a programmer.
You are a self-taught developer. Tell us more about your process.
I came up with the idea to learn software development after I graduated from college and had that job at the theater. My best friend and my brother planned to be software developers so I thought I could try that, too. Ironically some years ago, one of the reasons why I chose to study Civil Engineering was not to sit by my desk 8 hours a day. Look how it all turned out. 😉
When I decided to learn programming, my girlfriend was the only person who knew about it. I was learning from morning hours to afternoon and then I was going to the theatrical rehearsals.
Some notes made by Cezary while learning.
I started my learning process by doing a free CS50 course made by Harvard. I started literally from Scratch, then touched some C, Python, and Java. I liked Java the most. Then I found the Google Developer Scholarship on Udacity. The first 3 months of the course were free. Then you had to do the test and the top 1000 people around the world were invited to continue the program for free. Gladly I was one of those people. 🙂 During that extended course I learned Java exclusively for building mobile with Android. That is how I became an Android Developer.
Eventually, a couple of years ago I decided to study Computer Science at the Polish-Japanese Academy of Information Technology in Gdańsk. So I guess I will get the proper education after all. 😉 Although, I believe that if you are passionate about the IT world, you have all the possibilities to learn it on your own.
How do you recall joining Bright Inventions?
A few years after being in the industry I was looking for a new place of work. I reached out to Ula because my friend spoke highly of Bright Inventions. He never worked here but he had an interview with a Bright tech recruiter once and had a great experience. I wrote to Ula and she told me that there is an open vacancy for Android Dev so I started the recruitment process and luckily got in. I started to work here in January 2021.
You are on the team that develops solutions for our client from the USA. Can you tell us something more about the project?
Bright Inventions has been cooperating with this client for over 3 years. A client is a group of tech-savvy experienced startup founders. We have an opportunity to support them in developing the IoT system for tracking and management of Bluetooth trackers.
We are responsible mostly for iOS and Android development. However, apps are just the use cases of the solution we work on. The whole solution behind our apps is the crucial exciting part of our daily work.
To be more precise we build SDK whose goal is to provide various Android devices with features similar to iBeacons technology. Our SDK creates a net of devices that can recognize trackers coded on small printed circuit boards.
Our client recently started to integrate their solution with businesses representing logistics, transport, and healthcare (although the product could be utilized in many other industries). So the effects of the hard work done for the past years have become more tangible.
What is special about this project?
It’s not a typical Android development. Usually, the Android dev’s job comes down to showing UI for some data from the backend. Here your list of responsibilities is much broader. You need to figure out how to make something from scratch because you work on some features that aren’t really developed yet. You navigate around typical Android solutions and need to think outside the box even if Android offers common solutions that normally you would use.
Due to the fact that we work on a unique SDK, we can’t go the easy way. For example, we don’t use typical protocols here. We use MQTT to communicate with the backend rather than a common HTTP. We also use protocols like CBOR & COAP. To be noted, we base our solution on Bluetooth Low Energy but it is a standard right now.
Also, we work on data encryption and use the FlatBuffers library to send data to the backend while limiting network usage.
Is hardware important at your job?
Yes, we work with pretty cool devices. For example, we work with Zebra WS50 watches that look like Power Ranger devices. :D It is quite interesting that some of the devices we work with are built on clean Android (Android Open Source Project). So while building the software you cannot use simple solutions like Fuse Location providers. You need to extract things through GPS on the phone. You have to look for many unordinary solutions and it makes this work more interesting.
We are seeking an Android developer to join you on this project. What kind of person would you see in a project?
A clone of mine would be fine. 😉
On a serious note, this project is a perfect fit for someone who is not satisfied with simple solutions and loves to find their own ways. There is a lot of conceptual work. If you want to look for solutions rather than have them handed on a silver platter, then you will find our project exciting.
We have 7 experienced developers and a Quality Assurance specialist on our team. We would love to welcome another positive and engaged team member.
Do you enjoy working at Bright Inventions? Only an honest answer, please. 😀
Truly, I do. Otherwise, I wouldn’t agree to this interview. 😀 Mostly due to the project I work at. It’s innovative and there is no boredom here. Also, my cooperation with Matusz Klimczak who is my project manager is really positive. What I also like about Bright is the flat structure, work-life balance, great team retreats, competitive salary, and the simple fact that normal people work here. Normal in a good way. 😉
After work, I still have the strength to follow my passions which is not always the case. Programmers' work can quite limit your after-work resources. Fortunately, I can focus on my passions such as joinery and wood carving.
Oh, what did you carve in wood?
As an example let me show you and play a musical instrument I have built. This is the doshpuluur - a musical instrument from Asia.
When you come to the office, you bring a lovely companion with you. Can you tell us more about her? 😉
I guess you mean my dog Tola. :) She’s a rescue. My fiancée and I adopted her from Aurea Foundation whose mission is to help Golden Retrievers. Actually, I’ve always wanted to have a German Shepard and my fiancée had a desire for a Golden Retriever. So we reached a compromise and went for a Golden Retriever. 😉
Tola at the Bright Inventions’ office in Gdańsk
Tola had a hernia and needed surgery and probably that is why someone abandoned her. Fortunately, Tola is healthy now. She joins me when I come to the office to attend our yoga classes every Friday. She makes quite an entrance. 🙂