Humans of CodeChem: Kaltrin Ismaili
6 min read
Meet Kaltrin or as we like to call him, Kalcho, our Xamarin wizard. A person with a curious and open mind. Unstoppable when it comes to achieving his goals, but always takes time to enjoy his achievements and victories. A fun fact about Kalcho is that before IT he was close to studying law...
Okay 😃, Let's not reveal more but get to know him better through this interesting interview.
1. Hello Kalcho, 👋 tell us three things that are awesome about you?
Uhh... It feels weird talking about yourself, but I'll try to be as objective as I can.
Team player. Almost every day I get this weird happy feeling when the team I'm part of does a terrific job. There is something special that I can't quite express with words when the team members help each other to achieve a common set of goals.
Not being afraid of trying new things when I get the chance, be it tech-related or hobbies/activities. (You should've seen me skiing for the first time 2 years ago 😃).
Ambitious and never settling until I achieve my set goals. I don't have a full list with a set of goals I want to achieve but I always focus on 2-3 different goals at a time. My current ones are getting in shape and learning to play the guitar (or, you know just figure out how to hold it properly, baby steps).
2. What is the best advice that someone has given you?
"Be like water, my friend"
Although that is a great quote and advice, the best advice are probably the countless ones my family has given me. Can't really think of a specific one, but their words and encouragement, together with my hard work got me to where I'm today, and I think I'm doing pretty well so far.
3. What are your productivity hacks?
For me, the key to being productive is to be happy with what you're doing and take breaks when you feel you have reached your limit. Personally, I have found it harder to recover when I have pushed myself over the limits to try and achieve a certain goal and then not taking some time off to enjoy my achievement. I think it is very important to not get overhyped about stuff because you tend to neglect your health like that, which you will notice in the upcoming weeks. I guess what I'm trying to say, in simpler terms, make sure you're healthy mentally and physically if you want to be productive. Everything is achieved with a lot less effort if you're feeling good.
4. What is the favorite part about working for CodeChem?
I love working for CodeChem because I feel like everyone there wants to achieve greatness, but none want to achieve it alone. Every one of them has that team player mentality, so that means no one gets left behind and everyone is constantly improving with the help of others, and for me personally that is the kind of environment I love to work in. I have never been left on my own with a task that I was having trouble completing. So, whenever you get stuck on a task, you just write a message in a specific Discord channel and others who have solved similar problems will message you immediately offering you help (You can bet that at least 2 guys will be online to discuss a problem you are having even after the work shift is over, be it for a personal project or work-related one).
5. In your opinion, what makes CodeChem - CodeChem?
The people, no doubt. It is hard to describe it with words, you should see it and feel it yourself to understand me. Everyone is kind to each other, and you always get positive vibes from them. A rare exception is when we play table football 😃. We maaay get a little bit too competitive from time to time, but in the end it's just banter so we can set up an atmosphere like we are playing an "El Clasico" derby.
6. What values are important to you in CodeChem?
As first and most important, I would definitely say having a voice. I guess what I'm trying to say is, that the management does not decide or dictate how things are run the entire time. Whenever you have a concern or whatever, you can freely express yourself and they will listen. The end result is always pleasing for everybody involved.
Second but as equally important as the first one is trust. Here we learn to trust each other and have each other's back. Since we are people we can make mistakes, but we make sure to not waste time pointing fingers, rather we fix what has been broken. This builds team confidence and makes work more fun and less stressful in my opinion.
7. Can you recommend to us a movie to watch or a book to read?
My favorite book that I recommend to everyone and I consider it as a must-read is "Data Structures and Algorithms ..." Nah I'm just joking 😃. Sadly I don't have the habit of reading books. But I have a passion for history so whenever I do get to read a book, it is about some historical figures, especially if it comes from a nation that is not well known in the world. As far as movies are concerned, again I tend to like a bit more drama movies and historical ones. I would recommend to anyone who has not watched "A beautiful mind" to go and do so. If you like it feel free to reach out and we can discuss about similar movies as well 😃, I'm always open for discussions.
8. If you weren’t in IT, who would you become?
Probably a lawyer (yeah, I know it sounds really crazy, but it gets weirder as you continue to read). I was close to studying law, then at the last moment, I switched to CSE. During my primary and high school years I took part in different competitions, but mostly were maths competitions. I love maths even now, but it is a bit hard to get a job as a maths professor since the number of workplaces is limited, so since I live near the courthouse I said to myself why not become a lawyer since it's a private field and pays well. I'M REALLY GLAD that that was not the CASE (pun intended) 😃.
9. What does your typical workday look like?
I typically have two kinds of workday schedules that depend on how late I stayed up last night, but here is my favorite one:
- Wake up.
- Work out.
- Take a quick shower.
- Make coffee and start work.
- Team sync-up and continue working/
- Lunch break.
- Either work or if I'm almost done with my tasks, I use 30 mins of my time for PR reviews. (Company-wide pull requests). I have a calendar event that reminds me of this one 😃.
- Time for my second coffee (A habit I picked up during lockdown).
- SCRUM meeting and wrapping up.
- Usually by this time I'm off, but I may work for a couple of minutes more if I'm almost done with my task.