Hey, I’m Lazar Nikolov. I’m a developer advocate at Sentry. I live in Toronto, Canada, but originally I’m from North Macedonia. As a fullstack engineer, I enjoy building interesting pet projects from scratch. Of course, just like any normal developer I end up abandoning them. I’m a super curious fellow and I’m always up to learn something new. Aside from learning new things, I enjoy live streaming on YouTube and creating courses for egghead.io.
Let me tell you a story
I was having a band practice one day back in high school (did I mention I played bass in a rock band?) and the drummer whips out a Google Nexus One. Whoah! He said “here, use this tuner app to tune your guitars”. I was mind blown. First I thought what do HTC have in the music industry, but then the drummer explained to me that the app is not built by HTC, but by a random developer. “Anyone can make apps”, he said. And that was it. I was sold to the concept of programming. The thought that I can build something and thousand of people in this world can have it in their pockets was crazy.
So I started learning Java to build an app that would let me “cheat” on my graduation math exam. I called it Pocket Formulas. I didn’t end up finishing the app in time, so I simply studied for the exam. I did finish it afterwards and published it on Google Play. 10k people downloaded it! That gave me a huge motivational boost to keep getting better at coding.
Fast forward to 2015. I get hired as an Android developer after giving a talk at a local conference after Peter Sunde from ThePirateBay. That’s how I started my professional career.
Around the middle of 2019 the idea of creating content for other dev folks really started to grow on me. I started a Hashnode blog and wrote a few articles. But I felt like I wanted to do more, so at the end of 2020 I started live streaming on Twitch. I was building an app with Blitz.js and Chakra UI. 2 months in and the creator of Chakra UI reached out to me if I wanted to join the core team. Damn right I did! At first I didn’t know what my responsibilities were going to be, but it turns out that I was going to be a DevRel.
And that’s how I got dragged into Developer Advocacy. I was doing DevRel for Chakra UI in my afterwork hours. I became really good friends with the Chakra UI team, had fun growing the framework with them, and even had a chance to see them in real life during our two meetups at Dubai.
One day I decided to make it my full-time job. Passed an interview, accepted a job offer, and moved to Toronto with my wife and our cat do to Developer Advocacy.
And now we’re here. That’s the story for now.