I work at Microsoft, where I am a design lead of Visual Studio for Mac design team – but I also work on Visual Studio, Visual Studio Code, and other applications for developers.
My team and I are focused on macOS user interface design – the developer tools require a special skill set: we're designers and engineers at the same time. As the other product I often work on, Visual Studio, runs on Windows, I spend a good part of my time designing for the WPF framework. When there's a need, I pixel-push UI icons for both products. From time to time, I also draw large application icons for macOS Big Sur, following the system's new aesthetics.
When the work is over, I like to shoot photos, and I also draw sketches almost every day. Throughout my career, I was a Flash designer, animator and coder, game designer and engineer, CSS frameworks architect, and comics and advertisement illustrator. I started programming for 8-bit computers early in the 90s and designing for the Internet as soon as it was generally available for home use.
Since then, I've been working with many companies implementing countless design concepts, using various tools and frameworks, resulting in many finished jobs and an infinite number of unfinished personal projects.
I became a Microsoft employee after Xamarin was acquired in 2016. Xamarin Studio was rebranded and refreshed as Visual Studio for Mac; I was promoted to the Mac design team's design lead in 2020. Since the acquisition, I have had the honor to work on several Microsoft tools for developers: Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code and Live Share, the real-time collaboration tool. As a design lead – a position somewhere between management and individual contribution – I can still get my hands dirty with raw pixels. I co-created design systems for both Visual Studio for Mac and Visual Studio and prepared system assets for FigmaSharp, the UI framework we use. Through the years, I pixel-pushed almost all the Visual Studio for Mac icons.
I joined Xamarin in 2013 when it was a relatively small startup. Initially, I was hired as an icon designer, which is part of my job even after almost a decade. These days, I am more focused on design systems and dialog design, following the macOS Human Interface Guidelines rules. Through the years, I worked on almost all Xamarin tools and libraries, primarily Xamarin Studio, the cross-platform IDE for mobile developers, and Xamarin Profiler, Xamarin Inspector, and many others.
When I joined SAY Media in 2011, my main goal was to improve the skills in something entirely different to Flash design and engineering that I was doing before. Here, I was tasked to be an architect of a CSS framework called Phoenix, allowing blog owners to style their sites without touching the source. When it was ready in 2011, it powered almost all web sites SAY Media had in its portfolio; it was powerful yet highly performant.
I worked with Disturb Media London on a Flash site for the World Wildlife Fund. I used everything I learned from the previous work when I was a Flash games developer. WWF presents a demanding interactive website every year, and for 2011 it was us at Disturb who created the site. WWF was the last Flash site I made, completing my 14 years history of Flash design and engineering. It was time to move on – to CSS, HTML, and JS. Once again, I was glad that I know how to make websites.
In 2010 I joined Prague interactive company Falanxia to be a Flash developer; we designed and developed two Facebook games, Bzoonk and Bzoonk Bar. I learned a lot, but it started to be clear Flash will eventually be obsolete and that the world has changed. It was the time to search for other technologies that I can focus on.
I joined Sideshow initially as a remote contributor. In 2007 I (with my family) came to work with them in their Nicosia / Cyprus headquarters. Sideshow was a fantastic experience on so many levels, and I found people I call good friends even today. I was mostly contracted as a Flash engineer – yet also learned a lot about design and challenging interactive websites we made.
At Albatros, I created two interactive CD-ROMs (that was a real thing back then): one with logical puzzles and the second one with an encyclopedia of literature. CD-ROMs were challenging: once they're printed, you can't update anything, you can't fix your bugs. The experience working alone on such a project was precious but really stressful. I am glad we're living in the online world now.
Samba was a perfect example of a late internet-bubble-era company. It started as a small startup in 1999, and when I joined in 2000, it was a team of six people. I was employed as a "client-side specialist," working on DHTML, JS, CSS, and closely with PHP people. Soon the company got a huge money boost and started to hire people. In just a year, the company grew so mammoth that I had to leave: I felt the enterprise life is not what I want to do. That was the time I started to fully freelance.
I was a freelancer for many years, except when I joined companies either as an exclusive contractor or an employee. I worked with many companies and individuals on client-side code, PHP, illustration, and animations, and ultimately as a Flash engineer and designer for many following years.