Eszter Kovas is a Frontend Engineer who has worked as a developer for the past four years. She started her career working in Budapest before moving over to theUK to work for a top tier start up.  She now lives in Edinburgh and has just secured a new role with an early stage start up.

What’s the story of your career so far?

I haven’t always been a developer: I studied economics and spent a number of years working in logistics and business. A sabbatical helped me realise that coding was closer to my heart.

I had always enjoyed tinkering with websites, but I never really thought of monetising that passion. And then it hit me, wait a minute, companies are paying for this! I learnt everything I could about frontend, mainly from documentations and online courses. After my time off, I landed a junior full-stack engineer job at a late stage startup with an incredibly smart, 80-strong engineering department.

A move to London lead me to a smaller startup and a purely frontend role. I enjoyed it thoroughly, especially the thrill of building something from scratch, and making do with a tiny team.

Five years had passed since my first sabbatical, and it was time for the next one, which I’m enjoying as we speak. Having some time to think gave a lot of clarity in what my career priorities are (as well as time to sharpen my skills!) I realised that I wanted to do something that has a positive impact on our planet, and after my sabbatical, I’m joining a renewable energy startup.

What do you love most about what you do?

I love the feeling of turning someone’s vision into reality. There’s an idea, a plan, a design, and my job is to make that happen, to turn that into an actual website. “It’s live” is one of my favourite phrases to say (ahem… write) out loud.

What’s the most important lesson you learned in 2020 amidst all the Covid-19 disruption?

Live where you enjoy living because you might get stuck there. I was incredibly lucky, because I had just started working remotely before the pandemic hit. The noise and rush in London was just too much for me, and I moved to a small town in Scotland last February. I was glad I took that step — lots of green space made enduring the pandemic much easier.

As far as you can predict, what’s on the cards this year for you and your business?

I can’t reveal much about that yet.

If you could go back and do it all over again, would you choose a different career path and why?

I wouldn’t change a thing! Having worked on the business side makes it much easier for me to understand stakeholders. Everything I’ve done has either deepened my technical knowledge, or helped me get a broader view.

Stepping out of the daily routine for longer periods has been a defining experience for me. I’ve done it every 4–5 years since high school — then with an exchange year, and now with independent sabbaticals. Taking time off lets me regain focus, keep learning, and get back to work with a renewed curiosity. And, of course, to enjoy life.


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