Hello world, Hello ▲ Vercel
Balázs Orbán / 2021 November 21
7 min read
This isn't a new ✨ site. I've owned the domain for about 6 years. As most projects in a developer's life though, I've put this one on ice many times through the years. Mostly because I did not really find anything to share with the world.
Proud father of a million (un)finished projectsKent Are Torvik
Things have recently changed though, and I decided to revisit the idea of a blog. I will need a place to experiment with new technologies, and I will need a place to share my thoughts, as my job will be pretty much open to everyone. More on that below.
Let us run the obligatory introduction rounds. My name is Balázs Orbán and I was born in Hungary 🇭🇺. I have a twin brother who I grew up with, in a relatively small family.
In my free time, I like to ride my e-bike to the woods, go bouldering with friends, and occasionally taking pictures. As a personal goal, I would like to extend this blog with my favorites that I have taken. I love Old Norse mythology. Check out this this playlist 🎧️ to get a taste! I also enjoy meeting new people, and listening to their stories.
I curently live in Trondheim, Norway 🇳🇴. I ended up here as an exchange student for over 8 years ago. The visit was supposed to be only 10 months, but boy, did I fell in love with everything here 😄. After spending almost a year in the Lofoten Islands with a Norwegian family - who has made a huge impact on me and my life decisions ever since, and who I deeply respect -, I went back to Hungary to finish high school. Then, I decided that I wanted to study Computer Science and I was going to do it in Norway. So in 2015, I moved back.
I got into the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, where I also currently live and work from. I haven't had a particular talent for programming at the time, but I had something which I am lucky to have: a true passion and interest for programming. Being able to create something from nothing through words felt so interesting, and I was hooked.
Due to my other interests in online games as a kid and later on design and photography, I also knew from very early on that I wanted to be a web developer. It felt that I could combine all that in creating websites, where media and content manifest into beautiful stories. With no prior knowledge in programming though, I probably took a big step when I accepted a friend's request to create a website. It was an Airbnb-like website, and I might present it to you one day. (If you look me up elsewhere, you will probably be able to find it. 😉.) The proejct was a bit of a challenge, but I managed to get it done. I was lucky enough that the customer did not have a deadline, and I was working on it for literally years, using long nights and weekends.
Ultimately, this project led to my first IT job. I was hired by Norsk Helseinformatikk AS, a company that is focused on producing health-related content in multiple countries for both professionals and non-professionals. I would like to thank them for the trust they had in me when hiring me as a student still in his studies! 🙏
It was the side project that taught me how to learn by myself, and this led to me almost dropping out of school. I am a stubborn person though, and with the help of friends and family, I was dedicated to finish what I started. I got my Bachelor's degree in Informatics, and I could finally close the student chapter of my life.
Studying/living abroad from a relatively young age has its own challenges. Learning the language was the key. In my exchange year I heavily focused on communicating to the people in their own language.
If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heartNelson Mandela
After the constant tiredness in the beginning, I was able to get used to the language and today I am fluent in Norwegian. If you take an advice from a friend, start using it as early as possible. Only after two weeks of being here, I was already mixing the words into my English speaking. Believe me it felt funny, but people did not mind. As the time went by, I was able to speak more and more. Once my sentences were mostly Norwegian, I felt very differently. Learning a language this way is very different from learning a language from books. You will be exposed to the culture.
Why am I telling you all about learning a foreign language...?
My journey into web development has been a very similar experience. It is essentially learning a few programming languages, right? I was only 2 months into university, and I already had my "client". I had no time to read books and prepare for exams, I jumped right into making the site, iterating on it over, and over and over again. Trying and failing was unpleasant, and really felt like the first time I started learning Norwegian. To me, this was the right way to go anyway. The strategy felt familiar. When learning something new, I still try to remember that. Don't let the initial struggle discourage you. If you are truly passionate about something, the results will come.
When I was contacted by Vercel to have a chat about some of their available roles, I was intrigued immediatelly. I remember that day felt special, and I decided to go for a walk alone before getting back to them with the right answer. Here is a picture of me from that walk:
I have been following Vercel for a while, and I was so impressed by their innovations in the industry and the sheer speed they were delivering all that 🚀! I was very excited about the fact that I may be able to work with a team that was so passionate about what they do, helping literally millions! My maintainer work at NextAuth.js seemed to be paying off. (Follow-up post on NextAuth.js with some exciting announcements is coming 🔜!) I ended up getting an offer, which I accepted with the biggest smile. I can now call myself a ▲ Vercelian 🥳.
Despite (or because of?) growing up in a relatively small family, I always enjoyed getting attention.
In high school, my brother and I often helped others with their homework, essentially giving lectures in front of a whiteboard. I was a bit of a perfectionist, and I was always trying to get the best out of everything I did. And I wanted to get the best out of everyone as well.
Working on open-source is the perfect way for me to help as many people as I probably ever will be able to in my lifetime. Reaching so many people is a great feeling for so many reasons! I am so grateful 🙌 for my journey to this point and just so excited for the future!