Chopin and Nintendo
Zsombor had just freshly finished university when he was already hunted down by one of the top picks on the list of dream workplaces, IBM Budapest Lab (previously known as Ustream). Today, he is pretty much a one-man show representing the complete EngineeringEffectiveness team himself alone. Besides this job, he is also a recognized game developer. Although everything pointed towards becoming a software developer since birth, at one point he got very close to eventually playing on a completely different keyboard.
Have you been considered to be the type of kid who already knows what he wants to become when growing up at the age of 6?
Well, not that early, but by the time I turned 11, I already started developing games using a software that would now be considered so very ancient called MacromediaFlash. Then I started to make money on it by the time I was in high school working for a tiny Hungarian studio developing awrestling game.
So it seemed quite obvious you’ll go to ELTE (Eötvös Lóránd Science University) or BME(Budapest University of Technology).
Totally. Yet, for some time I wanted to go rather to the Music Academy to the Faculty of PerformingArts. They say I had a shot to get in, I played the piano pretty well by then. I even made some additional money on top of what I made on game development by playing in little bars and cafés. Although these were rather special occasions.
Then somebody made you change your mind?
It wasn’t really necessary. By the time I was graduating, I was quite sure I’ll apply to ELTE’s SoftwareArchitectures in Computer Science MSc program. And there my existing experience made a big difference. My fellow students often turned to me with questions and if they needed some clarification of certain topics.
I believe software developers are very much in-demand. Has finding a job cause you any difficulties?
It is true that demand is high for good developers, though it makes a big difference where you work in the end. But I was also lucky with this. I was already working for a small company during university years when I got recommended to Ustream. They called me in, we had a chat and they gave me a good offer. I’ve been working there ever since.
And do you still have time for game development?
Definitely! In fact, I am just in the middle of developing a Nintendo game that can be played by four people at once. And we are reaching soon a very exciting milestone, when I send it to Nintendo for approval. And today I not only develop games but also make tutorial videos about it reaching now more than 12.000 viewers.
So you’ve become a real influencer. Got those bath robe pics from different hotel room suploaded to Insta?
This rather has other advantages. I use a software called Unity for development that is the most popular game engine amongst independent game developers. Most of the known independent game sare written on this platform. And they just decided to sponsor my next two videos with an invitation toUnite 2019 Copenhagen, Unity’s next global conference, what is a real honor and acknowledgement.
Is there anything else remaining to push for from here?
There is for me. My dream is to have my own little studio with a few similar blokes like me. And of course, some successful game releases behind us. If this is fulfilled than I’d be more than satisfied.Now you are working for one of the coolest companies of the city.
So what brought you to KAPTÁR?
Community lunch. Of course, it is a bit of an exaggeration, but definitely the community, the people here. I wanted to be surrounded by people with whom I can have a conversation with, who can moveme in a sense, who show me new things. And what I experienced is that community is no bullshit, things really happen here
And did it really work out for you?
Absolutely. Although it might seem a bit unrealistic, but I got to know two members here who I already consider friends. If not for anything else, but for this it was definitely worth it.
If you are curious of Zsombor’s work and other secrets, follow his Youtube channel called CouchFerretmakesGames!
I chose KAPTÁR because of the strong community and because it felt not only like a cozy and friendly environment to work, but also to meet some great new people. Through KAPTÁR, I met some great friends who made Budapest feel like a real home to me!
What are the biggest milestones in your life?
My most recent big milestone has been the journey I started earlier this year – to build 20 startup experiments in a year, and share the process in public. It’s been tough, and I still have a way to go, but along the way I’ve learnt how to build full-stack web apps, have written 6 essays and picked up 2,000 users of my products! You can follow the journey here.
What excites you most about new challenges?
What excites me most about new challenges is having to learn something totally new and grow in the process of doing so. I’m a big fan of testing my limits and a strong believer that anyone can learn something new, they just have to commit the energy, time and enthusiasm to it. Regardless of whether the challenge is won or not, you always walk away with new knowledge or experience, which makes it worth it.
What are you most proud of in your life?
One of the things I’m most proud of is running the Uganda International Marathon – a hill marathon under the heat of the African sun. The craziest part was that I hadn’t run in more than 5 years… but I signed up to force myself to start running! Over 6 months, I ran in the nights and in the cold of winter, going from total non-runner all the way through to actually arriving in Uganda and (somehow) surviving the course.
