INTERVIEW WITH NEJC TOMSIC – SELF-TAUGH PROGRAMMER, MD and MEDIATELY COFOUNDER
Your bio :
2010 Won iGEM Grand price with Team Slovenia at MIT
2011 Graduated from Medical faculty in Ljubljana
2011 Learned to code
2012 Cofounded my startup (Mediately)
2012 Won second place at Health 2.0 hackathon
2013 Raised seed investment
Nejc, when you started to code ?
It was after I graduated from Medical faculty and had two months of free time before starting my residency.
You graduated from the Medical faculty, did it somehow help you being better programmer ?
Maybe the endurance to read a lot of thick books :). Also, I came across the idea for my startup while doing clinical work which gave me motivation to start coding.
What made you start ? What was the trigger ?
During my studies I always felt that drug information wasn’t easily accessible to students and doctors. The information was either in the books or was only partially available on the web page of Slovenian Health insurance. For quite some time I wanted to create a solution and learning to code enabled me to do that.
What resources did you use and how you keep up to date within rapidly growing field as programming is ?
I watched several video tutorials from lynda.com to get me started . Then I started to code my project and used stackoverflow and googling for every problem I ran into. And there were a lot :). Then I started to read programming books which gave me more in-depth knowledge. I also completed several online courses from Corsera.
Reading hackernews and weekly summaries from my field keep me up to date with what’s going on.
Do you code only for hobby or is this your job ?
I used to work as radiology resident and coded in the afternoons and weekends. Because I couldn’t give my 100% on both jobs I decided to work only on my startup.
How did you get your first programming job ?
I cofounded Mediately where I’m the lead Android engineer.
What is your favourite programming language ? Which one do you like to work with the most ?
My love at first sight was Ruby but now I work mostly in Java and once you get a grip on it it’s quite nice.
Would you encourage people graduating from non-tech colleges to learn to code ? Criticism about the idea (hype) ‘let’s all learn to code’ is not to so rare among some people who are more experts in the field. What is your thought about that ?
There is a lot of talk about how coding is the new literacy. But literacy helps people to communicate and I don’t believe that forcing everyone to code will improve how people communicate even through computers. However,coding is a wonderful way to get to know how programs, computers and internet work.
What do you think is the best part of being a coder ? Can you think about disadvantages as well ?
The best thing is that you can start working on your idea 5 minutes after you have got it in the shower. But I wouldn’t want to work at the IT department of a big conservative company.
What was the most interesting project you worked on ? People usually give me advices that the best way to start learning programming is to start working on some real personal projects ? Did you had your own ‘starting projects’ as well ?
By far the most interesting project is my startup. Being able to work on your idea and watch it grow is awesome. I would agree that having a project is crucial. I tried two times before to learn to code but because I had no project to work on I failed.
What are you up to today ?
Trying to grow my startup into a business.
Do you have any advice for newbie programmers ?
Choose a language (I suggest Ruby), complete a crash course online,choose a project that you’re passionate about and start coding.
Social media contacts:
Linked in: https://www.linkedin.com/in/nejctomsic