Mantas Vidutis is a San Francisco based freelance software developer. We sat down with him for a quick one on one to discuss a bit of everything including his early years hacking WiFi passwords. Also, see what advice he has for someone just starting out his or her career in tech.
10x: What initially drew you to working in the tech industry? Did anyone inspire you?
Vidutis: I first taught myself programming/scripting when I was in high school, because my mother would disable the WiFi as a form of punishment. (He laughs) Little did she know I learned how to use a security pen-testing distribution of slackware to crack the WiFi passwords of my neighbors.
I then went on to learn academic software development concepts in high school and college.
One of my inspirations in college was Paul Graham, who made me believe that software developers were capable of being heads of business and industry, and that software development was one of the best ways to build amazing products and make meaningful change.
10x: Are there 10x related projects that you’ve worked on that you’re especially proud of?
Vidutis: One 10x project that comes to mind was with a conferencing and collaboration solution company. They brought me on to help attract small sized businesses. I helped create an automatic signup and engagement funnel, which integrated with Facebook and LinkedIn, as well as providing a custom user flow for small business and business managers. My work really helped increase their customer acquisition.
10x: Any other interesting side projects that you’ve worked on or are currently working on, hobbies, etc.?
Vidutis: I’m a fan of awful Hollywood blockbuster movies, but I often didn’t want to sit through the credits in order to see the bonus scenes. So I created a little script that would ingest my Foursquare movie check-ins, look up the movie in a crowdsourced database of movie bonus scene info, and post that information to my check-in so that I would know whether or not to stay seated or beat the crowds out of the theater. I did zero marketing on the plugin, as it was just a tool for me, but people found it on the Foursquare App site and at its height it had 40,000 users. Unfortunately, Foursquare later took down the API that it was built on.
10x: What piece of advice would you give to someone just starting his or her career in tech?
Vidutis: That technology is a tool. Having a sense of design, product design, and user experience will help you engage with clients and team managers. And to remember that you are building products for people, no matter how far down the stack you are.
Mantas Vidutis is a San Francisco based software developer with extensive experience working with startups on fast-moving products and small teams. He specializes in Python, Django, Clojure, Java, and Go. Mantas prefers the freelance lifestyle, which allows for work flexibility, coupled with the wide variety of projects he decides to take on. He especially enjoys projects related to collaborative consumption, real-time marketplaces, quantified self, and consumer products.
For more information about Mantas, check out his profile here.