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Interview with Alex Mang

Azure MVP | KEYTICKET SOLUTIONS

Tell us a few things about yourself. Where did you study, where do you work?

Officially speaking, I studied Computer Science at the University of Oradea. Unofficially, I really believe my career as a software developer has been an ongoing journey for the past 20 years, starting in my late childhood when discovered the power of computer programming. You’ll find me on a daily basis in Oradea, at the headquarters of KeyTicket Solution, the ISV I run – at KeyTicket Solutions, I’m responsible for most of the cloud application architectures, data repository and archival architecture and a good part of the software development process.

What is your typical day at work?

I’m a caffeine addict, so whether it is a work day or not, I usually start my day with a great cup of coffee:). As soon as the coffee requirement is met, I’m ready to either work on an innovative piece of code which usually gets deployed in the cloud work with our customers who happen to be very large event organizers (think about events which gather 50K attendees on a regular basis) on making their events more attractive.

What inspired you to be active in the community?

Being a very early adopter of new technologies, I found myself in the situation where I wanted to share my experiences (both positive and negative) with the rest. It was and still is a joy to speak about your experience and to have best practices written by the things you learn in learn life. Being able to share these at professionally organized and high quality events such as ITCamp makes the sharing experience even better, because I’m not just doing the things I love, but I also get credit for it from a very demanding crowd.

It was and still is a joy to speak about your experience and to have best practices written by the things you learn in learn life.

I’m 100% certain that there is so much left to learn that it’s pointless to think of any bad experiences and complain about them – instead, I can just imagine how much more I still can achieve by focusing on the things I know and love today.

Are there any things you wish you knew at the beginning of your career?

I’m 100% certain that there is so much left to learn that it’s pointless to think of any bad experiences and complain about them – instead, I can just imagine how much more I still can achieve by focusing on the things I know and love today. Of course, I could have achieve more had I known what to really focus on 10 years ago (for example, I probably wouldn’t have invested any time and effort in Silverlight…) – but I don’t expect to become Professor Dumbledore before I get to my 30s, so let’s just wait to get some fresh new scars first :).

Could you recommend some books, resources that young IT professionals might find useful?

IT-wise, Pro C# 5.0 and the .NET 4.5 Framework (Expert’s Voice in .NET) turned out to be a good investment. It’s a 1500-page long handbook (uhm… “hand”-book? ) with really everything you can think about in terms of .NET, whether WinForms, WPF, XAML, MVC and so on. In other words, it’s an excellent reference when Google or StackOverflow doesn’t do the trick. Non-IT related, Hyperbole And A Half is a fun book to read – it’s a funny written memoir which looks openly at depression. If you find yourself in a mid-life crisis or in any other situation where life seems to treat you poorly, this is a must-read.

What you do to “recharge your batteries”? What are your hobbies? Do you have time for them?

Family is what charges my batteries. I also love (emphasize on *love*) to travel so whenever there’s a conference opportunity abroad or a customer who’d like us to meet, I never say no. Happily enough, most of my hobbies have to do with computers, robotics and software development and therefore everything I do becomes an impressive and large ongoing learning process. The down side to it however is that the professional and hobby related worlds are sometimes too blended, so being a well-organized individual is a must.

If you could go back in time and choose a different profession (outside of IT), what would it be?

Tough to say, since I clearly remember that my first option (when I was roughly 4), was an astronaut – at some point, that somehow became obsolete. Considering that there would be no need for software developers in the world, I would probably be a barista or a food critic. Or maybe a chef… Happily enough though, computers are around and people are asking for my skills – so no worries about eating poorly cooked meals .

What do you think about ITCamp, and what brings you here?

In a single word: WOW! But if you want to know more about my impressions on ITCamp, you should read ‘Behind Stage Talks, Nice Suits, Funny English Accent And Tasty Food’, which is a blog post I wrote after last year’s ITCamp. Again, awesome job, ITCamp organizers!

Happily enough, most of my hobbies have to do with computers, robotics and software development and therefore everything I do becomes an impressive and large ongoing learning process.

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