Christos Matskas is a software developer, blogger, speaker and all around geek. He currently works at Microsoft as an Azure Engineer (PFE) empowering developers and teams to do amazing things with technology. Until you get to meet Christos in person at the conference, we give you the chance to know him a little better from this interview that he gave to us:
DevExperience: What did you want to become when you were a child?
A fighet-jet pilot (a la Top Gun)
DevExperience: What is the story of your begining in this field? How did you start working in this industry?
I always wanted to become a hacker (a white-hat) – I still do. I figured that to in order to achieve my dream, I had to understand how computers work, how to code and how computer networks are put together. So I studied Software Engineering and then I did a masters degree on Advanced Computer Networking. This got me closer to my goal but, eventually, my path took a more conventional way. It’s been super fun and interesting and joining Microsoft has been a dream come true. I now, until I joined Microsoft where I do awesome things
DevExperience: How do you see the IT industry 10 years from now?
It’s hard to predict where our industry will be in 10 years, especially since the rate of change is becoming faster and faster. We could, however, use the past to predict the future. We’re already seeing the next big thing since it’s been 10 years since the last major technology shift. I believe that AI and ML will play a pivotal role and will be the focal point of our industry in the coming years. It’s already happening but not across the whole of the industry. AI and ML are still applied in isolated pockets. Once they’re widely adopted, then the change will be massive. And due to the significance of this change, it’s hard to predict how exactly things will change. All we can do is be prepared for the changes to come and if we’re brave and lucky enough, we can be the ones to drive these changes.
DevExperience: What are the main mistakes that you noticed that people in this field are making a lot?
I believe that change is an important part of being a developer. In some cases, we are the agents of change. But in many cases, changes are thrust upon us and we need to adapt. One of the mistakes we do as developers is resisting change rather than embracing it. New and emerging technologies will always arise and it’s upon us to learn and apply them on our day to day work. Becoming complacent and stop learning is a sure way to make you less employable and relevant.
DevExperience: What do you know about Iași and Romania? Dont Google it! :)
I know a few bits about Romania but nothing about Iasi (first time there). I’ve been to Bucharest before with my parents and I know it’s the birth place of Dracula (Transilvania). I look forward to getting to know Iasi too.
DevExperience: What is your advice for a junior who wants to develop a career in IT?
Find a mentor, ask questions all the time, question the status quo, get involved in Open Source, get involved with the local community, find a fun project to work with your friends, stay up-to-date with what’s happening in tech. All these sound like a lot of work and a big challenge but you do them often enough and they become a routine. You need a routine, a pattern to help you get to the next level.
DevExperience: What do you do for your both personal and professional development? Also how do you make time for your passions?
There are no normal days. Every day presents new, fun challenges and I tend to embrace them as a means to learn more about technology and things I’m passionate about. My goal is to learn something new every day, whether that’s for work or personal development.
My day involves solving many different problems for many different teams, companies and developers. Some of them may be on twitter asking for help and some of them may be through my work engagements at Microsoft. I approach all with the same passion and enthusiasm. I’m fortunate to work for a very large company that employees many clever people. We collaborate on everything. At the end of each day I look back and as longs as I’ve learned something new and I’ve managed to help someone then it’s a good day.
DevExperience: What is the greatest part of your job? What is the not so great part of it?
The greatest part is working on so many different projects, challenges and requirements. This demands a perpetual growth and learning mindset and this fits great with my personal way of living. I love that I get the opportunity to learn about cutting edge technologies and tools while still helping customers with 20 year old solutions and legacy code. One of the parts I don’t enjoy as much is the extensive travel because I live far away from most of our customers so every engagement involves a flight.
Being away from my family is the biggest downside but this is partly to our decision to live where we live.
DevExperience: How would you explain to an old lady who knows nothing about technology what is it exactly that you do? :)
I empower people to solve problems, sometimes trivial sometimes complex using computers. I inspire them to find solutions for themselves and in the process learn about new technologies.
DevExperience: Tell us more about the main ideas of your talk at DevExperience! Why should people register and attend the event?
My session should help you understand the power of Serverless technologies within Azure and feel inspired to use them in order to solve complex problems using out-of-the-box tools with little or no code. These same problems would otherwise take months of development and thousands lines of code to solve. Serverless technologies are transforming the way we build systems today.
Do you want to learn more about Serverless architecture with Azure, directly from Christos Matskas? Then hurry up and register, `cause the clock is ticking!