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Living by the Code

First Edition ·

Before You Begin

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Section 1: 14 chapters
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Getting to Work

Section 2: 17 chapters
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19. An Interview with Marin Todorov
Written by Enrique López-Mañas

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Marin is one of the founding members of the team and has worked on seven of the team’s books. He’s an independent contractor and has worked for clients like Roche, Realm, and Apple. Besides crafting code, Marin also enjoys blogging, teaching and speaking at conferences. He happily open sources code.

Connect with Marin

Twitter: @icanzilb

LinkedIn: /in/marintodorov




Many of our readers are interested in other works that have had an influence on you. What are the three that have had a lasting impact on how you do your work?

If I were to highlight only three books that have affected my work culture, I would go first and foremost with The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss. This book—regardless of its clickbait title—has really been essential to how I have approached work for years. It has taught me how to declutter my schedule and focus on the things I really love doing. Reading—and embracing—this book got me started on my path to finding my work/life balance; never waking up to an alarm clock, and more advice in the book, are pure gold.

In addition to drawing inspiration from these books, what about personal insight? What is something you wish someone had told you back when you started software development that you had to learn the hard way instead?

When I was young, I naively believed working on software means working with reasonable, nice, and caring people. I had this romantic idea that being with your own kind automatically means you share the same beliefs and a universal understanding of being and working together. Unfortunately, I got to discover that software companies are made up of people just like life is—mostly the same rules apply, too. I had the chance to work at some amazing companies but had my share of bad experiences in the workplace as well.

There are many people starting into software development today, who don’t have a clear idea of the direction they should take to set themselves up for future success. What would recommend to people starting out as a software developer today, that would give them the best start to a successful career?

I never planned my career; my family didn’t have the means for me to keep studying—I had to figure out on my own how to get by. I’m not in a position to give any advice on what’s the best way to “set up oneself for future success in software development.” But I will say I always did what I felt passionate about—I truly and deeply love programming. At first, I did it in my free time and it naturally turned into a career for me. I wish everyone had the same luck as I did and could turn their passion into a career.

Marin’s Recommendations

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