Hello World! Thanks for coming to my blog.

I like telling stories, and I have a story to tell you about myself. Thank you in advance for your time!

To answer your questions “Who is this guy?” and “What does he do?”, I will start with an introduction and small bio :

My full name is Maksim Surguy (pronounced as “Mäkseem Suːrgʌaɪ˜˜”). I was born and raised in Ukraine. I moved to the USA in 2004 with my parents and my younger brother. While living in Ukraine I had a very fun childhood experimenting with electronics, chemistry and making small rockets that I attached to model cars and launched on a road by the apartments where we lived. My dad worked in construction and he taught me lots of building skills and always encouraged me to experiment and be independent. I’ve got hooked reading his technical magazines (think of “Wired” of his day) when I was 7. My mother is a wonderful woman that took great care of our home and could always come up with a delicious meal for her family (mashed potatoes are the best!). I love my family, my parents spent a lot of their time and money so that their kids could grow into independent and competent people.

When I moved to the USA I went to finish high school and then enrolled at Cal State University going for Computer Science bachelors degree. I worked full time while studying at school half to full time for 6.5 years. I never got school loans and paid for my education by myself (I believe that God has always provided opportunities for me to work). I’ve graduated from CSUF in the fall of 2011 with Bachelors in Computer Science. Simultaneously while studying full time I have been working at a school district as a computer technician for many years.

In 2012-2013 I have built over two dozen websites in my spare time, some of them you might have heard of:

I consider myself as a developer/designer/entrepreneur. I like to make things work, either hardware or web-based. At this time I’ve put my focus mostly into web development and in making tools that make it possible for others to achieve their goals or be more efficient. If you want to know how something could be done, I am a great contact to have.

I have wrote two books on various web development topics:

Today, I live in Seattle area and work at NBC News as UX designer.

You can add me on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Here is a short list of things I excelled at in childhood and teen years:

  • At 9 I cut out some magnesium from a MIG fighter jet that was put on as a kid’s playground and used that magnesium to make small explosives and flashbangs. I would mix permanganate (a strong oxidizer) with magnesium shavings and pack them up in a paper envelope tightly. After setting that envelope on fire, I would run for safety and watch a super bright flash. I don’t know how my parents allowed me to do those things (or maybe they didn’t allow and I still did them?)
  • At 10 I won regional Math Olympics in Moscow without even registering for it. I came over and took the challenge just because I wanted to see how hard it was. Next day I found out I was a winner.
  • At 12  I replicated Levitron – a magnetic toy that hovers in the air defying gravity. I have never seen it in person. I only found a small video of the toy in action and thought I would be able to make one. Taking a big circular magnet from a huge speaker and a small circular magnetic top I was able to find the perfect balance of the weight of the top piece and entertained every guest who would come to our apartment. It was crazy fascinating (see a video of that toy in action, you’d be amazed too).
  • At 13 I built my own micro FM transmitter to listen to parents’ conversations and to hear what girls talk about when there are no boys around. Very fascinating! (lead me to read Freud’s psychology to understand even more).
  • At 14 I made my own LAN network using two wires, LPT port and an iron pipe that ran central heating system in the apartment complex. I played Duke Nukem 3D with my friend that lived many stories above mine.
  • At 15 I started breakdancing. Within 2 years I was the best guy doing headspin that you could find in Ukraine. I beat a world record at the time but didn’t have it captured on camera. See my breakdancing video below: