Timeline

1987, 24th January – In a cold winter, in the tiny city of Simleu Silvaniei, Salaj county, Romania, I was born shortly after 12 midnight (perhaps thats why sometimes I am most productive at that hour).

1994 – The year I started school. Same year, my mother bought the first computer for the company she was working at, a big and important step at that time and location. It was a 2/86 computer, with a black and white display and without mouse (you didn’t need a mouse for MS-DOS and Norton Commander). That computer attracted me so much that I have learned how to use it before anyone else at that company. My mother allowed me to use it after their work schedule ended.

2000 – I’ve heard from my school friends about a science fiction browser game called Planetarion . I dreamed of an infinity universe, traveling between stars and meeting foreigners from other planets, engaging, communicating, fighting along side them or against them. Unfortunately, Planetarion became pay to play shortly after. Since I was just 13 years old, I didn’t have a credit card and I couldn’t ask my parents to pay a subscription so I can play the game. Thus, I was left with only one possibility: to create a game similar to Planetarion. I’ve gathered a team of Planetarion players (2 from Sweden and 1 from Norway) and together we built the first version of UniversalWar.

2000 – 2004 – Together with my team, I’ve created my first startup: UniversalWar. I was the project leader (CEO you would call me today). Little did we know about business, coding or building a product. I couldn’t even speak/write in english, but we had the love and the desire to build it, and so we did. Me and Peter have learned PHP programming (while at the same time I was learning english – because there was no PHP documentation in romanian and we wanted to create an international project), while Tom did the design and Morten built our community.

2002 – We launched the first version of UniversalWar. We were very proud of it. Even now, I like to brag about the fact that we built such a complex game without having any prior programming knowledge (Before starting, I thought programming was done in binary code). We had several thousand players, even though the game was fast paced and rounds lasted 2-3 weeks, after which the entire database was reset. We did a lot of bad decisions and learned a lot from this game. UniversalWar was the best startup experience I have ever had until now, long before the age of startups began.

2004 – 2008 – I’ve been involved in a lot of school projects, while doing freelance web development work for clients from Uk or USA. I was writing literature, programming, and having a lot of fun with my friends. UniversalWar was ended by now, mostly because it didn’t gain traction. Some fans were playing it very active and I keep contact even now with them, while others write me emails from time to time.

2006 – I finished highschool (2 years of mathematics – informatics profile, and 2 years of literature) and started Faculty of Orthodox Theology in Sibiu.

2007 – I met my wonderful wife, Magdal. She is the most special person in my life.

2008 – We got married. I got my first job

May 2008 – I was hired as a programmer for VisualConcept, in Sibiu. My job was to do both frontend and backend development. According to my linkedin profile, “I have been a web developer and worked mostly with Codeigniter on : classifieds websites, business card websites, presentation websites”.

January 2009  - I went to work for another company, Emotion Design, still in Sibiu. I was doing the same work, though I had the opportunity to work on www.tocmai.ro , one of the biggest classifieds website in Romania. I was the software architect and implemented the first version of the project, which gathered tens of thousands of unique visitors shortly after we launched. The first version of the project (a fully workable version, not an MVP), was implemented in 3 weeks of hard working.

September 2009 – I started my own web development company in Sibiu. I had a small, but agile team. It was me, doing business and sometimes coding, a programmer and a designer. We had a very open culture, similar to Buffer. We worked remotely, and I allowed both guys to work when they wanted and for how long they wanted. For me, it was important that we were transparent to one another and help each other as much as we could (both with business and personal life). We tried to offer the best services to our clients and something more. We always tried to surprise them with something we did extra or the way we were doing things. The company lasted until 2011, when I moved to Bucharest and the programmer became too busy with faculty.

2011 – Conditions in the new city didn’t allow me to continue the work on my company anymore, so I tried to find a job at an interesting company. I met Mihai and Alex, the founders of Squeeqly, a social shopping startup located at BucharestHub (the first tech hub in Romania). I’ve told them about my past experiences and they’ve told me about their dreams with the company. We had a connection. Thus, I joined them as their first developer and we created the first version of the project. We won several prizes, such as the number 1 place at the HowToWeb startups competition and participation at TheNextWeb Startup Competition. Unfortunately, the project didn’t gain the traction we desired, so after a few month we had to leave it behind and continue our journey on other projects.

September 2011 – I’ve joined MBDragan, an agency in Bucharest as a backend developer. This was the moment I’ve started to specialize in backend development, and leave frontend behind. I’ve learned a lot about scalability and building big projects in a short amount of time (i.e. an affiliate marketing project in just 3 weeks). I’ve worked for important brands such as Vodafone, Volvo, Garnier, Adevarul Holding, Miniprix. After about 5-6 months, the company CEO had a private discussion with me and told me of his intentions to build a startup with me. I agreed and became the CTO of that startup.

January 2012 – We started analyzing, planing and developing the new startup, with the code name Billion. I had access to all the agency resources (including people) and managed to create the first version of the product. Unfortunately, the situation with the agency got worse from bad as our main client refused to pay for our services, so after a few months of trying hard to redress it, I had to finally give up and continue my journey.

October 2012 – Thus, I landed on my current journey, as a backend developer at Emag. Emag is the biggest retailer in Romania and expanding in many countries in Eastern Europe. Here, I had the opportunity to work with a lot of cool technologies such as RabbitMQ, Solr, Logstash, Memcached, MongoDB and learn a lot about optimizing queries for very large databases and scalability. I’ve had the pleasure to be one of the organizers and mentors of the first Internship Program between June – August 2014 and teach 4 students how to work in a real company. You can read more about that here. Right now, i am a Scrum Master and my main objective, besides coding, is to make sure my team is happy and does not have impediments in fulfilling their jobs.

9 July 2014 – My first son, Rafael was born. He is my biggest achievement up to date and the person that gave a totally new meaning to my life. I will be forever grateful to my wife for this gift.

NOW() – Right now I am waiting for my second son to be born. Meanwhile, I work at Emag as a developer and Scrum Master, try to build some side projects that will hopefully transform into startups and hope that one day I will be able to work remote and see the entire world with my kids, while teaching them the most important values in life: faith, love and hope.

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Welcome to my website!
My name is George Olah and I am an entrepreneur and web developer. My favorite web domains are web development, online gaming, gamification and social shopping. If you need any work done in these fields please contact me!
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