Alem Tuzlak's story is not just about a boy from Bosnia who loved video games; it’s about a relentless drive, a pursuit of excellence in the tech world, and the audacity to carve his own path when faced with adversity.
A Passion Ignited: A Call of Duty
Call of Duty wasn’t just a game; it was a window into a world he wanted to create. Alem’s childhood fascination with video games wasn't just about battling others online but a deeper allure — the magic behind those pixels. It was this fascination that led him to dive headfirst into software development, even landing a senior developer role while still juggling college exams.
Navigating Uncertainty: A Global Perspective
Graduating amidst the pandemic was a challenge many faced, but for Alem, it was an added layer of complexity. Job prospects in Bosnia and Herzegovina were bleak, pushing him to look beyond its borders. This global outlook led him to G2i, he recalls, “The G2i vetting process stood out to me as I didn't want to spend my free time repeatedly working on generic side projects for various companies. The beauty of the process was that I could apply to multiple jobs using the same project, provided I put in the initial effort to make it great.”
For Alem, it was about building something valuable without being lost in repetition.
Making Waves with Lightning-Speed and Quality Code
Alem’s strong development skills caught the eye of Michael Sevestre, the CEO of Design2Code. And it marked a pivotal moment in Alem’s journey. Learning Remix would be like mastering a new game level and Michael was giving him the joystick. He soon became a key player in Design2Code’s project for MAPflow, a groundbreaking venture that provided pharmacists with the tools to prescribe medications for specific ailments without requiring doctor referrals. Alem's project not only transformed the Canadian pharmacy scene with a combined assessment and prescription system, but also showcased the essence of a developer who could seamlessly merge front-end aesthetics with back-end functionality.
Armed with MAPflow, pharmacists could easily apply minor ailment prescriptions accurately, easily recognize when referrals and other professional services are necessary, auto-generate prescriptions for in-scope therapeutic options and make quality, evidence-based clinical decisions.
By effectively leveraging the Remix framework to integrate front-end and back-end development, Alem was able to achieve lightning-fast iterations and maximize code reusability. This was integral in MAPflow’s expansion into over 1000 pharmacies in Canada which then enabled them to secure 30% market share in Ontario at record speeds.
Beyond Coding: A Voice in Design and Strategy
Alem’s journey with Design2Code wasn’t just about code. It was about shaping products, proposing features, building design prototypes and ensuring they resonated with end-users, especially pharmacists. A product after all is only as good as its impact.
Collaborating closely with the CEO, Alem attributes his growth to the meticulous focus Michael placed on code quality and emphasis on well thought-out architectural decisions. He learnt first-hand how strategic decision-making at the development level not only enhanced efficiency but also enabled seamless integration with vital partner organizations, truly highlighting the significance of a robust and scalable codebase.
A Contributor at Heart: Remix and Beyond
Outside his day job, Alem’s digital fingerprints can be seen across the Remix community. From utility libraries to tools that have garnered 100,000 downloads, his contributions are vast. “The biggest part of what makes Remix so great is the community! If you're ever stuck and need help you can just jump into the discord and find a bunch of people willing to help you figure out your issues, the best ways to do things and general positivity.” he reflects.
Known for libraries such as "remix-hook-form" and "remix-toast", the VS code extension Remix Forge, and development tools for Remix, Alem has recently been featured on HashNode. Given half a chance, he will happily rave about Remix's streamlined setup, seamless integration of client and server code, isomorphic capabilities, and straightforward deployment to anyone.
It’s therefore no surprise that Remix with its adaptability, robust tooling, and migration strategies has become Alem’s go-to. Today, he gives back to the community by maintaining an active presence on GitHub where he shares his code, contributes to various open-source projects and maintains a popular blog.
Embracing Community: The G2i Experience
Towards the end of our interview, Alem reflects on his experience with the G2i community.
"A significant change occurred when G2i decided to invest in Community. I was here before that, and I must say, the efforts towards community have transformed from a Slack chat to a community we enjoy. Now it’s a place where people can connect, interact, and truly become a part of something bigger." - Alem Tuzlak
Alem's story, from the streets of Bosnia to the global tech stage, is one of perseverance, adaptability, and passion. His experience underscores that with determination, anyone can navigate challenges, whether they're pandemic-induced job scarcities or evolving tech landscapes. After all it’s not about where you start; it’s about where you want to go and the code you write along the way.
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