From Computer Science to setting up our office in Budapest
The Smart World of…Greg (alias Gergely) Lead developer and a lot more... ;-)
TWC, Budapest & me
13 September 2019. TWC’s 10th anniversary and the official opening of our amazing new office in Budapest. And almost nine years at TWC. Time to introduce myself.
My name is Gergely Kovacs, or Greg, as they like to call me here. Born in a small town in the South of Hungary, called Szekszárd. Great area for wine (tasting)! I’m lead developer at TWC, but that’s not all I do. I do a lot more. More about this a bit later but let’s chat first about how I ended up in Amsterdam.
I studied Computer Science at the Eötvös Lóránd University in Budapest. They ran a double degree programme in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam. This meant I could finish the second year of my Master’s degree in Amsterdam. A no-brainer: I was going to Amsterdam. I love travelling and this would give me a chance to travel and finish my degree in one of the coolest student cities in the world.
So how did I end up at TWC Amsterdam?
I met with some of the TWC team at a university workshop. We ended up chatting and they offered me a role as an intern. Perfect! This meant I could complete my university research project at TWC and gain some work experience at the same time. The team lunches and beers at the end of the day weren’t bad either ;-).
During the two years at TWC Amsterdam I worked on a wide range of incredibly cool projects and, of course, my thesis – about distributed databases. The incredibly cool projects: we wanted to make widgets smart(er) – based on the user’s social interactions. I also worked on projects like the Facebook app for ‘RTL Buienradar’ (weather radar) and an app for the FIFA FIFPRO awards in 2012. But my favourite project would have to be the first complex SmartTV app for the Dutch news broadcasting company NOS. This application collected all sports related content in one single app. The users could watch live games, scores, or just browse the news. It was a complex application, and we also built our first SmartTV framework alongside the app. It was great to be part of this, and see something progress and develop – from start to finish. Really enjoyed that!
This all sounds perfect. So why did I go back to Budapest?
Because of a girl. The girl I am going to marry this month! But I loved my job at TWC too. So, what was I going to do? Talk to Rutger – owner and founder of TWC. Together we decided it
would be a great plan to set up a small development team in Budapest. And that’s how it all started: three guys, including me, working from home, in Budapest.
Perfect time to tell you about my current role in Budapest, including the ‘lots more’.
During the last few years I’ve been working as lead developer on various SmartTV and backend projects. We built an app for Disney Channel where users could browse the latest episodes of all series on the channel. I also worked on an app for Schiphol Airport, showing information about flights, traffic, weather, etc. Developing this particular app was a great challenge as I had to combine 8+ different data sources using Middleware software – to connect all software components and servers. I also worked on several video-related apps for top brands, including HBO, Sony Pictures, Talktalk, IBM and the Dutch food delivery company ‘TakeAway’.
But I also look after the wellbeing of the team here, and work closely with the HR team when hiring new employees for the Budapest office.
Budapest has grown into a tech hub, where you can find Hungarian start-ups such as Prezi, LogMeIn or Bitrise. But also large, global companies, like HBO and Disney, have offices here. So, Budapest does not only have a great central location, it is also a melting pot for digital talent, innovation and technology.
Two of our clients are based here: HBO Europe and IBM. HBO has their Central European HQ in Budapest. We work closely with them on the HBO GO – subscription based – Video-on-Demand application – for the Central European region. For IBM’s US market we are developing video broadcasting applications for mobiles.
Consider working with us in Budapest?
Our new offices are amazing! Close to the Hungarian State Opera House. With an incredible rooftop terrace, including jacuzzi! How much more inspiration will you need to create fantastic work!
The work we create, is the best. With people who are incredibly talented, and fun. We have the best software and QA engineers as well as super-organised project managers.
And to top it all off, you’ll get the chance to visit beautiful Budapest. Walk or cycle along the Danube, with an amazing view of the Buda Castle and the Liberty Statue. Or visit the beautiful, natural surroundings of Normafa. Lie in the grass at Kopaszi-gát – a park in South-Budapest – great place to relax. And finish your day with an ice-cold beer on our rooftop terrace!
In the meantime, we will continue to develop our amazing business in Budapest. And let’s not forget about planning my wedding! Only a few more weeks to go…
Nice to meet you! Hopefully see you soon in Budapest!