Hi and welcome. My name is Petar, with an “a”. I’m a dad, an avid reader, and a software builder using pen and paper. I build companies and lead engineering organizations. I live in the Netherlands but work in Silicon Valley.
Right now, I’m responsible for all technology at Workera, where we use A.I. to create the best mentor you ever had.
History (1982 - )
Born in Croatia, moved to the Netherlands when I was eight. In high school, I found the two loves of my life, my now-wife, and programming.
After high school, I finished the first year of computer science but was left disappointed with outdated materials presented with little enthusiasm.
I switched to Criminology and got a master’s in Forensic Criminology. For my final thesis, I ran a sentiment analysis on messages left on a website from a known terrorist organization. I combined those messages with user information that I collected with a crawler. Finally, I got a profile from its most aggressive users.
It was time to start my professional journey, which meant little change. During my college days, I had a job as a web developer. That’s where I met Wouter and Joeri. It was soon that we decided to start our web studio in 2009. Bread & Pepper was born.
Each client was a small step upward. As we got more clients, savings increased, and we allowed ourselves to do fun projects between client work. Save money, take a week off, save more money, take a month off. Rinse and repeat.
Those weeks and months when we would build our own apps were the most fun. So much fun that after four years, we decided to stop working for clients and start Gibbon (2013).
Gibbon was the way we always learned stuff; translated into a website. Public playlists, where everyone could share what they consumed to improve their craft. We had our ups and our downs. But most importantly, we had fun and learned how to hire, make sales and raise money.
After three years (2016), Gibbon was acquired by Degreed.
We had the same vision; they could use more talent to accomplish it. We also learned that we excelled in building a product but had much to learn to sell. Degreed never had that problem.
At Degreed, I went from engineer to Technical Product Manager to Director of Product before finally returning to engineering as a VP of Engineering, responsible for Architecture and Platform.
After six years of Degreed, it was time for a change, and I got a fantastic opportunity to lead technology at Workera.
I love being at home, hanging out with my kids, or in the attic behind my computer.
To stay in shape, physically and mentally, I lift and run.
I also love to read. Mostly non-fiction about history, biographies, or books on computing (see reads).
I write mainly in a dotted notebook (Rhodia) with a Pilot Custom 823 fountain pen or a technical pencil.
I write code in either Emacs or Vim. I also love learning new programming languages and have built stuff using Python, Clojure, Go, C#, Erlang, Rust, Zig, and Elixir. The languages I’m most excited about are Elixir, Zig, and Python.
And that’s it. If you want to talk more, I’m happy to do so on Twitter or send me an email at petar[monkeytail]petar.ai.