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Meet Michael Roufa

Roufa Enterprises, Inc.Mike-Roufa-150x150

Mike is a dedicated software consultant and coworking space member. He has been a member at Maple Leaf, Indie Ballard, and most recently with Works Progress.

We asked Mike a few questions about running your own business and coworking:

How long have you been a software engineer?

I started out in the first boom years of the web back in the late 90’s, and it was a thrilling time to be an engineer. Never before could somebody write software that could so easily be run on millions of people’s computers around the world.

When did you decide to branch out on your own?

Working under the advertising model, I realized there was a dearth of people who had in-depth engineering and architecture skills and could communicate effectively with creative types and clients alike. Good agencies are well-staffed with brilliant designers and creative types, but sometimes their ideas are too big of a stretch for the types of programmers they hire. It’s a good fit for freelancing, and can lead to some really interesting projects that would never come up working for a big company.

What advice would you give someone just starting out in programming?

Stand on the shoulders of giants! Find an environment where you can work with other great programmers to start, use and participate in open source projects, open your code up to observation and suggestions from others.

Are you from Seattle?

No, I grew up in Lancaster, PA, not far from Amish country.

Why did you start coworking? Once my second child was able to run around the house and wreak havoc in league with the first, I knew my days of working from home were numbered.

What is the best thing you’ve found about coworking? It’s great to be able to make connections with other independent workers. People who work in coworking spaces are passionate about their careers and are clearly successful enough to afford an office, so they can become great contacts. Plus, they have chosen to work in a space with other like-minded people, so there’s never an unfriendly face.

What is the one thing you wish you could change about coworking?

The one downside is that you are not working with people from your own company, which means that you have to be very cautious about what calls you take and where in order to protect any proprietary information.

What advice would you give someone just starting in a new coworking office?

Don’t wait for others to make your community for you!

Learn more about Mike’s work at http://www.roufa.com