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”) but I go by “Maks”. 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 got hooked on 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 become independent and competent people.
When I moved to the USA, I went on to finish high school and then enrolled at Cal State University going for bachelors in Computer Science. I worked full time while studying at school half to full time for 6 years. I was able to pay for my education without taking any loans (I believe that God has always provided opportunities for me to make money). 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:
- Bootsnipp.com – community of over 100,000 users sharing code snippets ( sold )
- Mymaplist.com website where you put pins on a map and can share the map ( sold )
- Delaunay Triangle pattern generator – background image generator (active and has over 5,000 users monthly)
- Laravel-tricks.com – community of Laravel developers helping each other (active and has over 10,000 users monthly)
- Builtwithlaravel.com – collection of projects built with Laravel (sold)
- MissingPetFlyer.com – simple webapp to create “missing pet flyer” (expired)
- Filegr.am – file sharing website where files expire after about a day (sold)
- BookPag.es – webapp to create landing pages for books (expired)
- VintageMessage.com – webapp that generates vintage – looking posters (deactivated)
- Laracasts.com – website to share screencasts about Laravel (domain sold to Jeffrey Way)
- And many, many more.
I consider myself as a software and hardware developer/designer/entrepreneur. I like to make things work, either hardware or web-based.
In 2017 I launched a line of modular LED displays, starting with “Neosegment Digit“.
I wrote two books on various web development topics, one of them became a bestseller on Leanpub:
Today, I live in Seattle area and work at NBC News as UX designer.
Currently I am attending a 15-month long Master of Science in Technology Innovation program at the University of Washington.
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: