Could you start by telling me a little about yourself?
I’m a software developer/computer security nerd from Britland, I’ve been building things at companies and freelancing for the better part of 2 years now, and i’m currently working on my own company with 3 other awesome people. I also tweet a /lot/ about all aspects of security and building awesome things at @JFKingsley.
Which programming language do you favour the most?
To be honest, it entirely depends on the platform and use case. With server-side applications it’s a 50/50 split between Node.JS and Golang. When it comes to mobile/desktop however, I am quite a fan of Objective-C. Swift I find to be awesome for building moderately advanced applications, but I can never make it work the way I want for complex logic.
I see you also do open-source work. What about open-source captivates you?
With open source it entirely depends on the project, but if I don’t need to keep a project private I always prefer to open source it, generally so I can share my talents with the world, but on top of that open-source gives you this incredible community to help improve your codebase. I cannot count the times i’ve open-sourced a project and had the quality of the code/features increase tenfold purely as a result of people taking an interest and submitting a pull request. It’s absolutely magical, the sheer size and power of the Open-Source community and I am very proud to be a part of it.
I understand you attend hackathons. What sort of experience surrounds them? What about them keeps you coming back?
Hackathons so far have been one of the most fundamental experiences in my time as a software developer. I love the idea of having a limit in how long you have to build something and then being able to show it off to a group of like-minded people.
My experience so far has been mostly positive, although I definitely think there needs to be some work in the area of accommodating under 18’s at some events. My main reason for coming back is probably the people and the experience: When you’re at a hackathon the air is constantly buzzing with energy, creativity and awesome, and it’s absolutely euphoric!
The people too, are an integral part. I’ve met some absolutely amazing people at hackathons, and some of the people in the hackathon scene from the well known (Dave Fontenot) to the less known, but equally awesome (Diego Calvo et al) are quite possibly some of the coolest people to chat to and bounce ideas off you’ll ever meet in the tech industry. The mandatory RedBull breaks aren’t bad either, and i’ve become a big fan of Insomnia Cookies.
What do you do when you’re not programming?
Reading, Penny Skating, RC Helicopter flying and Amateur Filmmaking/Photography are my main hobbies, although I am an avid cook on the side and love to do roasts/steak with a custom peppercorn sauce. Generally though if i’m interested in something I’m more than willing to have a go at it.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Always experiment with different programming languages so you don’t get stuck in a rut. For at least a year I exclusively used Java for everything I wrote (A period of time I am not especially proud of), purely because I hadn’t tried any other languages. Day-to-day I see people exclusively using Python for tasks better suited to Golang and so on. I’m not trying to suggest that you shouldn’t specialise in a language (or two!), in fact I highly encourage that you do, but I suggest you come out of your comfort zone a little and try new things even if it seems challenging.
As always, feel free to contact Kaleb if you’d like to be featured. Posts come out Thursday mornings every two weeks.