I am Katja Hollaar, from The Hague, the Netherlands. Originally from Ukraine, I moved to the Netherlands in 2003. Here I made a career switch from the teacher of Russian language and world literature to web development with an intermezzo of Master of Arts in Communication Science.

I used to be a linguist. I used to research and teach the grammar rules and, most importantly, the philosophy of the language. That fascinated me, the way language reflects the mentality of the people, the way all human languages manifest their common roots and how this fact illustrates the history of humanity.

So the language has always played a very important role in my daily life. Now I am fascinated by the idea how programming languages can reflect the way human languages are organized and evolve. I wouldn’t say one can compare programming and human languages as the protagonist of Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore did:

Programming is not all the same. Normal written languages have different rhythms and idioms, right? Well, so do programming languages. The language called C is all harsh imperatives, almost raw computer-speak. The language called Lisp is like one long, looping sentence, full of subclauses, so long in fact that you usually forget what it was even about in the first place. The language called Erlang is just like it sounds: eccentric and Scandinavian. (Robin Sloan, Mr Penumbra’s 24 Hour Bookstore)

But programming languages are created by people using human languages, and thus inevitably, people would take the concepts and elements from their native languages into what they create (originally, of course, as the programming languages evolve rapidly and might lose any resemblance with what might have inspired their creation). On the other hand, a much more logical theory would be to think that programming languages are defined by mathematics…

I love to learn. The three diverse studies that I’ve finished illustrate this. What I like about programming is that you can learn every day as it is such a dynamic, rapidly evolving field. My current (and on-going) study objectives are Italian and Swift. Swift seems a modern, stable and pretty language to work with, and Italian is like its counterpart, the language where you can find roots of all European languages, the language with such a rich history it brings stories with almost each word.

Music has also always played a great role in my life. Both my parents are/were musicians, and I began singing and playing the piano at the very early age. I sing at the Church Choir and take part in the project by Chamber Choir Kwintessens; piano is a hobby I indulge in sometimes.