The third PHP developer in Kuala Lumpur

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“My father is a technician, so it is only natural that his passion for computers was passed on to his oldest son, me,” Zulfa Juniadi joked. “My dad, an amazing educator, did his PhD in Computer Aided Education and always brought back treats from the local garage sale. One day in 1994, he brought home a Commodore 64 among other used loot from the local Leeds car auction. Playing the “1942” tape recorder game piqued my interest in technology. “

And that passion is still alive and well, even after spending 9 long years in the software development industry working on many projects.

Growing up in a computer savvy family, he had the opportunity to tinker with computers early on and although he broke a few along the way, he eventually learned the skills to fix them.

He then developed his passion by actively participating in extra-curricular activities with the IT department throughout his schooling. During which, he acquired the skills to create Adobe Flash montages (Macromedia Flash, at the time), lay CAT-5 network cables, and he eventually began to create HTML websites.

He was around 16 when he started writing HTML code, and he built his first sites on Yahoo! Geocities. “Looking back, I sort of see how maybe I was one of my father’s research subjects. I started coding quite late compared to today’s standards, ”he added.

He then tried different programming languages ​​like PHP, Java and Visual Basic (VB). Currently, he devotes most of his attention to PHP but he is open to any further development.

“I prefer PHP because it has such a large community around it. Getting help and pointers is usually just a private message. I’ve been using the Laravel framework for three or four years, and it really made my coding life easy and fun. There are so many projects that I have built with Laravel – to name many, ”he added.

Wear multiple hats

Despite a “late start” in coding, he had years of experience compared to his peers, and when he finally dropped out of college, he was quickly offered jobs in the local computer industry.

He started out working as a computer technician, then moved on to Streamyx sales and eventually to Leased Lines. He later dove into the engineering field by learning on his own the PLC programming used for factory automation. However, he continued to build web projects with PHP, and then moved into professional web development in 2008.

Screen capture 01/22/2016 at 3.10.11 p.m.

Since then he has been coding for a living and currently he works as a Product Manager at Sands Consulting. Simultaneously, he also founded Dropit.my, a startup that caters to the messaging industry, 8 months ago.

Since he constantly has to switch between managing a team of developers and experimenting with code, he experiences significant mental stress. Managing products often requires the uncanny ability to plan, lead, and interact well with software developers, while coding, on the other hand, requires focusing your energy on the flow of code and really using your analytical skills. .

In order to meet the requirements of both paradigms, he usually tries to code early in the morning or late at night, and he takes care of all managerial requirements during the afternoon. Although he added: “It’s quite difficult to change roles.”

Motivate the technical team

In order to keep things as simple as possible, Zulfa prefers to lead by example in all other means. “As a product manager, I have to listen and process a lot of feedback from senior management, sales, marketing and customers, and then streamline the ideas for our development team. noted.

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As a manager, he also believes that rewarding their technical team in a variety of ways other than just financial like giving them more flexible hours, weekly recreational activities, etc., goes a long way in maintaining team morale.

Their tech team also blows from time to time in their internal jamming studio. After all, he says playful coders often work the best.

While flexible working hours, financial increases, entertainment and recreation are definitely essential, he also suggested, “The best motivation you can give a programmer is recognition and compliments from the end user – you. can’t beat the satisfaction and morale that uplifts you. get your customers to say that the things you build have really made their life easier. Startup founders and executives are sure to find this tip useful when interacting with their tech team.

Stimulate passion

Skills such as programming require enormous active effort and very long hours of exposure, to develop and master. Software developers generally agree that the more you practice writing code, the more they get better. And while novice developers spend time riding the wave of the experience curve, it also helps a lot if they can get their hands on a mentor.

Zulfa is currently passionate about coding, and he spends a lot of time experimenting, learning and keeping up to date. “I spend quite a bit of time on reddit to get my daily fix of what’s going on in the world. r / javascript and r / php are the places I usually hide to find new things introduced daily, ”he said.

Screenshot 2016-01-22 at 3.06.52 PM

In addition, he is an avid reader of Javascript Weekly and CSS Weekly, and he surrounds himself with peers who share the same interest so that he can learn and discover something new from them.

“Right now, I love to code,” he confessed.

As an expression of his love, he always tries to apply his skills to other industries to see how he could influence them. He is also very active in the PHP community and occasionally teaches courses based on his Git projects. In return, other developers “star” the repository and this increases its ranking.

Currently, Zulfa is ranked # 3 PHP Developer in Kuala Lumpur.

However, he expressed, “People tend to see me as a great programmer and sometimes feel intimidated. I’m just a normal person with a passion for coding. Although my busy schedule sometimes requires me to work irregular hours, I also have a family and I take time for them.

In Zulfa’s toolbox
Sublime text editor “The best text editor in every way”
Google chrome “Their development tools are incomparable”
MYSQL Workshop “Very powerful visualization tool to plan the structure of your database”
Gmail, Google Drive and office suite “No competitor comes close to the flexibility and integration options it offers”
Mac OS X “The Ultimate Operating System for Web Developers”

Code Artisans is a bi-weekly series that aims to highlight notable coders, hackers, and software developers in Malaysia. If you have someone in mind who deserves to be introduced, send an email to ajay@vulcanpost.com.


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