Jan 9, 2017

Meet Showmax’s resident Apple fanatic

Showmax Engineer
Showmax Engineer
iOSengineeringgetting to know
Meet Showmax’s resident Apple fanatic

Talent is Showmax’ number one operating priority and we have large number of talented individuals in technical roles across the company. These are the folks that create, build and maintain our platform, tools and features - as well as write the posts for this blog. We’re featuring some of the people and personalities that make Showmax a great service as well as a great place to work.

Meet Lukas Korba, Apple fanatic, game designer, and the engineer responsible for Apple apps at Showmax. He is based in Czech Republic.

Name? Age? Family? Give us the basics.

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I’m Lukas Korba, 33 years old and married since 2013. I live about 35km from Prague and have one child with another on the way.

And your history at Showmax?

I joined the precursor to Showmax in 2014 as iOS Team Leader. I work with two incredible guys and together we’re responsible for the entire Apple ecosystem at Showmax.

What do you do with your spare time?

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I’m not good at sitting still – I’m big into cycling and running, and I compete in several triathlons each year. I’m also into hiking and climbing, and when feeling less energetic I play darts. I’m a huge fan of FC Barcelona.

I code for fun. Three years ago I created a game called “Octagon – A Minimal Arcade Game with Maximum Challenge”. It’s an action/arcade style game for hardcode players (www.octagongame.com). I get a kick out of the fact it’s been featured by Apple many times and is rated 4.5/5. It seems to have a particularly strong fan base with school kids in the US and Australia.

How did you get into programming?

I have to thank my parents for this – when I was 10 years old they bought a 486 PC running DOS with a view that it might help my future career. It was a bit of a gamble – that was an expensive thing back then and at first all I did was play Prince of Persia, Sokoban and Tetris.

A year or so later a school mate gave me a piece of paper with around 200 lines of code for a [text-based] Middle Earth geek game. I took it home and rewrote it into QBasic, and totally unexpectedly without any coaching I actually understood the purpose of each line. That was it – I was hooked. From Basic I moved on to Turbo Pascal 6.0 and then to Borland Delphi IDE.

So how did you turn a hobby into a job?

I studied coding and IT at the Czech Technical University in Prague and got broad coding experience using 13 different languages during my university career. For my final year thesis I chose what I thought would be a relatively straightforward task of creating a driving simulation. Eight months and many lost weekends and sleepless nights later I was done. In the process I’d designed and built my own 3D physics engine, graphics engine, and entire virtual car based on real data. On top of that I had to model all the surrounding environment and include an element of artificial intelligence to simulate traffic. The whole thing was done using C++.

I’m not sure I’d do the same thing again but I did win the award for best thesis and that helped me get my foot in the door for my first job as a game programmer, working on the game Mafia II.

And the moving from gaming to iOS?

I couldn’t afford a MacBook and an iPhone so taught myself how program in iOS using Hackintosh and an old iPod. That experience plus my degree got me into Seznam.cz, one of the largest and best-known IT companies in the Czech Republic. I spent five years there before moving on to the business that became Showmax.

So you’re a fanboy?

It’s really hard to explain how crazy I am about Apple. I instantly felt in love with Apple from day one (the day when I realised what Apple is), and this stills hold out. I buy every single new bit of hardware they sell and sleep hard the week before any keynote. I live Apple – it’s part of me – under my skin.

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Biggest thing so far?

Without a doubt, getting to WWDC 2016 was the culmination of a dream I’ve had for years – it’s like Mecca for iOS developers and an honour to be able to represent your company there.

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Why would you recommend working at Showmax to other developers?

This might sound a little cheesy, but Showmax offers me a culture where I can realise my wishes and dreams – where I feel supported and valuable. The product/service is interesting enough and constantly moving. It’s a never ending story and we don’t get barriers put in front of us. Of course we can still improve and optimise things, and on top of that when we finish something there is always a new challenge. People are kind, really smart and share the same approach and vision.

And why would someone want to join your team?

I won’t stop before we deliver the best apps on all Apple platforms. I’m constantly reading articles, listening to users, watching Apple’s steps and rumours. I’m always trying to find a gap or an opportunity to move forward another step. I’m looking for similar-minded people to work with me. I don’t like hierarchy and everything has to be a team effort. I believe strongly in respect for each other and working to each other’s strengths. Communication is also crucial – we’re people not machines.

Interested in working with Showmax? Check out the latest job openings.

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