My name is Justin Butlion. I’m 35 years old and was born and raised in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Today I’m working as an analytics and business operations consultant for online-based companies. A year and a half ago I left Tel Aviv where I had been living for 3 years (I immigrated to Israel when I was 19) and became a minimalist and digital nomad. Since then I’ve travelled to 10 countries including Thailand, Colombia, Greece and Costa Rica. My passions include football (Chelsea FC), poker, learning new things, and of course data and analytics.
What is the best part of your job?
My job involves helping companies learn more about themselves so they can make better decisions. The best part of my job is helping a client find out something new which really helps them grow their business. There is a moment of realization that hits the client which is magical.
What is your most important life lesson, since you became an entrepreneur/freelancer?
Since I became a freelancer I’ve learnt many things but the most important life lesson is the importance of self-discipline. When I became a freelancer I had all the freedom in the world but with that freedom comes a lot of distractions. I had to learn to put all those distractions at the back of my mind so I could focus on growing my business. It’s an ongoing challenge.
What are the biggest milestones in your life?
The three biggest milestones so far in my life are:
- Finishing my military service in the IDF (Israeli Defence Forces)
- Helping my mother retire
- Becoming a digital nomad
Why did you choose KAPTÁR?
I heard about KAPTÁR from a popular digital nomad vlogger, Chris The Freelancer, who mentioned the coworking space in his Budapest review video. I did some quick checks online and realized that Kaptar was a great option. After visiting the space on my first day in Budapest I knew it was the place for me.
My name is Timi and I’m the Hungarian Country Manager of Prospecto Group, a tech company based in Sofia.
My office hobby: Asking coworkers for meal prep recipes. One day, I will have a KAPTÁR meal prep cookbook. :) It also helps me stick to the habit of cooking.
Most important life lesson since I’m here?
Be open, talk to people, network and good things will come your way. Oh and don’t be afraid to ask for help. Chances are, others have been through the same thing and are able to help.
Strangest thing I’ve learned since I’m a coworker?
So you sit at a different desk every day. It’s a good thing because you get to talk to different people sitting next to you each time, but sometimes on your way back from lunch, you forget where you sit that particular day and look like a complete fool not knowing where to go. :D
Why did I choose Kaptár?
Because it has all the benefits of a library as it provides a great place for individual work, but is also full of light and great people to talk to and be inspired by.
I’m a human with a big smile, chef, traveler & a curious woman who wants to make every meal & ordinary moment sacred. As a business professional I create structured operations and conscious organisations. As a mindful eating trainer I teach mindfulness applied for food and eating to nourish body, mind and soul for individuals and groups, both in Berlin and Budapest.
Why did you choose KAPTÁR?
I wished to be part of an international ecosystem in the heart of Budapest, where I can join a vivid and open community, as well as focus on work in an inspiring environment. KAPTÁR made these all happen.
Most important life lesson, since you became a coworker?
The role of responsibility for my own time and energy. There is no one else, who tells me how much time should I work or spend in the office (if there is such a place). Once I am here, it’s my choice how do I manage my own resources. In the beginning, I used to get lost in kitchen talks or allow myself to arrive late or on the contrary, stay too late. There are a limited number of decisions, mental and emotional energy available for us in a single day. Today I am more mindful about where and to whom do I gift my attention, including myself in a form of quality me-time. Áron helped me to articulate this in the proper way when I just finished a few minutes of relaxation on a comfy KAPTÁR couch: “You treat yourself well!” At least I make effort to do so.
What is the best part of your work?
Intimacy. While we practice mindful eating, we share food, experience and the present moment. When during a workshop or 1:1 session I see that someone is so deeply touched by the experience that a lifelong pattern dissolves – it’s precious. I can recognize the AHA-moment and the relief reflected in the eyes. I am grateful witnessing these liberating moments.
Biggest milestones in your life?
Moves around the world: from Miskolc to the capital, Budapest. Then to Lisbon and to the US. Lately getting acquainted with Europe again. Camping in New-Zealand. Experiencing deep silence in the Himalayan ashram. The relationship with my husband. I do appreciate the seemingly little things too: sending out my first proposal as an entrepreneur, or reaching the top on a negative wall in the boulder club.