Alex Rozanski

20 Years

Today I begin the third decade of my life, and draw a line in the sand under my teenage years. Here’s the story so far:

  • Was fortunate enough to be born into a prosperous and safe part of the world to loving parents.
  • Did all that kid stuff.
  • Was given two younger sisters.
  • Was introduced into the world of programming by my dad1.
  • Learnt HTML, CSS and Javascript2.
  • Learnt PHP.
  • Started playing guitar.
  • Endured 7 years at a secondary school I didn’t like, but which did wonders for my education.
  • Got into metal3, including some weird phases of listening to black metal and death metal.
  • Started learning Objective-C and Cocoa using the fantastic book by Aaron Hillegass.
  • Met some great people on Stack Overflow and attended the first Stack Overflow DevDays in Cambridge, UK, where I got my first MacBook signed by Jeff Atwood and Joel Spolsky4.
  • Met another bunch of fantastic developer friends through NSCoder Night (London) and the London iOS Developer Group.
  • Built and released several open-source projects which have been received well, and even included in some well-known applications.
  • Attended my first NSConference and was blown away.
  • Worked freelance on a font manager by a company that holds 2 Apple Design Awards to its name.
  • Got my first iPhone (an iPhone 4).
  • Attended a one-week iOS developer training session at Apple in California.
  • Visited San Francisco for the first time and fell in love with Alamo Square.
  • Found a university I love and that I’m proud to be a student at.
  • Met a bunch of talented, interesting and fun people at university who share my interests.
  • Built this blog engine (in Objective-C and Cocoa).
  • Interned on the Mac Safari team at Apple in California.

I’m sure I’ve missed lots of key moments out, but you get the gist. It’s at times like these that I realise how thankful I should be of the life I have. Thanks to all of you that have been a part of it.

To the next 20 years, ladies and gentlemen.

  1. I remember very vividly reading the source code for the Boink! MSW LOGO program that my dad wrote as an example for me and being unable to make head nor tail of it; this was probably one of the first programs that I was exposed to. 

  2. I learnt JavaScript from this book. I forget which books I learnt HTML and CSS from, although I think they were quite old: the HTML code had all the tags written in uppercase. 

  3. Trivia: the first metal song I was really into was Ruin by Lamb of God. 

  4. Yes, I got it signed the wrong way around. When the lid was open everything was upside down. My logic at the time though was that when it was sitting on my desk with the lid closed I’d like the signatures to be the right way up. 

Want to get in touch? You can find me as @alexrozanski on Twitter.