About me

Ionut Grecu

  • Web & Software developer
  • 39 Years old
  • 17 Years Experience
  • From Romania, Constanta
  • 250+ projects
  • Known programming languages: PHP, Javascript, Delphi

About me in brief:

Persevering through every challenge, I am relentless in my pursuit of solutions. Intense study and hard work have empowered me to conquer even the most demanding tasks, instilling unwavering confidence in my abilities. Challenges fuel my passion, and I embrace them with enthusiasm.

Organized in all aspects of my life, I thrive on creating efficient routines for everything I do. Hosting, backing up, and monitoring over 130 websites is a breeze, leaving me with plenty of time for further endeavors. My expertise extends to bash, cmd scripts, and crons, effortlessly managing complex tasks.

User experience is at the heart of my endeavors. After delivering a project, I keenly observe how customers interact with it, often involving others unknowingly to become testers within a free-to-use service. My ultimate goal is to craft intuitive and user-friendly UIs, reducing queries and streamlining training.

Self taught && Degree programmer, I pursued formal education to master programming, continuously enriching my skills to tackle challenges and optimize processes. Fueled by curiosity and the drive to see my projects flourish online, I have honed my expertise in Delphi, PHP, and Javascript, fearlessly exploring new technologies and approaches.

Throughout my journey, I have developed a custom CMS, meticulously optimized for SEO and speed, elevating Google search results for numerous websites across diverse domains. The latest iteration of this CMS leverages Yii2 Laravel in the backend and Angularjs React for Admin Area, exemplifying my commitment to innovation and excellence.

I started programming since 1998, from middle school, on an old computer HC90, which I bought from a friend for a few beers (it's not what you think, at the age of 14 I used beer as exchange currency).

In 2004 I met the microcontrollers (in a project that I will tell you only if we get to know each other) and started some programming for it in assembler at first. After some ASM projects, full of bugs but very low memory footprint, I discovered Proton Pic Basic for microcontrollers that resembled what I already knew.

After discovering Visual Basic 6, I created several applications for self-teaching purposes, including: real estate management, file sharing (a new protocol that I have since left behind) with a third party server, installers,backup solutions with archiving and upload functionalities, bots for Mirc and Yahoo Messenger and an incomplete primary accounting software.

In that period, I also developed a browser-based online game, which required a Windows machine as a server and was built using a program written in VB6 acting as an HTTP server to generate HTML pages. Initially, the game was hosted on the domain footballmania.net, and later I rewrote it in PHP and moved it to gogoal.org. However, due to a lack of time, the game is currently retired from online and put on stand-by. Maybe in the future...

I learned HTML and CSS because I needed them for the football manager game. I utilized an editor with autocomplete functionality to help me in the learning process.

In 2007, I landed my very first job as a paid programmer, and from that point onward, I immersed myself in intensive programming almost every day. Now I had a mission. It was an exciting time for me, as I embraced new challenges and honed my skills in the ever-evolving world of software development.

The first website I created was an entertainment portal, and I wrote it entirely in PHP (no more VB6). I chose to implement the website navigation with AJAX, but since I didn't know jQuery at the time, I had to create my own AJAX functions and some JavaScript libraries.

During the period between 2007 and 2011, I had the opportunity to work on a variety of complex applications while employed at a web design company. Some of the noteworthy projects I was involved in included:

  • An online exam and courses system with a local client for exams without internet access.
  • A project configurator, price estimator, installment calculator, and order manager.
  • The Bointer advertising network, which had a web interface and a local VB6 client for displaying ads.
  • A job portal for the SADC (South African countries) market, with an offline VB6 application to speed up portal administration due to the region's slow internet speed.
  • Development of dynamic flash websites, bringing interactive and visually appealing experiences to users.

In 2009, I started developing qEngine alpha, a proprietary PHP framework. It was created in response to requests from customers and internal needs, and the need to reuse the core of an online application. At first, I did not name it because it was not a distinct product, but only a collection of functions and libraries.

I had also planned to create a JavaScript framework, but after trying jQuery, I realized that it did everything I needed and more.

For qEngine v1, which was a fully extensible PHP framework that supported themes, multilingualism, and a built-in admin module. I also wrote about 80 modules and themes for the framework, including e-commerce, blog, classifieds, photo/video galleries, catalogs, real estate, and user management.

As the years progressed, I took a significant step in my career as a programmer. In 2011, I ventured into self-employment, handling my own projects and clients, initially based in Constanta and later expanding across Romania. I also collaborated with partners and acquired projects through various freelancing portals.

In 2012, I've created qEngine v2, an extensively improved and optimized version of its predecessor. Among the upgrades, I incorporated Smarty as a template engine, implemented an advanced caching system, and used Twitter Bootstrap for crafting responsive templates. Moreover, I made a lasting shift by adopting jQuery as the primary JavaScript framework for qEngine. For qEngine v2, I created over 150 modules and themes, encompassing functionalities like e-commerce, blogs, classifieds, photo/video galleries, catalogs, real estate, and user administration.

During this time, I also started learning Linux administration. I had to switch from shared hosting to my own servers because of the growing demands for resources for my projects. I tested many web hosting applications, such as Cpanel, Kloxo, Virtualmin, and Zpanel. In the end, I settled on a LNAMP system based on Vesta CP, which comes with Apache for legacy code and Nginx as a reverse proxy and static media delivery. I also implemented various APIs on this platform, such as: whois, HTML2PDF, image resize, CDN with load balancing to other servers dedicated to storage, and IP rotation for mailing (no spamming, I swear).

In late 2014, I tried to write qEngine v3 based on Yii1. However, I quickly abandoned the project because Yii2 had just been released.

At the dawn of 2015, I embarked on my quest to conquer the coding cosmos with qEngine v4, powered by the mighty Yii2! qEngine had evolved into iqApp, and it used the latest web frameworks (at that time):

  • Yii2
  • Bootstrap
  • PHP as template engine, Smarty abandoned
  • jQuery
  • Angularjs, for admin area

iqApp v4 was still in its early stages, but I had already created the client area of the cloudpro.ro platform, as well as this website. The website was designed to be user-friendly, with intensive caching, and support for multiple languages and currencies. It also used AngularJS having "write once, run anywhere." in mind. It was intended to become a desktop app too. 

I'm not sure if AngularJS is really "write once, run anywhere," but it's certainly "write once, debug everywhere."

In 2014, I started working on a billing software in Delphi. The previous version of the program had been written in VB6, but I wanted to try out Delphi. Despite being a somewhat outdated language, I appreciated the practical benefits of Delphi solutions:

  • compile for Windows, Mac OS, Linux
  • compile for Android and iOS
  • compile for almost any device with a CPU: Raspberry PI, smart-watch, smart-glass, etc.
  • much more stable programs on the new operating systems like Win8 and Win10, compared to those written in VB6
  • on Windows, the executables work on their own, without the need to install additional libraries like the VB runtime, .NET Framework, Java, or Flash.

Also in 2015, while working on a project in Delphi for production and inventory management. At the client's request, I had to modify the default interface of the application created in Delphi according to a theme chosen from several submitted as a proposal. The problem was that the theme was written in HTML+Bootstrap, but the application had to remain installable on the client's computer. So I used Chromium (the engine behind Google Chrome) to make sure that the graphics of the program would look identical on any computer, regardless of the version of Internet Explorer, the Delphi compiled exe as a controller, and SQLite for the database. There was already electronjs... but it was too new and unpopular to give it attention. 2 years later...

In 2017...

In 2018...

In 2019 ... 2022 ... 2023 ... 2024 ...

...to be continued...