I'm Catalin Pit, a Software Engineer from Romania. Ask me Anything! ๐Ÿ‘‹

Held on 14 August 2020, 6:00 pm

Hi, I'm Catalin Pit, a software engineer from Romania, and I'm interested in helping junior developers to:

  • accommodate better in their first role
  • progress quicker
  • have a better work/life balance

We can talk about:

  • Working remotely
  • Open Source (I am novice in this field)
  • Sports (football/mma)
  • Moving to another country (lived in London for 6 years)
  • Blogging
  • Marketing yourself as a developer on social media

Feel free to ask questions in advance below. I will start answering your questions live on Friday, 14th August, 11 AM PT / 06:00 PM GMT.

Uduak Obong-Eren's photo

Hey Catalin,

Greetings from the USA! Thanks a ton for offering to do this AMA session.

So couple of questions:

  • How long did it take you to build your online brand as a developer?
  • Are there any things you did specifically? For example, 10 tweets a day, 2 articles a week, tweet everyday etc?
  • Sometimes writers spend a lot of time writing and rewriting an article. At what point do you decide that an article is good enough to be published?
Catalin Pit's photo

Hello!

  1. It took me 8 months of very hard and consistent work. I was posting, and building my brand daily.
  2. I tried to push an article weekly, which I failed because I had/have a full-time job. But I tried to post as much as possible on my blog. With Twitter it was easier because you can only tweet maximum 280 characters. So, every time I had some free time, I tweeted. I tweeted at least 2-3 insightful tweets each day (not tweets like "I love VS Code", but useful tweets).
  3. If you write, and then re-write the article again, something is not right. Plan the article first, add some bullet points, and build on those bullet points. It's important to proof-read your article, and make sure it's good but don't expect it to be perfect. Also, use apps like Grammarly, and the Hemingway App to help you. Proof-read it twice or thrice, and post it!
Sandeep Panda's photo

Hey Catalin

What does your workstation look like? Can we see a picture? ๐Ÿ˜€

Catalin Pit's photo

Hey!

I just got all the stuff today. It's still a work in progress though. :-D

Sandeep Panda's photo

What advice would you offer to developers who are getting started with their blogging journey and starting to build their brand?

Catalin Pit's photo

Hey!

I think there is a book about that by a guy named Catalin Pit. :-?

Haha, jokes aside, join a community like Hashnode. You are more likely to be found by people thanks to their feed, newsletter and social media platforms. Hashnode shares articles from the platform, and it is a good way to get exposure.

If you put out quality content, people will notice, and will "trust" you. They become regular readers. And that's how you build a brand, from my point of view. :-)

Edidiong Asikpo's photo

Hey Catalin

Why do you think it is important for developers to blog on their own domain as opposed to blogging on other platforms that restrict them from owning their content?

Catalin Pit's photo

Hey!

You write the content, why not own it as well? You are always at someone's hand. If something happens to the platform, you cannot do anything. You don't want to be tied to somebody else.

If you blog, you must own your content. That's why I think Hashnode is one of the best choices. You have your domain, and you can easily backup your content if you ever want to leave. :-)

Steve Wilson's photo

Hey Catalin,

Thanks for doing the AMA. How do you decide which topic to write on next? I have been reading your article. They vary from marketing to software development. How you come up with these ideas.

Newbie writer here. :)

Catalin Pit's photo

Hey!

Thanks for reading my blog! I'm not sure I have marketing articles, though. However, I focus a lot on the "soft" side of software engineering. That is, soft skills and life as a developer. I write articles based on the situations from my life.

If it's technical content, I explain things I use daily or things I plan on learning. I don't really have a plan to get blog ideas, but I want to create one.

Steve Wilson's photo

Thank you for the reply Catalin :)

Jatin Rao's photo

Hey Catalin

What advice would give to someone trying to build their own personal brand as a developer?

Catalin Pit's photo

Hey!

I wrote extensively about this topic in my ebook. However, I'll drop some tips here as well.

  • Be active on social media platforms. Twitter seems to be the best place for developers.
  • Teach others.
  • Start a blog/YouTube channel/podcast or whatever works for you.
  • Be helpful in the community. You can always help somebody.
  • Support fellow developers.

It's amazing how much you can grow by being active on social media. :-)

Ido Shamun's photo

Hi!

Good luck with the AMA and thanks for doing it.

  • What was the reason that made you improve your online presence?
  • Why do you prefer working remotely / freelancing?
Catalin Pit's photo

Hey, thank you!

  1. In the future I want to take the freelancing route. Thus, having an online presence is of the utmost importance, from my point of view. I also like meeting new people, and interacting with people. Besides that, I like to write, and help other people.
  2. I prefer working remotely because I have total freedom over my time. More or less, I can work when I want, how I went, "where" I want. If I want, I can start work at 5am or at 10am. If I want I can work from bed or from my office. You get the gist. I love working remotely. When it comes to freelancing, I can't say much because I didn't do it.

:-)

Ido Shamun's photo

Thank you and good luck ๐Ÿ”ฅ

Anjal Binayak's photo

Hey Catalin, in the first place, thanks for providing this opportunity so my questions are :

1) While you learn new technology, where, how, do you start? 2) What are the virtues of good programmers?

Catalin Pit's photo

Hello, my pleasure!

  1. I find a reputable instructor from the industry, and I take his/her/their course. Then I look at the documentation. Then I start building stuff. Not something complicated. :-D
  2. Being a good human, willing to learn, willing to help others, having an open-mind, enjoy the struggle. :-)
Vamsi Rao's photo

Hey Catalin

Thanks for this AMA. What are your hobbies and how does your typical day look like?

Catalin Pit's photo

Hey!

