An Interview with: Nikolay Dyankov (Envato Community)

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It’s time for another Envato Community interview – today, I’m speaking with Nikolay Dyankov (nickys), a CodeCanyon author from Varna, Bulgaria. Nikolay recently announced his latest invention, SalesRobot, a sales monitor for Envato authors. Without further ado, let’s get started!


– Hey Nikolay! Who are you and what do you do?

Hello, name is Nikolay and I’m a 24 year old web designer/developer from Varna, Bulgaria. I specialise in front-end development and I enjoy making interactive user interfaces, widgets and things like that. I also do a little bit of back-end development when I have to.

– How and where did you learn your skills?

To start with my programming skills in general, my dad signed me up for a C programming course when I was about 13 years old. I had to go every Saturday for over a year and at first I hated it. Now when I look back, I think this course helped me a lot, because when I eventually started to do some web development I already had an understanding of basic programming concepts like cycles, functions, etc. – to be honest, learning that stuff when I was really young helped me massively.

When I was graduating high school I had started learning 3D animation and that’s how I got my first job in an office. I made a 3D visualization of some physics stuff and apparently the founder of one of the bigger IT companies in my town was an ex-student of my physics teacher (20 years ago or something). She recommended me to him and I got the job. The company had two divisions – 3D visualisations and web development. I made some friends there and one of my coworkers got me into web development.

From there I just taught myself by reading a lot online and started doing some personal projects just for practice. I worked in two companies as a front-end developer, but I eventually quit so I can devote myself to CodeCanyon, and I guess that’s how I got here.

Nikolay Dyankov's Office

– You’ve been an Envato Market member since 2012. When did you become an author?

I think I became an author as soon as I registered. One of my coworkers at the last company that I worked at told me about Envato Market and I decided to give it a try. I made my first plugin, registered, took the old ‘Author Test’ (which is now retired) and published it.

– Tell us about your new project, SalesRobot.

SalesRobot is what I’ve been missing since I became an author at CodeCanyon. It’s a web app which shows me my latest sales and plenty of statistics about my performance as an author. For example, it tells me how much I should expect to earn this month, which of my products has contributed the most for my earnings, average earnings per day, and more.

SalesRobot

– What went wrong with GreenPaw? Do you have any advice for developers wanting to create apps connecting to APIs?

GreenPaw version 1.0 and 2.0 were my previous attempts to create an app like SalesRobot. (Explanation about the name: as an author at Envato, you earn badges for your profile as you sell more and more items, and the highest tier badge at the time was a green paw). They were both native iOS apps. Version 1.0 was okay, but not terribly useful because it didn’t provide as many statistics and it kept the user’s sales data locally on your device. Which meant that if you uninstall it you lose your statistics.

GreenPaw 2.0 was definitely going to be more useful, if it had worked properly. It had a Node.js back-end server which processed all the sales and statistics and also provided a push notification service. The iOS app was just the client to display the data to the user. Basically, the app was a failure because of my huge incompetence with Node.js.

At first I thought “ooh, it’s just JavaScript, and I’m good with JavaScript, so I should be fine”. During development it seemed to work fine, until I released the app and the server had to deal with hundreds of users and quite often – many simultaneous requests. Because everything in Node.js is asynchronous (even the MySQL queries), the code was a huge mess and the requests were conflicting with each other. Basically, if a client sends a request to the server, he might might get someone else’s data. It was so buggy that it was almost comical.

Unfortunately, I can’t get more technical than that, because I still don’t understand Node.js and don’t know what exactly went wrong with my code there! In the end I decided that the app wouldn’t work unless I rewrote it from scratch (and learn Node.js properly), so I decided to shut it down.

– Where did the idea for the product come from? Is it something you’ve got bigger plans for?

I got the original idea as soon as I became an author because I needed an app like this. I also accumulated a few UI ideas that I wanted to apply somewhere and decided that SalesRobot would be a great opportunity for a case study.

Also, a few months back, Google released a wonderful document about their Material Design concept. It gave me even more ideas and I decided that it’s time to create an app that I need, and finally – that will work.

As a side note, I strongly recommend this document for every UI designer out there, no matter if you make a web or native apps. The information is not Android-specific (mostly) and contains a lot of fundamentals. It’s also pretty well organised and I reference it all the time.

About the future of SalesRobot – I look forward for Envato to contact me to discuss the terms of acquiring my app… Jokes aside (not really :D), I’m pretty happy with it as it is right now. It works well and it’s useful. I don’t have any big plans to add tons of new features or to monetise the app, at least not for now.

– What’s next for Nikolay Dyankov?

I definitely want to continue working on my own, and to keep the freedom to spend my time on projects that I really like. CodeCanyon and Envato gives me that opportunity and I want to keep doing that for a while. Later on I would like to create a team and try to make our way into ThemeForest, but only if I meet the right people. So for now, that’s just a concept in my mind.

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We’d like to thanks Nikolay once again for his great answers! If you have any more questions you’d like to ask Nikolay, leave a comment below and I’ll be sure to pass them on to him. For more info about Nikolay’s Envato products, visit his portfolio.

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Administrator and Editor at wpContent. He likes making films, designing websites, and writing about the latest WordPress news!

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