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Living by the Code

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Before You Begin

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Getting to Work

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3. An Interview with Antonio Leiva
Written by Enrique López-Mañas

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Antonio has been working as a software developer for more than 10 years. A few years ago, he specialized in Android development and he currently helps other Android developers boost their careers as a freelance Kotlin and Android trainer. He’s the writer of the book Kotlin for Android Developers, and is also a trainer, speaker and mentor. He is also currently a Kotlin Trainer Certified by JetBrains.

Connect with Antonio

Twitter: @lime_cl

YouTube: /c/antoniolg28

Instagram: @antonioleivag



A few years ago, you started working on your book Kotlin for Android Developers when Kotlin was not yet well-known. Kotlin has since been announced as a first-class language for Android development. How did you know all those years ago that Kotlin would be so important?

I didn’t, but I think I just felt the same frustration other Android developers had at that point, working with an ancient language. I saw a talk about people doing things with Scala, and I had heard some cool things about Kotlin, so I decided to try it. It was so fascinating that I decided I had to tell the world about it. If you suspect you are at the forefront of a new trend or industry innovation, talk about it in the best way you can: articles, talks, books, or even online courses. It will never be a waste of time as you’ll get a lot of skills in the process. Then, if it finally takes off, you’ll be very well positioned.

You recently quit your work at Plex and started working full-time on your own projects. What led you to make that decision?

I had a great time working at Plex, and the work-life balance was pretty good because it’s a remote company. But I also had my projects, and, after our baby was born, my time was dramatically reduced. So I had to make a decision: keep working for a company and forget about my projects, or run my own business. I decided to do the second for two main reasons. First, I’ve put a lot of effort into my projects for the last few years, and I couldn’t just throw everything away. Second, because working for myself would provide me with even more flexibility, and since my top priority is my family, flexibility is important to me.

How does working on your own projects compare to guaranteed employment?

Well, the uncertainty is probably the biggest challenge. You don’t know the amount of money that you’re getting at the end of the month; that can be pretty scary, especially if you don’t have a financial cushion, which I always recommend doing if you can. But, on the other hand, growth has no limits. If you’re working for a company, you know there’s determined salary limits that are pretty difficult to overcome. If you run a business, that issue doesn’t exist.

Antonio’s Recommendation

  • “Achieving Your Childhood Dreams” lecture | Randy Pausch
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