How to Become Google Expert Developer? [Dev Talks #3]

Say hello to Iliya Idakiev. He will take you into the world of Google Developer Experts

Meet Iliya Idakiev. He is a Google Developer Expert (GDE) in Angular and Web Technologies and he has been working with JavaScript for over 7 years. He teaches at Sofia University and has been running his own company (Hillgrand) for almost 5 years where he develops various web applications. He likes to organize and participate in JavaScript events and he and his team have a YouTube channel (commitjs). 

Today he is here to answer some questions you probably have about the process of becoming a GDE.

What inspired you to become a developer?

“My experience began at University. My major was Informatics. I was studying C++ and also working with .NET and C#. Then I decided to learn JavaScript. Shortly after that, I started teaching JavaScript and opened my own company.”

How did you become a Google Developer Expert?

“To be a Google Developer Expert means to be recognized by Google for the things that you do for certain technologies. I wanted for a long time to become a Google Angular Expert. I was organizing events and a lot of courses. I started to go to conferences and I met with a lot of people who were already Google Developer Experts. So one day I decided to go on several interviews and everything went pretty smooth.”

What is the process of becoming a Google Developer Expert?

“First, you have to be recommended by another Google Developer Expert and you must send all the background that you have (open-source projects, events, courses, etc.). You need to contribute to the community. The person from Google will check your background and you will have 2 or 3 interviews (personal and technical). Among all the benefits of becoming a Google Developer Expert, the biggest one for me is that you get recognized by Google and people look at you differently.”

What is your experience with contributing to open-source projects?

“When you are working on some application and you are using some modules, at a certain point you will start to discover issues with these modules or new features that can be added. If you have time, you can fix these issues or add new features and make a pull request. This is a way to become a contributor.

Another way is to open-source the useful libraries that you developed in your projects.”

How do you relax?

“I like walking and traveling to peaceful and beautiful places. I was a DJ before and still do it from time to time.”

What are the projects that you are working on?

“I mostly do private JavaScript-related training. I like live coding, which is much more interesting and effective for the students. One of the biggest projects we developed is the Front-End of a customer portal for monitoring and controlling off-grid and hybrid power systems. It was very challenging, and I am proud of this project.”

When do you realize that you are successful?

“This is other people’s decision, not mine. But I can say that I succeed when I accomplish my goals.”

What tips for success would you give?

“I think that everyone should find what he/ she is happy and enthusiastic about and try to become the best in it. Do not focus on the money/ salary, but focus on becoming better in what you do. Dedicate yourself and do not give up. This will make you successful.”

How did you manage to stay motivated?

“Going to meet-ups and knowledge sharing is very good and useful. This will keep you awake and inspired.”

What advice will you give to young people who study at University?

“The University is a place where you can learn something that is going to be like a base for your life ahead. My advice is to start teaching other people as soon as you can because this will make you better in your field. Be a part of the community that is doing what you are doing and try to solve other people’s problems (for example, on Stack Overflow). Sharing knowledge is amazing!”

Do you have a favorite book on programming?

“I would recommend books like “Clean Code”,Clean Architecture”, and “Enterprise System Architecture”. It is wise to invest time in something useful for your field. Also, GitHub is the best “book” that I would recommend.”

How do you see yourself in 5 years?

“My goals are to develop my company and give my team a better working environment. I see myself still teaching other people and contributing to the community.”

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