Przemek Mirota – skilled WordPress developer

July 11, 2016


A pleasant young man just 23 years old and with 8 years’ experience as a web developer!Can this be?

Let’s meet Przemysław Mirota who lives in Central Poland, in a small town called Zwoleń.

“For the last 5 months I have been living with my parents in the very small town of Zwoleń.  A short walk brings me into the forest.  There is no cinema, no swimming pool, in fact nothing to attract visitors, except that the famous Renaissance poet Jan Kochanowski is buried here.

I am the eldest of 3 siblings.  My brother is just a year younger than myself and we are almost like twins.  In fact throughout our school years we were always in the same class!

Next week I am moving away from Zwoleń  to Warsaw to study IT-management in order to improve as a programmer and to learn how to manage more effectively the many projects in Translation Proxy.

Do you really have 8 years’ experience  as a web developer?

Przemek in France – Vieux Port pavilion

Yes! I started working as a freelancer when I was 15; it was only a hobby. After almost six years I decided to send my CV to few companies, and I started working as WordPress developer.  But in fact, the job required writing a lot of HTML/CSS/JS, and I was not too happy about that.

In the meantime, I met Konrad Karpieszuk. We talked about our jobs, and afterwards I decided to learn JavaScript to become a pro.  My plan was to apply for a job when I would have completed my first cycle of studies  in February 2016.

I had actually forgotten about this for a while, that is, until Konrad sent me the news that OTGS was looking for someone who would like to be a Rails developer. To be honest, I was not sure if I wanted to learn a new language until Armin Braun showed me its code. I was in heaven!  No more HTML and CSS, browser compatibility checking and clients complaining about how their web page looks on their old phones!

I thought, “Now or never.”  I took the plunge and here I am – I joined in September 2015 (9 months ago).

We are curious.  What exactly are the demands of your job?

I am a Translation Proxy developer. When there is a new Translation Service that would like to be integrated with WPML, I am responsible for creating this integration. In the meantime we are still working on improving our code, to make it entirely REST.  We need to maintain the existing code, add new features and debug the client’s problems. Sometimes it is complicated but, on the other hand, we have a straightforward workflow which allows us to quickly pinpoint where the problem might be.

Sightseeing in Rome
On vacation in Rome

There are no specific requirements for this position since translation services have different API. In general, you need to know how HTTP communication works, what  the best procedures are and, most importantly, how to talk to other people. When I was writing my first integration, I had a lot of questions. Sometimes, I ask my teammates (big thanks to Dominik), but there are many situations when you need to talk to someone from another company. You need to be polite and sometimes stay after your shift because the meeting may be scheduled to suit the other company. And, this is the best part,  who said, that you always need to talk about programming during those meetings? I remember that once I had a lot of problems because the translation company dashboard was not working. I was talking with someone from the USA and while debugging, we started to talk about cars, cities and the advantages of  working remotely.

How would you describe some of the challenges and advantages of your work?

I love having opportunities to learn new things. When I joined the TP team, I did not have much knowledge about Ruby and Rails. But my colleagues prepared excellent instructions for me. They patiently explained everything to me.  I like to think that I also gave them a fresh look at a few problems!  I did not think  if it was possible for something to be done, or  how much work it would require, but rather in terms of what could be the advantages of a fresh solution. In my opinion, when facing a big challenge, you should take a step away from your desk, go for a walk and think about all the possible solutions, even if they are ridiculous and may even require refactoring a major part of the project.

Przemek's cat and dog
Przemek’s cat and dog

The second advantage is that this kind of work does not block any  plans for traveling. For example,  after four months in the company, my girlfriend decided to go to the Sweden on a student exchange. Thanks to my remote work I was able to visit her, work from her place and enjoy seeing the sights in the evenings.

I know a lot of people who say, “So, you probably do not have that much to do and so you can take it easy”.

I totally disagree with this approach. You need to be focused and disciplined. I was not (in the beginning), and now I can truthfully say, that working for OTGS has taught me a lot and made me a better person.

What sort of daily routine do you have?

Each day has its own unique routine, depending on what needs to be done.

My day begins with a light breakfast and some very strong coffee.  First thing when I open my laptop is to have some music to listen to.  My lunch break includes 7 minutes of exercise, a cold shower to energize me and, definitely, I need to exercise self- control by not looking at my computer screen!

Those daily reports were a real pain.  I almost always forgot all about them and around 10pm suddenly I would remember and then it was back to the computer again.  That is, until my girlfriend gave me a cup on which it’s written  “Remember Daily Report” !

And what are your future plans?

Canoeing with his girlfriend
Canoeing with his girlfriend

My personal goals are to finish my second cycle of studies, which will be part-time. They won’t interfere with my job as most of the lectures will be held on weekends.

I want to travel more, especially to Asia, I want to have a puppy dog and to adopt a healthier lifestyle.

Professionally, I want to keep learning and to help with a newbie look at issues that arise.  I would like to be able to approach the problems, not as a programmer but from a fresh angle.   It is very satisfying to already see clients on the translation forum that are happy, requests becoming fewer and commendations more frequent.

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