Interview With Peter Krumins – The Get Things Done Guy

Today we have Peter Krumins with us – a Blogger, Programmer, Author, SEO Artist, Hacker, Mentor, Physicist, Certified chess coach and finally the CEO of Browserling! He was able to find 30 minutes of his time for a quick Skype interview for our blog.

I believe the first line is just the “tip of the iceberg” kind of glimpse so as to who Peter Krumins is (that is, if you didn’t already know!). Peter would share with us his journey over the years, his interests and ideologies about the technologies and Internet now compared to then.

If nothing else, he’s a pure motivation to have achieved nearly everything that there is for a “computer nerd” (no offense), and he surely knows how to “Get things done”.

There are links throughout this interview to get to know him better, and actually add something to our intellect through his books and services among other things.

His Blog is www.CatOnMat.net (good coders code, great coders reuse!)

1). Would you care to describe your initial years with a computer in general?

My first computer wasn’t anything close to today’s definition of a “computer”. It was kind of a “gift” from a friend, consisting of a 8MB RAM! In addition to the RAM, its other “superpowers” included a 800mb disk along with Windows 3.1 on it! I later bought another 32MB of RAM and dual booted Win95 and OpenBSD on it.

I was working one way or other around computers since I was 6. Although when I first landed my own machine with 8GB HDD and 400Mhz Celeron processor, it was everything I would have ever wanted back then.

2). What exactly can be listed as your “talents” or “Interests” professionally?

I’m more of a “Whatever it takes” kind of guy. I’ve worked on nearly a 100 projects throughout my career, starting from managing servers, making websites, writing “A LOT OF” code, to founding a software company- Browserling which is my primary and only point of focus at the moment.

Although people know me mostly for my Perl One-liners so that’s one of the things which really does interest me.

But I must say “Hacking” is what has personally always been something of a fascination for me, and luckily I also got the chance to mentor startups at “Hackers/Founders”, the world’s largest Startup Network.

I’ve literally scribbled whole of my life over at my “About me” section, starting from 1999 when I sold music online, till date when I’m the proud owner over at Browserling.

3). “Browserling” is coming up a lot, what exactly is Browserling?

It’s a project which aims to redefine “Cross browser testing”. It helps developers and testers test their websites on multiple operating systems and browsers easily and efficiently.

For now we’re supporting operating systems from Windows XP to Windows 10 and Androids, and I’m expanding the company to support iOS, OSX and Linux browsers very soon.

4). What kind of System and Operating Systems do you use primarily?

I’m a desktop lover, plain and simple. Laptop isn’t my weapon of choice, primarily because of the size of the keys as well as the impossible to use mouse-placement.

If you’re asking about the technicalities, I was primarily using Windows XP and have only recently migrated to Win7.  The old system was a 3.4Ghz processor from 2004 while the new one is a beast powered by Intel i7 4790k which I’m dual booting with Linux.

Visual Studio is one of my favorites on Windows, while VIM serves its purpose as well. Two other “virtual” mates of mine I can’t imagine my life without are IntelliSense and MSDN documentation. (As I’ve mentioned in almost all my interviews probably!)

5). Which is your Favorite Language and why?

I’ve mass-coded in C, C++, Python, JavaScript and a dozen other languages, but “Perl” is the one language that stole my heart.

The reason is simple. It’s fast. It’s like the “synopsis” of a 400 page novel, short, saves time and still gets the job done impressively. In addition to that, this is the language I’m most productive in (considering it takes considerably less time) and because of the fact that I can always attach one or other module to it to lend a helping hand.

If you’re someone who codes as much as I do, you probably understand that the shortest route is always the best. It might not be as “perfect” as a longer, well-thought version of it, but then again the shortcomings greatly outweigh the time which you save.

6). What’s your take on the “Newer” technologies /Frameworks / languages coming out?

I prefer to work in an environment I’m comfortable with. Trying something new would consume extra time, confuse me and isn’t a great way to get things done.

By “something new” I mean something that’s new in its existence. Trying out new things personally is how a person grows but not me. I stick to core tech, such as C, HTML and CSS.

But if let’s say there’s a new language coming out, or a new framework, I’d not jump to it right away instead give it time to brew, prove itself and if it survives couple years, then I might be interested in it.

The final goal is to “Get things done”, and I believe something that’s already established and has a reputation will help you get more things done than trying your hands at something that has yet to make its mark.

7). What are you doing currently?

Browserling! That’s the one project taking up almost 100% of my attention and focus. I’m focusing on expanding it overseas to non-English countries as well.

Being “CEO” doesn’t miraculously take off all the work-load off your shoulders as is commonly miscalculated, instead it puts in an extra heap of responsibilities. As I personally manage most of our servers and technicalities (because I’m in love with Servers) there’s a lot of work for me on the hardware side of Browserling as well.

8). What about your “Writer and Publisher” Side of life?

I used to write code on paper before I had my first computer, so maybe that never went away completely.

I’ve written four complete books by now:-

  • Awk One-liners Explained
  • Sed One-Liners Explained
  • Perl One-Liners Explained (Self Published)
  • Perl One-Liners (Re-published by No Starch Press)

My book on Perl-One-Liners was recently published by “No Starch Press” with 35+ more pages of content than I originally had in the self-published version.

And there are three fresh ones coming soon:

  • Practical guide to anonymity
  • Bash One-liners Explained
  • And VIM tricks.

9). Do you offer Consultation Services?

I do! Although now that I’ve gained a tad-bit of reputation the demand is rising with all the positive feedbacks so I’m experiencing a kind of “traffic-jam” in respect to high number of clients.

But if there’s someone who really needs to get things done, they can get to know all about my services, rates, previous work, client-feedback as well as contact me via my consultation page.

10). After checking your “About me” Section, I must ask do you magically turn your 24 hours into 48? If not, how do you manage time?

Nope sadly I’m not a magician. All the “magic” actually comes from a well-organized calendar, strict following of the calendar, energy-sprints and being a night-owl.

It’s surprising how much you can get done at night, so I just sleep throughout the day, and work throughout the night.  Also I’d say passion has a great deal of contribution to make, if you’re not “passionate” about something, you can’t work a second more than you ought to.

And as far as that goes, there’s nothing I’m more passionate about than being in front of my systems and writing codes like crazy. I actually kind of enjoy being wiped out of all energy by the morning or afternoon!

Thanks for taking the time to talk to us Peter Krumins. I have well understood how busy you are, so we really value your inputs. Keep us updated of your work over at Catonmat and Browserling!