In this article you will find more about me and about interesting stuff I’ve been working on over the past few years.
Who am I?
My name is Karlo Kajba Šimanić and I am a 17 year old programmer. I was born in city of Rijeka, Croatia. I came in contact with programming when I was 10 years old. I discovered a website called Scratch which allowes users to program their own games using code blocks. This was a fun and interactive way for me to learn and develop small games. I enjoyed playing around in Scratch. A few years later, around the time I was 13, I tried Unity. For those who don’t know, Unity is one of the most popular game engines used to develop many modern games. An example of a game developed in Unity is The Forest. I was playing around with Unity for some time and eventually I went through Brackeys tutorial on creating a 3D game in Unity. After that I wanted to start my own project so I decided to create a 2D top-down shooter. Soon after finishing the game I wanted to try something new. I decided to learn Python. I started learning Python and immediately I new I wanted to keep programming in Python. Python became my main programming language, later followed by Dart (flutter). Today, I am actively competing against other students like me, and have already won 4th place on national competition in software engineering.
My programming journey
At the end of 2019, Karlo Smirčić and I started working on a robotic arm. We designed the robotic arm in Fusion360 and 3D printed the parts. Later on, we started assemblying the arm. We figured that the arm was too weak. It barely held itself in air. The reason was that we used NEMA17 stepper motors which are relatively heavy but did not use and kind of gear reduction to get more power out of the motors. Later on, we decided to redesign the robotic arm and to use some kind of gear reduction to lower the RPM but to gain on strenght.
Crobotics is my high school robotics team. We compete on FIRST Robotics Competition. So far, our team has been to New York in 2018, Istanbul in 2020, in an online competition in 2021 (because of COVID restrictions).
My friend Karlo Smirčić and I wanted to have a CNC router machine. This would’ve allowed us to work on many projects that include mechanical engineering. So, we decided to DIY a CNC router machine. We started designing the CNC router in Fusion360. Eventually, we finished our designs and started building it. After we finished building it, we started testing it and noticed that something in our design wasn’t done properly so our CNC router malfunctioned. We thought about redsigning and rebuilding it from scratch but we ended up buying 3018 CNC which is performing great for its price.
Karlo Smirčić and I have been a programming duo for 3 and a half years now. EEPROM Programmer was a first project we worked on together. This application allowed users to connect to and program EEPROM chips.
EEPROM stands for ‘Electrically Erasable Programmable Read-Only Memory’
The project is divided in two parst. First part is a physical part made using arduino board. A user can connect his/hers EEPROM chip onto a slot that is connected directly to the arduino. Arduino is then used to read the data from the chip and send it to the computer via serial communication. Second part is a software my colleague and I developed. It’s used to display all the bytes of an eeprom and make changes to them. The changes can then be uploaded via USB-B cable and arduino board.
Rasporedi represented a website containing time tables for all classes in our school. This project allowed our school’s students easier way of keeping track of their classes and subjects. Find more about this project here.
Logicam was a project my friend Karlo Smirčić and I started as a project for regional competition in software engineering in Croatia. This project represents a mobile app where a user would take a picture of a logical expression. This image would then be processed in the backend. After processing an image, the backend returns a minimized version of the logical expression. You can learn more about this project here.
Rent a boat app design
This was a design of a boat rental app I was supposed to work on with my colleague Karlo Smirčić. Unfortunately, this project was canceled due to financial issues so we stopped working on it. Even though the project was canceled, I found this project to be great for design practice.
Jobscape is one of the biggest projects I’ve worked on. This was a project for a national competition in software engineering that I worked on together with my collegues Karlo Smirčić and Toni Kukec. Jobscape is a mobile app for freelancing aiming to help Croatian freelancers in finding job oportunities in Croatia. We ended up with 4th place on the competition. Learn more about this project here.
Eko Rijeka was a project for a hackathon organized by Faculty of Technical Studies and STEP RI science and technology park in Rijeka. Teams had to create their own digital solution to the waste problem in the city of Rijeka. I was mainly involved in the design of the application.
Our team was placed 4th as only high school team among college students. Find more about this project here.
Hacknite 3.0 was a national competition in cybersecurity in October 2022. There was 49 teams made of 5 members competing. My team, null, competed 2 times. First time, in October 2021 we finished 9th in the country and second time we finished 1st in the country. More about hacknite and its walkthrough find here.
Plans for the future
I am planning to enroll into Faculty of Electrical Engineering and Computing of Zagreb University and get a degree in software engineering, as well as compete on hackathons and maybe get a degree in cybersecurity 😁
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