David Frťala, Senior Freelance Developer, Co-founder & CTO of Jarvify
Which company/startup/non-profit organization in CEE inspires you and why?
WebSupport. Back in days, they were our IT leader and a trendsetter :) Pioneers in many technological fields.
Top three (audio)books/blogs/podcasts that changed your way of looking at the world?
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
12 Rules for Life by Jordan B. Peterson
The Snowball: Warren Buffett and the Business of Life by Alice Schroeder
The best personal hack that helped you become more effective/productive/healthier/less stressed/get things done over the last 6 months?
If you could change one thing right away with a magic wand, what would it be?
Bratislava would have a subway.
A quote you live by?
"Dark and difficult times lie ahead. Soon we must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy" - Albus Dumbledore
In his 27 years of life, David has been collecting work and life experiences like a child would collect marbles.
Though we say he’s a developer, he’d likely take issue with that statement. “I wouldn’t put myself solely in the ‘developer’ box anymore. That was the case 15 years ago when I started,” he clarifies.
Instead, he is driven by a constant need to learn, experiment and explore new possibilities. “I still have that curiosity, that drive to learn new things!” he explains excitedly. And there is much more to him than that.
Trial and error as a way of life
In true developer fashion, David’s spent his life testing out his options and seeing what works best. He tried out university (twice) and found it lacking. “I never let school stand in the way of my learning,” he says with a sly grin.
At some point, a big conglomerate job came along. “Everyone says that working in a big corporation is terrible. I wanted to see it for myself. And you know what? They’re right!” So when that wasn’t working out, David jumped on a freelance ship.
It was also during this time of his life that he crossed paths with Campus for the very first time.
The start of something new
Looking to exercise his brain cells a little, a hackathon provided the perfect opportunity. “I didn’t have a team or anything. I just figured I’d join someone else and help them win,” he reminisces.
Indeed, David and his team won.
It was during the event it occurred to him, that he could imagine working from Campus. He was freelancing from the comfort of his home, but as we all know, that can get a little lonely. “My only company was my cat and even he was ignoring me.”
So, with shallow expectations to start with, David came to occupy a fix desk in the co-working space. He expected to come to sit down, do his work, stand up and go home. “Also I wanted to absorb information from my surroundings when I’d take off my headphones.”
He found that and much more to boot.
Coffee –> CTO trajectory
Getting to know a community at a new place can be difficult. If the place has a coffee machine, you at least know where to start.
According to David, the people at Campus made it a lot easier too. “No one will refuse to introduce themselves to you or to chat with you. Everyone has the mindset of ‘what if something good comes from this conversation?’,” he describes the first interactions.
Over the first five months, he met Dušan Duffek (Campus co-founder) and got into a conversation about a project he was involved with.
Jarvify, a platform delivering AI-powered chatbots, is looking to automate companies’ customer support, processes, marketing, and more. One thing led to another and David became a part of the team. Today, he holds his position of CTO and Lead Developer.
How the Campus changed a hard-coded habit
That was how Campus changed David’s job situation. However, did it do anything for his mindset as well?
“I walked into the Campus a different David than the David who walks out of it after two years,” David says deliberately. A great example is ideas. The “old” David was afraid of talking about his ideas, in case someone would want to steal them.
The opposite is true, though.
Ideas and dreams are somethign we should talk about more often. “Here I realized you could find multiple people who dream of the same thing. Suddenly, you’re a group of people going the same way.”
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