Interview with the First Java Champion in the Czech Republic - Ondrej Mihalyi

Photo of Jadon Ortlepp by Jadon Ortlepp

How do you feel about being a Java Champion?

I have to admit I was genuinely surprised because I didn't see it coming. I knew there was no Java champion in Czech Republic, but I never thought that I would become the first one. It's an honour for me. Especially because I'd already met many Java champions and became very good friends with some of them. And now I'm part of the gang of all those people that are making so much for the Java community.

Do you plan on doing anything differently now?

First, I now feel a lot more responsibility for what I'm doing. I respect all Java Champions and I want to represent them as best I can. Once you become a Java champion, you never stop being one and I intend to stay active in the Java community to deserve it. I feel it might be easier to represent Prague Java User Group which I lead, and to get good speakers to come over from abroad. But in reality, I've always liked to work with the Java community and improve things in the Java ecosystem, so not much will change for me. It all just might get easier and more natural for me to do.

How would you describe your career so far?

I started as a Java EE developer in the financial industry, which was pretty conventional. But I've always tried to foster unconventional things on top of my daily work. First, it was taking part in organizing team and company level information-exchange seminars, and encouraging sharing information and code across teams. Then, after I've earned enough technological experience, I enjoyed sharing my knowledge with others and inspire them to like their work and cooperate with the team. Then I decided to do things on my own. I started working as a freelancer, giving commercial training and educating myself. I started attending big Java conferences and then speaking at them and joined a few open source projects as a committer. Luckily, I found a very good employer, Payara, that has supported me in doing all that for several years now.

What are your future career achievement goals? 

Now that I've become a Java Champion?  I don't seek any more achievements. Even being a Java Champion isn't an achievement for me, it's just a recognition of what I've been doing until now and it doesn't change much. I seek to be a nice person, inspire others in becoming better and, not least, be a good father to my children. I've co-written a book, maybe I'll write a book on my own or create a video course in the future? However, most of my biggest achievements happened when I wasn't aiming for them. So I'll just continue trying to do my best to improve myself and share my knowledge with others and the future will tell!

Congratulations, Ondrej!