I’m Liviu Balan and this is my personal website. I’m a passionate web developer and currently I’m working on eMAG, the biggest online shop in Central and Eastern Europe and one of the e-commerce market creators in Romania.
I’ve started to code since I was 15 and over the time I’ve experienced from low to high level programming languages, bash scripting and web development. Here is a list of the software that I’ve used over the time, grouped by type and ordered by time:
- Web development related languages: [X]HTML, CSS, XML, Ajax
- Relational databases: Oracle, MySQL
- Source code management systems: Git
- Web development servers: Apache HTTP Server, Nginx, Memcached, Gearman, RabbitMQ
- PHP Frameworks: CodeIgniter, Symfony
- CSS Frameworks: Bootstrap, Sass, Compass, Skeleton
- CMS: Drupal, WordPress
- IDE: Eclipse, Adobe Dreamweaver, PhpStorm
- Operating systems: Microsoft Windows (since Windows 98), Linux (Debian, CentOS, Linux Mint, Ubuntu)
- Virtualization: VirtualBox, Vagrant
- Code quality: phpDocumentor, Xdebug, PHPUnit, PSR
- Time tracking: Jira, Agile, Kanban, Mantis Bug Tracker
These are the base technologies that I’ve used during the time. Because a system is made by a lot of pieces, I cannot make an exhaustive list of all the technologies, design patterns, best practices and tools that I’ve used during the time. For example, understanding how a PC and an Operating System works, what and why should you use a protocol, data structure and algorithms, analysis of algorithms are just a part of what a web developer or computer scientist should know. For more info on my work you can checkout my LinkedIn profile.
I was born in Bolintin-Vale, Romania and I attended the Dimitrie Bolintineanu high school and Automatic and Computer Science Faculty from University Politehnica of Bucharest. I was the last 5 years Politehnica generation and based on my degree I’m an engineer and a computer scientist. I’m a Zend Certified Engineer and I also have several certifications and courses that I attended. I’m an open source supporter and more info on my open source projects you can find on my GitHub profile.
I have this website since November 23 2010 and until 2015 I’ve used it to write about personal and working experience. Yes, a blog. I’ve started with a shared hosting package from a Romanian provider and on November 8 2014 I’ve migrated my website and other personal projects from a shared web hosting service to a DigitalOcean VPS located in Amsterdam. With just some basic system administration knowledge I’ve stared to play with this box. I went through a lot of trials and errors and I’ve figured out that being a good web developer and having an overview on a medium or big project doesn’t mean only to know a scripting language and code a module according to some specs. And this became more obvious when I start working on my first mature collaborative project named elefant.ro, followed by eMAG. So, you need to have a good understanding of the architecture of your web application if you want to be a professional web developer. This applies to both the software and hardware parts because the link between them is crucial.
But the lack of time, the time spent with learning, trainings, certifications and personal life activities made me forget about writing. The website became dusty. So, If you look on my posts you will see that for about 4 years I didn’t wrote any article. After started the work on eMAG I’ve started to learn what makes a big scalable web application different than a regular website made by an web agency. eMAG was the first employer who taught me how scale a big web application and because I’m an open minded person and I want to share my knowledge with you, I’ve created the version 2.0 of liviubalan.com. Contributing to this project made me understand that before teaching someone you need to understand in deep what you’re talking about. So, maybe you will enjoy this project and you will help me improve the work here or you will start a project on your own. If you find something useful here that will help you build a career or follow a dream I will more than glad to know that my work were not in van.
I’m doing this project as a hobby. I’m paying for the infrastructure and I’m investing time in research and development in order that you and me evolve together and become better web developers.
Thank you for reading!