About me

It was Saturday, a sunny day of May 1979 when I was born, in Prague.

At 8 years I smelled coding for the first time.  I started to learn it intensively.  Thanks to my grandfather I got hands on my very first PMD-85 with a small black/white TV as the screen.  Basic was my first programming language.  Years of learning the coder’s thinking started.  Later, at 11 years, an opportunity for the first commercial task came to me – yes, that early!  I wrote a whole software part for Česká Spořitelna.  They didn’t know.  The contract was for my grandfather again, but I was doing the job and got the money – thank you, Granddad!  It made cash for my first PC-XT.  It was the year 1991.  And then Pascal became my language.  A whole step up, learning and diving into the world of code creation, building things that could be used and enjoyed.  I felt like I could completely control this world of computers, that my intuition was made for this.  At that time, developing under MS-DOS in Pascal, Assembler, and starting to play with C and C++.  Daily…

And this is the baseline of my relationship with coding.  Later on, at high school (how else than Private High School for Computer Sciences – thank you, mum, for paying this for me!) my skills were evolving not just through coding, but also through socializing with people like me, and…  a lot of gaming. :D  Doom was my other world those times, not just playing it, but building lots and lots of my own designed spaces, so-called “levels”.  Yes, my creativity is not just coding, I also need to create something more artistic so that it can be seen and felt.

After the high school, I decided to continue with my education.  And I also needed some source of money at the same time.  I started a part-time occasional job at BTL Medical.  First time I work in a team, creating software for others, with a huge feeling of responsibility for my work.  I was honored for how quickly I evolved from a well-based programmer to a really good quality coder.   I am grateful for this first experience.  At the same time, I started my studies at the Faculty of Electroengineering.  I learned many interesting and useful things.  However, they could not teach me much about software development.  So, after one year I switched to a different school.  Faculty of Nuclear Sciences and Physical Engineering, bachelor program called Creating Software.  Lots of math, physics, some economy, coding.  My way of thinking has changed, deepened, widened.  The school was very interesting, and hard to finish, but I made it.  And because I used to be hard on myself that time, my final thesis was nothing less than a full-blown, from scratch written Assembler for PC compiler and linker.  It was written as it should be, with lexical analyses, internal syntactic structure, modules, and linking.  It was accepted and I finished the school with the degree I worked for.

After that some feeling of “what now” came to me.  I felt like I studied a lot, learned a lot of theoretical stuff, and started to think differently, but have not lived really, I mean my personal life was kind of empty.  I was accepted – without a need to do entering exams – for two continuation master programs.  I started them both, one at the Faculty of Electroengineering, the other at the Faculty of Nuclear Sciences.  I tried to give both some capacity, but quickly found out, that none of them could teach me more coding.  It was too “easy”.  And at the same time, I started to look for a job.  And one particular ad hit my eyes – a small team, an interestingly looking startup, searched for a C++ coder.  I contacted them and we met for an initial introduction.  They looked very professional and described the project as a collaborative P2P network.  I so fell in love with it, that on the way home I very strongly felt “I want this job!”  At the actual interview a few days on I was told to build a simple piece of “hello world” code based on their existing platform, a proprietary one I could not know in advance.  I came at around 1 pm.  Working hard to solve the problem, nervous but dedicated.  I was leaving at around 10 pm, having… nothing…  Disappointed and believing that I lost it I went home.  A few days after a phone call.  “You were selected for the job,” I heard.  Yes, I got it!  Later I was told that I was picked not for the skills, but for the passion I put into the effort to reach the goal.  Yes, that defines me!  So, here my real career starts.

The project was called AllPeers.  We spent years building it.  I also met the first woman in my life those times, but that is another story ;)  This job let me experience what it was to build a real product.  What responsibility it is.  What obstacles you face.  What tools you would not imagine at the beginning you need to ensure quality – from unit testing to automated deployment.  I soon became an important and skilled member of this small team of experts – Matthew Gertner and Jan Odvarko.  Encryption, networking, multithreading, asynchronous design – those things became my daily bread.  I was leading projects when new members entered the company.  A new thing for me, so I needed to learn from my mistakes too.  In the end, when the project was closed for not meeting investors’ expectations, we turned to contracting with Mozilla, as we were few deep experts for Firefox in the world at that time.

And here comes the most important work experience for me.  Working for Mozilla Corporation, participating on the Mozilla Platform, the baseline of the Firefox browser, Thunderbird mail client, Mozilla phone, Mozilla this, and Mozilla that.  Starting at the core parts of the networking and encryption, soon becoming a peer for the Necko, networking layers of the Mozilla platform.  With Michal Novotny, we built a new HTTP cache.  I also built the best-of-all-browsers performing DOM storage, the badly-designed synchronous web technology.  And a few more projects, but the list would be too long.  Anyway, HTTP protocol, caching, scheduling, TCP, SSL, TLS, certificates, optimizations, performance, security bugs fixing and preventing, getting most of the platform to know, that was all I was doing.  Remotely.  Alone, except for occasional meetings somewhere around the world with the rest of the company.  But mostly, working from home office.  I specially rented a flat with a room dedicated to working only.  One of the necessities when you work from home.  Otherwise, you may really get lost in it.  Anyway, I kinda did get lost in it in the end.  This kind of isolation, regardless that I am more of a loner, introvert, a highly sensitive person, is too much for anyone.  After years I felt trapped in a golden cage.  The job was interesting, new things were coming all the time, and I was at the top of the internet and web technologies evolution, participating on it, and influencing it even.  Most would say “must be a job!”  We were most of the time lucky for our managers too, who took care of us greatly – especially Jason Duell and Nhi Nguyen.  But still, I felt I couldn’t move further in this particular company.  And I also felt l nearly stopped living my own life.  After years covid realesed me of this.  I was part of the huge layoff in late 2020 because Mozilla had to save money.  And I’ve got unstuck from this honey trap.

Since that layoff, I attend to myself, and only that.  Except for occasional small deals, I am intentionally not having a regular job.  Instead, I’m caring about what is now important in my life – relationships, especially to myself, to my friends, to my closest ones, feeling satisfied with how I live and who I am.  I needed a break and reevaluate what to do with my life.  Last few years I’ve experienced a lot of various self-development trainings. Psychotherapy, meditation, sports, and people, all are now part of my life.  I also rediscover my talents for drawing, music, and “working by hands.”  I much better know what I want, what my boundaries and capacities are, and when to have a break.

As of 2024, I’m again looking for a job opportunity.  Not a full-time one, not a full-remote one.  I need time for myself and I also need people around me.  Finding new colleagues in IT is my next step.

PS: If you wonder what ‘mayhemer’ means, then let you know, that it doesn’t mean anything ;)  Maybe just a small sign of my relation to – no, love for metal music.

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