Hi and welcome. My name is Petar, with an “a”. I’m a dad, an avid reader, and a
software builder using pen and paper. I build companies and lead engineering
organizations. I live in the Netherlands but work in Silicon Valley.
Right now, I’m responsible for all technology at Workera, where we use AI to create the best mentor you ever had.
History (1982 - )
Born and raised in Croatia, I relocated to the Netherlands at the age of eight. It was during my high school years that I discovered my two great passions – my now-wife, and the enchanting world of programming.
My academic journey began with an initial foray into computer science. However, the first year left me disenchanted with the outdated curriculum and lackluster presentation of materials. In search of a more intriguing pursuit, I transitioned to Criminology, culminating in a master’s degree in Forensic Criminology.
My thesis project was an intriguing blend of my interests – I performed a sentiment analysis on messages posted on a known terrorist organization’s website. By marrying these messages with user information gathered through a web crawler, I managed to create profiles of the most aggressive users.
The next chapter of my life was already somewhat familiar; during college, I had been working as a web developer. It was during this period that I met Wouter and Joeri, and in 2009 we founded our own web studio, Bread & Pepper.
Every new client engagement propelled us further along our entrepreneurial journey. As our client base expanded and our savings grew, we carved out time to indulge in passion projects between client assignments. The cycle was simple yet rewarding: save, take a break, repeat.
These intervals of creating our own apps were the most enjoyable. So much so that after four years, we made a collective decision to pivot from client work and launched Gibbon in 2013. Gibbon embodied our personal learning approach, transformed into a digital platform. Public playlists became a shared space where anyone could showcase their learning journey. We experienced highs and lows, but through it all, we learned critical skills - hiring, sales, and fundraising.
In 2016, our endeavor came to fruition when Gibbon was acquired by Degreed. Our visions aligned perfectly, and they were in need of more talent to realize it. We discovered our strength lay in product development, but sales was an area ripe for learning – a skillset Degreed had already mastered.
At Degreed, my career trajectory saw me progress from an engineer to a Technical Product Manager and then to Director of Product, before I eventually returned to my roots in engineering as a VP of Engineering, overseeing Architecture and Platform.
After six fulfilling years at Degreed, I was ready for a change, and a brilliant opportunity presented itself to spearhead the technology division at Workera.
On a personal note, I cherish the tranquility of home, whether that’s spending time with my children or finding solace behind my computer in the attic.
To maintain a balanced mind and body, I indulge in running and weightlifting.
My reading preferences lean heavily toward non-fiction, particularly history, biographies, and computing-related literature (see reads).
I write mainly in a dotted notebook (Rhodia) with a Mechanical Pencil (Rotring 600 0.35mm).
I write code in Emacs. I also love learning new programming languages and have built stuff using Python, Clojure, Go, C#, Erlang, Rust, Zig, and Elixir. The languages I’m most excited about are Lisps, Elixir, Zig, and Python.
That’s it. If you want to talk more, I’m happy to do so on Twitter or send me an email at petar[monkeytail]petar.dev.