Founded @heavymelon, a fully remote calm company. Creators of Supportress. Previously at GitHub. Working remotely, programming, walking, and cooking.
Petros is a software writer since 1998, when he graduated from CITY College with a degree in Computer Science. He took a small break to work at GitHub Support for 9 years as a support engineer and a people manager. He quit GitHub to found HeavyMelon, a calm fully remote company. Joined GitBook in 2020 to create and lead the support organization from the ground up. You can check what he is doing and where you can find him online now.
Let’s take it from the beginning though.
In 1985, my father – a visionary doctor – decides to buy me my first computer, after a visit to the International Fair of Thessaloniki. It was an Amstrad CPC 6128 with a green monitor and a disk drive. After spending the first period playing games, with a time constraint of 1 hour per day, imposed by my father, a conversation I have with an English schoolmate makes me want to explore the inner workings of the computer.
When I saw him write a simple Basic program on a blank piece of paper in a matter of seconds, something clicked inside me and that was a moment I will never forget it as long as I live. It was the moment I decided what I wanted to do for the rest of my life (no, it was not writing Basic on pieces of paper). After that, I moved on to owning two Amiga computers and my first PC when I started my studies at City College.
In 1995, I finish my military obligations and I start my Bachelor in Computer Science at City College which is an affiliated institution of the University of Sheffield.
In 1998 I graduate with a Class 1 B.Sc. and I finish an extraordinary thesis which is published at the 7th Hellenic Conference of Informatics:
7th Hellenic Conference on Informatics, 26 – 29 August 1999, University of Ioannina Computer Science Department, Theory & Algorithms, B.Sc. Thesis: “ZTrans: A Semi-Automatic Translator from Z to SML”
I start looking for a job during the summer of the same year.
After a few experiments, I get a job right away in September 1998 with Logismos, the company where I would spend almost 8 years of my life. During my period at Logismos I learned a lot, I gave my best, I lost my father—the one responsible for making me love this profession—, I got married and I had my lovely daughter born.
In May 2006, I decide to quit my job at Logismos and begin working as a freelancer. I learn first hand how difficult it is to be a freelancer. I keep on trying for a couple of years.
In September 2007, I join ITS Exprert Solutions and organize their software development lifecycle and department. That’s my first opportunity to run the software development department of a small company the way I believe it should run. I introduce version control, continuous integration, and after a 6 month negotiation with leadership, remote work for my team.
During my time there until 2010, I invest heavily in remote work mentality and processes. I start volunteering my time for free to expand my network. My activities during waking North America hours keep me alert.
One day in October 2010, I spot a job post from GitHub. They are looking for a Technical Support person to cover Europe and International time zones. I already know GitHub, and the company potential and buzz. I send an email to apply after typing frantically for 5 minutes. They ask how many hours I can spend a week. We start with 4 hours a day.
In December I ask if they like what I do, and if they would consider having me as a full time technical support person. They say of course, and ask me to visit them in San Francisco in January 2011.
I join the company at about 15 employees, and work and expand Support up until 2015 when I switch to people management.
Meanwhile, my son is born in 2013. He is going to be my Minecraft companion for the years to come.
Back at work I grow as a manager and become a Director in 2018.
At the end of 2018, Microsoft acquires GitHub, and I change my role from people management back to engineering.
In August 2019, I quit GitHub after 9 years to follow my dream. To build a calmup, a company that will create a support tool based on my experience at GitHub Support. Its vision, to help support teams be calm, maintain their human voice, and have happy customers.
Our new company, HeavyMelon, has officially launched!
In November 2020, I joined GitBook as the Head of Support. GitBook is a fully remote company. A documentation platform that integrates closely with GitHub, and Git in general. This has been an opportunity for me to put my experience leading remote support teams. My experience with programming and supporting SaaS products.
December, 31st 2022, was my last day at GitBook. I started blogging about my journey of going back to full time programming.
You can also check what I am doing and where you can find me online now.
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