We are back with another team interview! I sat down with Petr Bily, senior developer at signageOS, a valued signageOS team member and good friend to all. Petr has been with signageOS for over two years and worked on everything from core components of signageOS to special projects for signageOS partners. Petr is not only a very intelligent developer, but also an avid outdoorsman who seems to always be on the move. Learn more about Petr and what it's like to be a Senior Developer at signageOS below.
If you are interested in becoming a part of the signageOS team, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, how did you find and begin to work for signageOS?
It happened by coincidence. I have known Lukas Danek for years. We come from the same town, Vimperk. Our families know each other and his father was my math and physics teacher in grammar school. Our careers went a different direction, I was working on information systems for corporations and went from project to project. From time to time I was thinking about a more product-oriented company where I could really use most of my experience. And then I met Lukas at our mutual friend’s wedding. We talked about what they are doing and agreed that I should visit the signageOS office. I started to work here part-time and after a couple of months, I decided to be here full-time.
Did you always know that you wanted to be a developer?
No. I always wanted to solve hard problems. I also loved working with wood, but my approach is close to perfectionism and I think I wouldn’t make a living out of that. During grammar school, I loved technical drawings and I was deciding between studying architecture and IT. I also wanted to be an entrepreneur so I decided to study at the University of Economics - Faculty of Informatics and Statistics which combines economics and technology. My parents don’t have any technical background so I had to learn everything from scratch. During my studies, I started working as a developer and then I switched to the Czech Technical University to study more technical subjects.
What do you like about working in the digital signage industry versus other industries?
When I started working at signageOS I knew almost nothing about the digital signage industry. But I really like the connection between hardware and software; the synergy. The problems I solve in the digital signage industry vary greater than with previous industries I worked in.
Having worked with you for a while now, I know you are a sportsman as well as a developer; what outside-of-work activities interest you the most?
I love spending time with my wife, no matter what we are doing. We love traveling a lot. When I have free time I like meeting friends, reading, movies, etc. Yes, I love doing many sports for the whole year. In winter, I do cross-country skiing, downhill skiing and tour skating. From spring to autumn I run, walk in the mountains, hike on via ferratas, ride bikes and scooters, inline skating, and play disc golf. I also attended a couple of bike and running races. But now I like to run in nature the most and I don’t think about any races. Maybe I will compete in some races in the mountains.
What emerging tech really interests you?
I am interested in almost everything. I like reading articles, listening to podcasts or watching videos about new technology trends. For example space technologies, machine learning, artificial intelligence, automation, cryptocurrencies, human-machine interaction, autonomous systems, etc.
What are some of the new technologies that you enjoy working with?
At signageOS, I switched from a Java world to a TypeScript world. Before I started working here, I felt inclined to use web technologies and here I get to use those full-time every day. I like working with APIs, building microservices, thinking about an application user experience and building web front-ends in React for our users. Most of the time I am programming in TypeScript. We use it on both back-end and front-end side of the platform so there is no need for new colleagues to learn other languages like PHP or Python. But we also have some exceptions like Android applications or low-level Linux and C++ programming.
What do you think the future of digital signage will look like in 10 years?
It is hard to say because some parts of the digital industry are emerging way faster than others. Some are stagnating or only slightly emerging. My vision of the digital signage future is a combination of what we have now and some types of augmented reality. Displays can’t scale indefinitely so we have to find ways how to use our living environment smarter. I think there will be many devices like augmented reality glasses, contact lenses, or even brain implants. But there will be many problems to solve like distracting people’s attention or ethical dilemmas with using physiological extensions.
So what have you recently been working on?
After joining signageOS team I was working on various parts of our system, i.e. REST API, cloud microservices and Box SaaS platform. Now I am working for almost a year on a special project for one of our business partners.
As a Senior Developer, how would you describe the work atmosphere at signageOS?
I worked for many companies and cooperated with many people during my career. But, when I go to work every morning, I don't feel like going to work but going to hang out with friends. The working environment is not too formal but every colleague is highly skilled in some field of knowledge. Everyone knows something different so we can cooperate on many different tasks from SW or HW engineering fields. We also share our knowledge during special sessions and presentations. And we also meet in our free time to have a beer or to do some sport together.
If you're interested in learning more about a career with signageOS, contact us at signageos.io/contact or visit us at one of our various social media platforms and we would love to speak with you.