About me

Hi. I’m Andrei, 30-something nerd living in Bucharest.
Not only you found my site, but somehow you found my about page.
This page will probably not be interesting for you, unless we met.

🚀 The Genesis

Picture a young kid, eyes wide with wonder, in front of a Windows 98 screen, pressing a key at a time in a black window to cd into a folder on the desktop. That was me, 20-something years ago.

My initiation into this world were some childish batch scripts – a CD tray playing hide-and-seek, funny desktop backgrounds, and other less tasteful jokes. Those silly things made me realize that with the right knowledge I could bend the computer to my will.

🎒 Middle School

My programming journey started in middle school, when I was fortunate enough to join an after-school program where we learned Pascal in preparation for the upcoming national olympiads in informatics.

For four years, our teacher took a few hours of his time every week to sit patiently with our tiny brains and try to make them compute. He never asked for anything in return.

He was the one that taught me first about variables, and conditionals, and loops, and I will forever be grateful for meeting and working with him.

By the end of middle school I was starting to dip my toes in shinier technologies: Delphi and Visual Basic.

📚 High School

In high school, I switched from Pascal to C++ and continued expanding my knowledge on the side. And we finally got internet at home, so no more burning CDs at the net café. Yey!

By 10th grade, I had become productive in PHP and JavaScript, which allowed me to start freelancing over the internet I worked on small projects and bug fixes - though, admittedly, not all clients were thrilled with my work. I didn’t know what I didn’t know yet.

By the time I finished high school, I had a sizeable portfolio of standalone software and websites I’d built. Things were going well.

Around the same time, as I was exposed to hacker forums and IRC channels, my interests shifted from building to breaking things. In those days, vulnerabilities were everywhere, and getting online credit for being smart was what kids were hooked on.

I became passionate about learning how things break and how to prevent that, and did a lot of what we’d call today responsible disclosure, before it was cool™.

Getting on the Hall of Fame of a company for breaking something was thrilling, and over the years, I managed to get on quite a few, including Apple 1 2 3, Microsoft, Netflix, and Spotify.

🎓 University

After completing high school at 18, I left for Denmark on a Computer Science scholarship.

They were teaching us Java, so after three months of feeling something is wrong, and a few unpleasant interactions with the institution (sup Lars?), I dropped out.

💼 My First Job

Immediately after leaving university, I landed my first job as a developer at a small company. It was a small shop that worked half of the time on its own product and the other half doing consultancy on Drupal, Moodle, Solr, and other wonders of that time.

The in-house project was a printing solution for schools and offices, and I got to learn C# and work a fair deal on that, in addition to the few occasions where the consultancy work was more lax, and we could afford someone unexperienced like me taking much longer time to do something.

This experience was eye-opening and humbling, and it showed me how much there was to learn.

This job is also where I met my first role model in programming and life. He was my first and best mentor; by watching him solve problems, I learned that programming gets done right only when we take the required time to understand all the details.

🌟 Present day

Now, with eleven years of professional experience under my belt, I’ve become a jack-of-all-trades. I’ve worked in various roles, built many projects, ranging from software to TV and mobile apps, highly interactive and performant web apps, APIs, browser extensions, and others.

Job-wise, in the past few years, I’ve been focusing primarily on front-end and web work, so TypeScript, Go, React (and Next.js), Vue, NestJS, and all the new toys, as it’s a good market that doesn’t consume all my energy.

I still feel 16, and I still spend my nights on learning and building crazy things or working on open-source projects.