Maxim Ananov of HazeOver

Today, we interview Maxim, an independent software developer. I have been using HazeOver since the last 4 years and it is one of the small mac utilities that I just HAVE TO install on a new machine.


Maxim Ananov

Maxim Ananov

Location: Pskov, Russia.
Favorite gadget: The new iPad Pro.
Start your day with: I start my day around noon with a hearty brunch.
Favorite time-saving trick: I use sheets of paper to outline tasks for the day and the nearest future. I find it satisfying to cross them out one by one and then crumble and throw out the sheet when it's complete.
Daily reading: I have a couple dozen of RSS subscriptions that I skim though regularly. Mostly tech, design and Mac related websites.

Maxim’s setup

Maxim’s setup

Describe an average day at your company? What does your morning routine look like?
I'm an individual developer and without a boss and hard deadlines so my routine is quite sloppy. I work at home and there's no regular schedule. Some days I do nothing but ruminate and plan things to do or look for ideas. Some days I code 12-16 hours in a row when I get in the flow. The hardest part is to make myself get started. Then I lose track of time and can't get myself to stop working. It's not something that I'd recommend as a way to make things done, but it works for me.

How did you get into programming? Do you focus on a few languages or try to learn new things going along? Any tips for newbie programmers?
I got interested in programming when I was a kid in the 90s. My cousin showed me some simple programming stuff on ZX Spectrum. For my projects I tend to do everything myself. So I had to teach myself different skills along the way to realize my ideas – programming, scripting, web development, copywriting and design. I'm in no way an expert in those fields, but I learn just enough to solve related problems. For example for an app I design and code it, draw an icon, create a website and write content for it.

My number one tip for a newbie programmer would be to keep learning stuff even if it's not directly related to programming or a single language. Don't lock yourself into a knowledge bubble. You'd be more effective at understanding how your work relates to other fields. If you work in a team, you'd integrate better and it gives you new ideas and perspective. Also some skills transfer really well to new knowledge domains.

What is your dev setup look like? What apps/tools do you use to help you aid in your development work?
I work on a 15" MacBook Pro. That's the only prerequisite. For better or worse it gives me flexibility to work anywhere. Sometimes I work at the table, then I move on to a sofa with the laptop on my belly. And when I travel I can get work done on the go or in a park. Some parts of my apps were written on a long haul bus trips or a flights.

What does your wind down routine look like?
To wind down I play some video games.


A big thanks to Maxim for taking the time out to answer these questions! If you are a developer and love to be featured here please get in touch with me.