DiscoverThe Solo Coder Podcast
The Solo Coder Podcast

The Solo Coder Podcast

Author: Aderson Oliveira

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A podcast about career in coding where I (Aderson Oliveira) interview coders, programmers, developers about where they are in their careers and how they got there. If you are a coder and want to start, change or boost your career, this is the place you will learn from other fellow coders.
100 Episodes
I spoke with Christos Matskas. Christos is a Developer Evangelist at Microsoft working with the Identity Platform.  After 2015, Christos started to do a lot of community speaking, conferences, user groups, blogging, open source contributions which all lead him to become a Microsoft MVP (most valuable professional). In turn, all of that activity culminated on him being invited to work at Microsoft in the UK. During our conversation we spoke about community building and how challenging it is to do it right. We discussed the importance of being willing to speak as a developer and what that can do for ones career. We also talked about his recent experimenting with TikTok, teaching people how to use Git via quick videos. I had a look and he is good! You can get the link in the show notes to check it out. You will learn quite a few things about Git from Christos videos. Oh, did I mention that he wants to be Microsoft's CEO? Watch out Satya! Enjoy the chat! Full show notes and links:
I spoke with John Calderaio. John is as a technical writer currently working with Mosh Hamedani from Programming with Mosh. If you haven't heard about Mosh, he is a great content and course creator. John writes for Mosh's website. But John's story goes way beyond coding. As we discussed about his career, he revealed his troubled time from 12 to 20 years old when he dealt with drugs and alcohol, which lead to a car accident that got him in jail for 1 year. According to him, this was the worst time of his life. Thankfully he got himself clean and he shared with me that after jail, he went back to University, got his bad grades removed and finished with a 3.9 GPA in Computer Science Engineering. Unfortunately as a result of the car accident, he started suffering severe backpain which is still a constant in his life 24/7. Just to give you an idea of how bad the pain is, he was talking to me from his bed during the chat. Nowadays, John is looking forward to a surgery that should fix the problems on his back. If all goes well, has plans to go to med school and combine technology with medicine. I will leave you with the positive John Calderaio - technical writer and developer. Enjoy the chat! Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Rob Richardson. Rob is a veteran developer with over 18 years of experience in the field. Currently he works as a Developer Advocate for Cyral. Originally coming from an Industrial Design graduation, he quickly moved on to a Masters in Computer Information Systems. Rob has worked with many technologies and has seen many patterns and cycles. For instance, he shared that one of the biggest adjustments within his career was to see and adapt to the client and server cycles. His fresh perspective on this topic was very insightful and easy to understand. Rob shared with me that he always tries to bring the user's perspective to the center of the conversation. This is not very simple to do and most developers end up ignoring it and focusing way more in the technical details than what they should. To be a successful tech consultant, one must develop their empathy skills, otherwise they will not go too far. As Rob said, it is not uncommon for people to believe they are the center of the universe and forget about other people's perspectives. I will leave you with the eloquent Rob Rich, developer advocate, speaker and much more. Enjoy the chat! Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Garrick Crouch. Garrick is a Software Engineer working for Deka Solutions. Technology wise, his focus is React in the frontend and Laravel in the backend, which is a combination that he has been working with for a few years now. But coding was not always on his radar. In his early career he was an electrician. He almost got a degree, but in his final semester he dropped out as a result of his substance abuse. We have explored how he was able to move on with his life after 12 years of drug addiction. During the time he was in recovery, he came in touch with web development and it was the starting point of a complete turn around in his life. Garrick attended a coding bootcamp and got himself in College studying for a Computer Programming degree. So many lessons learned from Garrick's experiences. It shows that no matter what kinds of struggle we are going through, there is a light at the end of the tunnel as long as you are willing to move forward. I will leave you with the inspiring story of recovery and persistency from Garrick Crouch, Software Engineer. Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Jan. Jan is a Shopify ecommerce specialist based in Germany. Originally graduated as a mechanical engineer, he started his career with robotics, developing automation robots for product manufacturing assembly lines. However, after just a few month in the job, he quickly realized that this was not what he wanted. He wanted to code but not robots. That lead him to web development. He started then a freelancing career initially using WordPress, but moved on to Shopify as he was interested in helping clients with their ecommerce needs and in his opinion, Shopify is a better solution. Now he is on a journey to help other developers and aspiring developers to start their freelancing careers focused on assisting clients with Shopify needs. Him and his partner launched a site called Freemote where you can learn how to build your freelancing business from the ground up. They have training content including videos and worksheets as well as a community to help each other. For this episode I brought Ken Fowler. Ken is an ex student of mine and he was the one who recommended me to talk to Jan. So the other person asking questions is Ken. I will leave you with Jan, Shopify and freelancing expert. Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Ottawa based Ihab El-Waly. Ihab has a Computer Science background, but nowadays he works mostly with Digital Marketing. Ihab caught my attention as he was the one who reached out to me to be part of the podcast. Usually I'm the one inviting guests and the proactive approach that Ihab took was an interesting surprise which made me want to talk to him even more. I spoke with Ihab about his time as a Computer Science student and how he transitioned from University to becoming a freelancer website developer to then moving to digital marketing. I have worked with many digital marketers in the past as my clients, but never had the opportunity to talk to one for the podcast and this looked like a good chance. Ihab said that he was not cut out to be a super tech developer because of his business interests. He sees himself more as a middleman between technology and business. I think many of you listing to this might be in the same boat. We also talked about the fact that Ihab's family and friends didn't support him much initially but now, after positive results, they are more convinced that this was a good career choice for him. I will leave you with the soft-spoken digital marketer Ihab El-Waly. Enjoy the chat! Full show notes and links:
This was a different episode and we had a live audience asking questions. I think we will be doing this more and more over time and I would love to hear your opinion about this format. Do you like it? Don't like it? Hit me up on LinkedIn or Twitter - Links can be found @ We spoke with Cristian Florea. Cristian is a Frontend Developer working for Novartis, the big pharma company. The format was a bit different from the traditional one and Cristian delivered a lot of valuable insights about the industry, getting experience as a frontend developer and many tips to help people landing their first job as a developer. Aside from working at Novartis, about 2 years ago Cristian started helping aspiring developers by creating a coaching program to give them a hand on landing their first job. Coming from a different background - Cristian studied Law - he has first-hand experience of how someone with non-traditional experience, can break into the industry. We have also explored the fact that Cristian is a bit nomadic right now, going from country to country for only a few months at a time. Sounds like a dream come true to many people who love to travel. From electronic music producer to barista to coder, you will take away a lot from this chat with Cristian Florea, coach for aspiring developers. Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Chris Eidhof. Together with his business partner Florian Kugler, he runs where you can find books, courses, videos and resources in general about iOS and macOS development. Nowadays it focus mostly on Swift, but at some point in the past before Swift it was all about Objective-C as their site name suggests. We spoke about his origin story around Objective-C and the fact that he doesn't have a LinkedIn profile, making my life as I researched about him, a lot harder. Burn out is a topic that I'm always curious about. Chris spoke openly about it and how he was able to get to the other side of that challenging time. We spoke about and their approach to business which basically focus on creating great resources and letting the content do the rest of the work, instead of focusing too much on promoting the business. It seems to have worked really well for them. In the end he mentioned that currently they plan to release some of their own apps so they can stay hands-on to be able to talk proficiently about all aspects of mobile development and not just focus on teaching. Whether you are a mobile developer or not, Chris shared lessons and career tips in this episode that are applicable to all kinds of coders, no matter what their specific tech stack might be. I will leave you with Chris Eidhof, iOS developer and educator. Full show notes and links:
I spoke with the dual Matt Lawrence and Mike Karan. Together they run a web development agency in Hamilton, Canada called "Digital Dynasty Design". Beyond that, they also run their own podcast show called "HTML All The Things" where they talk about web development, design and running a small business. I was interested in speaking to them about how and why they started their own web development company. I wanted to shed some light into this as a career opportunity. They were very candid about it. They covered the feast and famine cycles that are so common when running a small business. They also spoke about their focus on trying to create some sort of passive income stream that can help to minimize the ups and downs of the business. Of course we also talked about their own podcast and how they are able to keep it going with so much consistency. It was great to be able to talk such a good combination of business partners. They have so many complementing skills to add to each other. This is key when picking someone to go in business together. I will leave you with Matt and Mike from Digital Dynasty Design. Enjoy the chat! Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Jerome Hardaway. I caught Jerome in a transition. He just started working at Microsoft about 2 months ago as a Software Engineer. This is awesome on its own, but beyond that, Jerome is the founder of Vets Who Code, a non-profit organization that focus on teaching military veterans for free in the United States how to code so they can move to the tech industry after service. Vets Who Code has helped over 250 veterans to learn to code and find jobs. I spoke with Jerome about his own story as a veteran that got into coding himself. He shared the origin story of how Vets Who Code came about and how the organization operates. He told me about the advantages that veterans bring to the table when they get into the tech industry. The discipline, the focus, the team work, the desire to build something bigger than themselves, just to mention a few. In the end Jerome shared a few of potential next steps he may be taking with Vets Who Code and with his own career. Stick around to hear the stories from Jerome Hardaway, veteran and coder. Full show notes and links:
I spoke with David Jorjani. David is Director of Product at and Instructor at the University of Toronto. Great to see a professional like David with a foot in Academia and another one in Startups. At UofT, David wants to help students getting real life experience to be ready for the industry. Then at, he needs to hire talent. Also, Ideal itself is a platform that helps companies with talent acquisition. So David seems to be surround by talent. From one end he needs to hire and select them, from the other end he helps to build them! We have explored what it means to be working for a start up and I asked him to help me sell the idea of being part of a start up to my students. We also spoke about teaching and his experiential learning practices of having students working with real projects. These projects are brought by real companies with whom he forms partnerships. I will leave you with David Jorjani, product builder and people developer. Enjoy the chat! Full show notes and links:
I have spoken with my good friend David Poindexter. David is the founder of nvisionative, a digital agency located in Mooresville, North Carolina. I have know David for many years as part of my involvement in an open source community called DNN. I have always admired David for the combination of his business acumen and his technical skills. David has been involved in many aspects of open source, from code contribution to conference organization and leading working groups. We spoke about being part of a community and how awesome it is to be in the flow with them. I have questioned David about the return on investment of time and money that he puts into open source and if it helps his business somehow. We have also spoken about his deep involvement within the music industry and how this experience helped him in the tech space. David shared the growing pains of moving from a solo coder business to an agency, where he had to hire people to help him out. This chat really felt to me like two buddies chatting over a beer, but there was no beer involved. I hope you enjoy the chat as much as I did. Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Andy Hunt. Andy is one of the 17 authors who wrote the Agile Manifesto back in 2001. 2 years earlier he wrote, together with Dave Thomas one of the most seminal programming books called "The Pragmatic Programmer". The book has been referenced many times here in the podcast by so many guest that said it has shaped their careers. There were so many potential paths that I could have taken with this conversation. I decided to stick mostly to the present time to see what Andy does currently but we also went through some of the learnings from The Pragmatic Programmer, which I have the 20th anniversary edition hard cover with me. Andy spoke about the challenges that new people coming to the tech industry must face, which is: where do I start? So many technologies. So many options. How do I narrow them down? We also spoke about education and what is currently missing like teaching soft skills including communication and many more aspects. We discussed about what is at the code of being a pragmatic programmer, which according to Andy is the thirst for knowledge and the curiosity. We even talked about Andy's adventures in writing science fiction! I will leave you with The Pragmatic Programmer, Andy Hunt! Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Juri Strumpflohner. Juri is a JavaScript Architect working for Narwhal Technologies. Beyond that, Juri is a Google Developer Expert, title that he got as a result of his intense involvement with Angular. Juri is also an Instructor at Egghead, having created multiple courses not only about Angular, his forte, but also React and Git. As I had quite a few Egghead instructors in the podcast I wanted to ask him why Egghead instructors seem to enjoy so much working with Egghead. We delve a bit into this. Juri loves writing for his blog. He shared with me that at peak, his blog was getting 100K readers a month. Quite a feat! We have also talked about his passion for martial arts and how it has affected his work as a developer. Towards the end we discussed about his challenges with juggling multiple responsibilities and the strategy he uses to handle better prioritization. I will leave you with the polyglot and martial arts teacher and student, Juri Strumpflohner. Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Hemil Patel. Hemil is a Front-end Architect but the reason why I came across his name was because of his YouTube channel called Techsith. It focus on front-end technologies like Javascript, React, CSS and even job interview preparation for front-end type of positions. Hemil has an interesting motto: "Make your weakness your strength" - And he lives by that. He is shy, but he says it made him want to be famous and in front of people. Interesting enough, at some point he wanted to be a stand-up comedian. He even attended a comedy school in San Francisco and performed in front of a live audience. He may have given up on comedy, but his desire to be famous is coming to fruition via his YouTube channel, now with over 120K subscribers! We spoke about this longtime experience in tech which exposed him, on a quick count, to over 70 technologies through his career and he is not stopping! Hemil said that in the long run he wants to transition to a more traditional teaching role. He finds it very fulfilling to be in class face to face with students. I will leave you with Hemil Patel, a shy, but not so shy coder. Enjoy the chat! Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Taylor Desseyn. Taylor is a Sr. Recruiter at Vaco. He has been working specifically with software engineers and developers for the past 6 years. First off, I want to apologise to Taylor for mispronouncing his name some many times. And I'm a sticker about pronouncing names correctly! With that said, this was a different chat. We did it via Zoom and I decided to invite a group of developers to build a live audience where they could also ask questions directly. I think it went quite well but let me know what you think. Taylor was very comprehensive with his answers about recruiting, job search, LinkedIn, the use of video and even TikTok when applying for jobs. Taylor was also very open about the problems within the recruiting industry and why recruiters get a bad reputation. This is a must listen episode if you are looking for a job and still a highly recommended one if you are not. Taylor will not leave you empty handed after listening to this chat. Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Monarch Wadia. Monarch is the founder of Mintbean, an organization based here in Toronto. They focus on helping developers getting experience by taking part in Hackathons, Webinars and Workshops. The idea behind Mintbean is very much aligned with my personal goal of helping dev students to get real life experience and to find jobs. During our conversation we went deep into the weeds about hackathons as I was really curious about the ins and outs of putting one together. We spoke about how hackathons can be used to help coders learn new technologies and sharpen their skills. Monarch said that hackathons are not just for advanced developers, but they can target any level of experience. At this point in time, Mintbean business model is focused on partnering with companies using a sponsorship approach. Monarch shared with me the challenges he is facing with Mintbean, but he is confident that 2021 will be a great year for the growth of the organization. I will leave you with the visionary and enthusiastic Monarch Wadia! Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Joe Eames. Joe is an educator with over 20 courses published on Pluralsight. When you look at his courses, you will quickly realize that Joe focus a lot on Test Driven Development and Angular. He has also acquired Thinkster a few years back, which is a learning site with courses on front-end development. Joe loves putting together tech events and he is one of the original ng-conf organizers. ng-conf is the most well-known Angular Conference and at the time there was no conference like that in the Angular space. We have explored a bit the challenges of putting together an event like that. Joe also mentioned that nowadays he is a sales engineer as part of a new venture with a friend. They are helping clients with extended support for an older version of Angular called AngularJS. All-in-all, I just had a great time talking to the super nice Joe Eames. Listen to this conversation to understand why Joe says that the things that you don't get paid for are the ones most valuable to you. Enjoy the chat! Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Mariot Tsitoara. He is a Full Stack Developer focused on React and Python. Mariot lives in Bordeaux, France but he is originally from Madagascar. I was very excited to be speaking with someone from Madagascar for the first time in my life. Beyond that, Mariot is also a book author and speaker. I came across his name because I bought his book "Beginning Git and GitHub" which he got published by Apress. Very well put together and beginner friendly book about git. The book was a result of a presentation he give. We spoke about the process of putting the book together and the strategies he used to get it done, which included the Pomodoro Technique, of which I'm a big fan myself. He shared the story about a tough situation he found himself in. He was asked to create code to check people's productivity. Then he should come up with a list of employees that they should be fired!  Check it out how he handled this odd situation. Enjoy the chat! Full show notes and links:
I spoke with Preetam Nath and Sankalp Jonna. They are the founders of DelightChat, a platform helping Shopify businesses with their customer service needs. I came across Preetam after reading his blog post about Micro-Saas. The concept grabbed my attention. Preetam wrote so eloquently that I said I had to talk to him. Naturally with co-founders, Preetam is more in the business side and Sankalp in the technology. We spoke about what is the first thing someone should look at before jumping to building their own Saas product. Saas means Software as a Service and we have discussed about it during the chat. Preetam and Sankalp are not new to doing business together. Their first product was so successful that their competitors tried to bring down their site by launching a Distributed Denial-of-Service Attack also called DDoS. I found these guys to be very smart but also very humble. There is so much they can teach us and if you stick around you will also come to the same realization. Full show notes and links:
Comments (3)

Will Strohl

It was a pleasure and an honor to be on your show, Aderson. Thank you for having me.

Apr 9th

Will Strohl

Outstanding interview, Aderson. Thank you!

Apr 9th

Frank Boucher (FBoucheros)

Once again a very nice episode. It was wonderful to discover my colleague to this interview. Well done.

Feb 10th
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