  • My hobbies are: riding my quad/truck in deep, thick mud. I also love football, and MMA. :-)
  • My typical day:
    • wake up at 8am
    • shower
    • make coffee
    • start reading email, check social media
    • start working
    • break at 12 or 1pm
    • work until 6pm
    • after that I relax or I write blog posts

Done. :-D

Bryan Guillรฉn's photo

Hey man!

Could you describe the very first time (that you remember) you ever considered programming? How did you feel at first? What made you stick to the idea?

Catalin Pit's photo

Hello!

I never considered programming. When I moved to the UK, I couldn't go to the high school because I didn't have the right age. My only option was college (which is not Uni in UK). There I had to choose between a bunch of subjects, and IT stood out for me. I was the most interested in IT.

After finishing college, my choice was only Computer Science for University (that was the policy in UK at the time).

And that's how I got into tech. :-D

Chris Bongers's photo

Hi Catalin Pit

Iโ€™m also having a full time job, and fiancรฉ and some hobbies.

  1. Is this the same for you?
  2. How do you mix this time wise? (Or manage people/hobbies)
Catalin Pit's photo
  1. I have a full time job, I am married, and I have hobbiess.
  2. My wife, and the family is on the first place. I try to spend as much time as possible with her. If something bad happens to me, she's the one that it's going to be with me, not my job/hobbies/etc.

How do I mix them?

  • 90% of my after-job time is for my wife
  • When I have breaks from work, I manage my social media stuff and my projects
  • In weekend I write articles, and I schedule them. Or sometimes I do it in the evening before bed

It's a struggle, but a beautiful struggle.

Shannon Crabill's photo

Hey ๐Ÿ‘‹

In your opinion, what technical skill are most "junior' developers (career changers, boot camp grads, self learners, etc) missing that could prevent them from getting their first developer job or moving up in their career?

Catalin Pit's photo

Hello!

I can't say a lot about moving up in the career, as I am still junior. But when it comes to getting your first developer job, it's a tough place to be in. I think most "junior" developers don't know their value (they are very important), and how to market themselves.

"Junior" developers need more self-belief! :-)

sridhar katta's photo

I am a self-thought developer from engineering in petroleum engineering to Software developer from India, I am mostly into MERN Stack I did some personal projects in reactjs and Go like Github clone and Flipkart with some functionalities, I am struggling to get a job in this pandemic. Any advice on how to get jobs as a self-thought developer in these tough times? If you are interested please look into my hashnode blog and Github profile where I listed how I came to software and sample projects I did.

Catalin Pit's photo

Hello!

Any specific issues or?

My tips for finding jobs:

  1. Update your LinkedIn profile, and make it stand out.
  2. Post on LinkedIn that you're search for jobs.
  3. Search for jobs in your area, and apply on LinkedIn.
  4. Contact recruiters, and speak directly with them.
  5. Alternatively, find people working at the companies you want to work at, and speak with them.

Hope it helps!

Waylon Walker's photo

How do you manage keeping up with you community on so many different platforms?

Show +1 replies
Waylon Walker's photo

Catalin Pit

My Twitter following is small ๐ŸŸ. I don't know how anyone with so many followers keeps up.

Catalin Pit's photo

Waylon Walker You miss 90% of what's happening, honestly. :-)

Vijay Britto's photo

How is your brand on social media helping you grow mentally and economically?

Catalin Pit's photo

It doesn't help me grow mentally; it actually puts more mental burden on me. It's hard to manage my full time job, and social media too.

Economically, I get a few opportunities now and then. It helps, I can't lie. :-)

Janagar's photo

Hi brother, i lost my web dev job(junior) in covid-19 Pandemic. how to earn money online? I'm new to online marketing(like freelancing)! What i need to do now?

Show +1 replies
Janagar's photo

Where to start? Where to sell? Please tell Catalin Pit

Catalin Pit's photo

Janagar It depends what you are good at. Try upwork, fiverr, etc. :-)

James Tucker's photo

Hey Catalin!

How do you decide what new technologies to learn? And once you decide, what does your learning process look like?

Catalin Pit's photo

Hello!

Because of the limited time, I focus on what I use at work. Luckily, we use the latest technologies, so I get to practice them at work.

If I want to learn something new:

  1. I find a reputable instructor from the field, and I get her/his/their course
  2. Look at the documentation
  3. Build apps.

:-)

Nabeelah's photo

Hey Catalin,

I have seen a lot of posts on how you can get a job from LinkedIn or Twitter but not sure how to go about it. I have also applied to lots of jobs (in my country and outside) from both platforms but majorly get rejection letters or none at all because I am not located in the EU (for those jobs located in the EU).

How can I navigate this? How can I network better to find the right connections?

Thanks for doing this AMA!

Catalin Pit's photo

Hello!

I would advise you to contact recruiters on LinkedIn. That's what works for me the best!

Rajan Panchal's photo

How to promote our articles?

Catalin Pit's photo

I always do it on Twitter.

And if your article is good, you might get a place in the Hashnode newsletter or the article might get shared by other people.

Diana's photo

Hey Catalin! Do you have any advice for those who are looking to do a career change over to web development?

Catalin Pit's photo

Hello!

Believe in yourself! So many people think they are not made for this field, and they can't make it. But it's not true. Everybody struggles, and the struggle is part of the process.

If you embark on this journey - to do a career change to web dev - understand that is difficult but not impossible.

Believe in yourself! :-)

Marco Chavez's photo

Nice to meet you! I was wondering if you could provide me any insight on how you perform research when you run into a bug ๐Ÿ˜Š

Catalin Pit's photo

Nice to meet you too!

I usually copy the bug error, and Google it. I don't have a specific strategy. I keep searching until I find a solution.