My Ruby Story with Charles Max Wood
This week’s episode is a bit different. Charles Max Wood interviews… Charles Max Wood! Hear a bit about how Charles’ grandfather inspired him towards his career in programing, how handling technical support for Mozy somehow led him to writing Ruby code, and hear a bit about what he is working on now! Stay tuned.
How did you get into Programming?
Charles talks about remembering some of his first programming exposure as far back as second grade. He talks about programming the iconic turtle to move around on the screen and draw shapes. Later on he had more experience in a particular Math class in high school, this time Pascal, then of course the TI-85.
Inspired by his Grandfather
Charles gives a bit of a background story on his inspiration for taking electronics classes in school, his Grandfather. His Grandfather was an inventor that created various inventions, including tools used in the manufacturing of rocket boosters for the NASA Space Shuttle. Charles became very interested in electronics and took his first electronic class.
Electrical engineering in College
Charles then attended Brigam Young University majoring in Electrical Engineering, giving him even further chances to experience programming. To Charles, programming seemed fun but didn’t feel serious enough to hold weight as his career. His interest grew in computers. He eventually switches to Computer Engineering and graduates, also picking up a job in the office of information technology at BYU.
Programming gets more serious
Charles talks about how programming in college tended to lean towards games and fun projects, and it wasn’t until after college that the projects that he got involved with felt as if the work he was doing meant something. From building a system to help college students find apartments that fit their needs, to Bash scripts that made some of the IT updates at BYU faster and safer.
His first job with Ruby on Rails
Charles then lands a job with Mozy, the popular online backup service. Mozy’s systems were all running with Ruby on Rails and Charles worked as Technical Support. Mozy gets publicity in The Wall Street Journal, increasing the Technical Support workload. Charles then writes a Ruby on Rails system that created a smoother flow when cycling through emails. He soon added extra features like canned responses and a way to measure how often canned responses were sent as a way to highlight any particular issues Mozy was having.
Shifting into Podcasting
What are you working on now?
Charles talks about hoping to get back into writing open source code and even starting a project. Charles spends most of his time doing ‘businessy’ stuff for the podcast as well as the conferences, currently working on putting together a Ruby Dev Summit. Charles talks about a few new podcast shows he is working on, including bringing some requested content like web application security, React, and Elixir. Charles talks a bit about other things he is involved in at home and creating systems to help him manage his busy workload.