Written by Alexandra GavrilaAug 11, 2020

Working with a community of over one thousand developers spread all over the world, for us here at Upstack it's like we're on a continuous journey around the world. And how can we not be proud of that?

We enjoy every day the interactions we gave with community members because none of them resembles another. A cultural mix of visions, stories, personalities... It's like a fresh summer cocktail for us every day. 

Because on our journey, we decided that we would love to get to know the members of the community more closely, to know their stories, and to hear their voices - we started a series of very popular articles: "Ask the Developer".

It's a series that will walk us to a new destination, reading a new success story every time. There's one thing in common, for all the interviewed members, which you should know: every single one of them is part of the top 1% software developers on the planet. How cool is that? 

Enough from my side, let's move the spotlight on... Cristian Stancalau! 

Who is Cristian Stancalau?

I’m a Software Architect focused on Java Technologies and Wowza-based Video Streaming Systems.

Three interesting things about you?

What was your light-bulb moment? When did it click in your head that you wanted to be a developer?

When I was 11 my cousin showed me how to use Pascal to generate geometric shapes dynamically on the screen. That’s when it became clear to me that programming rocks!

What was your best software development moment?

A memorable experience was teaching object-oriented programming at Babes Bolyai University. This was a great opportunity to give back to the community that supported me and my career as a student.  

What's your favorite productivity hack?

For some strange reason, listening to Frank Zappa using the headphones helps me get in “the flow”. 

What was something really hard for you to get when you were learning it? What helped it click?

As engineers we are driven by a misguided desire to improve and perfect at all times, disregarding business utility. The hardest lesson I’ve learned is that perfection is counter-productive and when to embrace compromises. This became obvious when working for my start-up as I became aware of client demands, timelines, and contract constraints. 

What's your favorite dev tool?

Intellij Idea wins this title by a landslide. 

What qualities do you think are most important in a developer?

Over the years I’ve conducted a fair number of technical interviews and I think important qualities differ by position and experience. If I had to choose something that helps in all circumstances: being humble and open to other perspectives. 

The best book you read?

Not sure if it's the best, due to the obnoxious tone of the author, but definitely one that influenced me: “Skin in the Game: The Hidden Asymmetries in Daily Life” by Nicholas Nassim Taleb. 

Are there any podcasts, books, or inspirations you swear by?

There is this quote by Peter Drucker that is dear to me: “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

What's your favorite way to relieve stress?

A reliable method that helps me unwind is going to the gym. 

What makes Upstack different from other companies?

At Upstack I not only found a group of highly skilled senior professionals, but also a community built on trust and cooperation. This is a mix I struggled to find elsewhere. 

Why would other developers join our network?

With the proliferation of work-from-home among knowledge workers, there is no excuse to put up with a company or client you don’t enjoy working for. Upstack provides consultancy matchmaking considering both parties. Their client success representatives actively engage with clients and consultants to make sure everyone is satisfied.  

What is the best advice someone has given you?

I once asked a friend “What should I invest my money in?”. He quickly answered, “Invest in yourself”. I’ve later found a variation of that while reading Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki in the form of “first work for yourself”.

What's your favorite joke?

There are 10 types of people in the world. Those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

Discovering Cristian's story was great! We enjoyed every line read! What Cristian didn't mention here is that he is a very active member of our community, the proof stands in the multitude of activities he has outside his projects.

His Upstack Connect Seminar about... You know what? We'll let you find out the subject - it's just a click away. We can only say that it was great and we look forward to the next Connect from Cristian.

Until next time...

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