MJS 021 My JS Story Justin Meyers
[This episode is sponsored by Newby Remote Conf. Newby Remote Conf is a two day completely virtual conference hosted by none other than Charles Max Wood. If traveling expenses are an issue, or you just can’t afford to be away from home for two days, well join us! It’s virtual! This conference is focused on people who are new to programming who want to learn what the pros know. Or just get a leg up on getting a job and getting into the programming community. We’ll have speakers from all over the programming community to help you stay current and a Slack room where you can connect to speakers and other attendees in real time. We will also have a live round table video chat for attendees and speakers plus we will provide the talk recordings to you within days of the conference.] CHARLES: So the listeners know the drill. I don’t know if you listen to any of these. Anyway, I have a number of questions I’m going to ask and we will just discuss those. I’ll probably ask more probing questions as we get into it. But let’s start out at the very beginning. How did you get into programming? JUSTIN: So I was given, I feel like I’ve seen other people give similar answers to this. I was given a TI82 in maybe 7th grade. I remember getting it and it allowed you to pick your instructions, it was like a drop down menu somehow you could select and do like, an if and and then an else. And just random methods you could call. I just remember being very excited about that and just hitting buttons to get the thing to do something. I had no idea how to program at all. And then, I feel like I talked to a teacher or something and they gave me a book on how to program that. And I started making video game kinda things, with calculator games. And then eventually I got a C book and started making and QBasic I started doing and making games. I think a lot of people, especially in middle school and high school... That’s what I was doing and then I went to school for it. CHARLES : Yeah that makes sense! Mine was a TI83. JUSTIN: So you must be a little older. I’m about to turn 35 so. CHARLES: Oh I’m old! Okay... Yeah I’m 37 so. Anyway. JUSTIN: Yeah I got it in like 7th grade so maybe that’s why? CHARLES: Yeah I got mine around the same age. Anyway. So that’s really interesting so. You get into that. And it’s really interesting too how many people I’ve talked to that for whatever reason were interested in building games and so. It’s kind of an interesting avenue in. So, how do you go from that to you know, building DoneJS and CanJS and doing all this JS work?
JUSTIN: It’s kind of an odd story. My path was I went to school for computer science, I worked in a parallel programming research lab all through college. By the way, anyone that is in college for Computer Science or whatever, one of the best decisions I ever made was... You can reach out to your professors and say “Hey do any of you have kind of internships or lab positions where you’re just doing grunt work, like you’re working on the labs website to begin with. I worked in a parallel programing research lab, that’s what they had me doing at first. Working on the website, writing up documentation for how to use their Parallel Programming framework if you will. It’s kind of like a Framework called Charmed++. I did that for 4 years and got a lot of experience and then by the end I was helping. I was still doing grunt work but it was better than making websites. We were doing protein folding simulation. I was working for a PHD in Chemistry, a PHD in Computer Science and I was basically just there to help make the application run as fast as possible. So I got a lot of experience with network performance, things like that. Which was great. Best decision I ever made was just getting involved with the lab, making next to nothing. School teaches you a decent amount but that was actual work. And then with that experience I got a job at Accenture, a consulting company... CHARLES : They are huge. JUSTIN: Yeah! ... with their research and development group, and I made this big touch screen, people may still see it at O’hare, there is one at JFK as well. Basically because I had skill with high performance networking and things like that. I used two cameras to triangulate where you were touching on the screen to simulate touch. And this was, again 10 years ago before anyone was doing touch. It was really an awesome project to be a part of. The person who I worked for Kelly Dempski, is like mad genius. Just literally wrote the book on high performance visualizations and things like that. I think that was the name of the book. I don’t remember it anymore. While I was at Accenture, I realized that Accenture would always brag that they wrote more code than like IBM or Microsoft and Apple combined or something like that. And it drove me crazy because they never did anything with that code. Like everybody kind of worked in their individual departments. There was no sharing of code. Open source wasn’t that much of a thing as it is now, I don’t know if since then they’ve adopted that kind of stuff, my guess would be no. But I always saw it as super inefficient the way that a lot of consulting companies were structured around the sale if you know what I mean. Instead of that engineering side. So, a buddy of mine from college who was interning at the time with the same group that I was working for, we started to build something like FileMaker Pro. We just wanted to build something that builds something. Because we wanted to reduce waste if you will. That all these apps were being built at Accenture, these applications. They are huge but we wanted to just build, you