He turned a successful blog into a thriving YouTube channel, a newsletter with thousands of subscribers, and a great online presence. “I owe a significant part of my career to content creation and social media,” says Catalin Pit in his interview with GitNation.
What led you to software engineering?
I started accident, actually. I was studying accountancy, preparing myself to become an accountant. However, before finishing school, I moved to the UK, and things changed. I went to a college where I had to choose between a handful of subjects — and IT was the most familiar and attractive of all of them. After three years in college, I was so excited about programming that I went on to study computer science at a university. So yes, I got into software engineering mistake, but I'm more than happy with how things turned out.
What is the most impactful thing you ever did to boost your career?
Starting a blog and taking social media presence seriously. For real, I wouldn't have my current job at Hashnode if I hadn't stepped up my game in that department.
What would be your three tips for engineers to level up their career?
First, don't be afraid to ask questions. Second, go out and broaden your network — meet people and build genuine connections. And finally, create content. By doing so, you'll help not just yourself but others as well to advance in the given field or profession.
And if I may add one engineering advice, I'd say don't try to write fancy-schmancy code. If you can, use the KISS principle: "Keep it simple, stupid." Obviously, do so without sacrificing readability and performance.
Do you have some rituals that keep you focused and goal-oriented?
Actually, I just sit down and work! I don't even listen to music. I tried listening to lo-fi songs when working, but they still distracted me...
I've been working from home over the last year and a half, and the place where I go to relax and recharge is the gym. I try to go there once I finish my work, and when I return, I tend to work two or three hours on my stuff, be it my blog or my YouTube channel.
But, sometimes I skip that. Life's not all about work, and I try to keep a healthy work-life balance. It's easy to get overworked when you work remotely, and you constantly face issues such as poor time management and no face-to-face interactions. To avoid feeling down, I stop checking all work-related stuff when I'm done for the day, and I change my workplace — sometimes I go to a café just to be surrendered people. In addition, I work without checking my phone, notifications, and inbox for a specific timeframe to avoid distractions. And to manage my time, I use the Pomodoro technique.
As you mention, you have a blog, a YouTube channel, and even a newsletter. What made you start with content creation?
I began after getting my university degree. First, I launched the blog, and I did to reinforce what I'd learned. To teach is to learn twice, as they say. By explaining things and going over them, you get to understand the subject at hand better. I was studying data structures and algorithms to apply for jobs, and each time I'd learn something new or solve a problem, I'd blog about it. I kept doing it, and it became a habit. Now, I don't think I will ever stop writing programming articles.
Do you cover different topics via different media?
I prefer to create a piece of content and distribute it through all the channels. For instance, a blog article can serve as a script for my YouTube video. It makes the whole process more straightforward, and your audience can choose the content format they prefer.
How has content creation impacted your career?
It's been crucial to my professional development. As I said earlier, I got my current job thanks to producing content for the community, and I constantly get various job offers, side gigs, and other proposals because of my blog entries or YouTube videos.
What pieces of work are you most proud of?
I don't want to get carried away, but the truth is that content creation changed my life for the better. So I'll say I'm really proud of my blog. It gave me many opportunities I did not expect, and it helped other people skill up. That's just great.