Hi Ivan! Tell us who you are e what you are doing
I started working with Android in 2010, initially with custom ROMs and some small apps created in my spare time, then turning it into a full-time job. In 2013 I discovered ReactiveX and in 2015 I published my first book, also starting my adventures as a speaker at the Droidcon Berlin. Today I’m responsible for the Android app of AsanaRebel, I’m completing my last book, Grokking ReactiveX and I continue to work on my most popular pet project.
What led you to the role of Android Developer?
I have always been a Linux user, and when Android became popular, the general idea was already familiar to me. When the first and cheap smartphones got to the market, I started to mess around with Android custom ROM and system optimizations.
I started writing the first apps that solved small problems, which I later found out were not just mine, but also others’. My own annoyances were also the annoyances of thousands of people: and that’s the reason why my apps started to be shared. Since then, it has been a job that I keep on doing with passion and attitude.
What do you like the most about your job? And the least?
One of the things I appreciate the most about my job is the simplicity of access to the ecosystem, how this system put us in contact with million of people, and this happens with just one click. And, with also little money: you can create an app with a 300 euros normal laptop, and with 30 euros you can register on Google Play Store, publish your app, and your users can install it in few hours.
Sometimes, though, the fragmentation of the ecosystem can be frustrating: dozens of versions of the operative system and thousands of smartphones’ models can make you paranoiac, and make you wonder whether you tested as much as you should have.
What would you tell to those who want to become a “badass” Android developer?
When the years go by, you start to understand your limits (at your expenses of course, as usual in life). The only advice I want to give is ” be brave”. You need bravery to ask for help, or just if something is beyond our limits. You need bravery to let things go, and to stay and try again.
Which skills should you train to make a real difference in your role?
I could not have done any step without PMA: Positive Mental Attitude. Be proactive, positive. Think of problems and solutions as a unique pair. Do not get discouraged. When I am sad, I think about my high school teacher, who used to say: “There is no”easy” or “hard”. There is “I can” or “I cannot”. So, you just need to learn to do things!”. If you think about it this way, you will be a winner.
How do you train a positive mind? Meditation and self-help books are my solutions.You probably travel every day to go to the university or work: use that time to read. If you drive, there are audio-books.
How do you think your role will evolve in the future? Which skills will you need?
At the present moment I am working on personal development and relationship management. Today it is considered “senior” the person who spends some years in the development world. I actually do imagine a “senior” person the one that has great skills in communication, teaching, learning, and negotiating. You need mindfulness, modesty, and confidence.