MRS 019: Eric Berry
Today's episode of My Ruby Story is an interview with Eric Berry, who is our newest panelist on Ruby Rogues.
[01:10] Introduction to Eric
Eric is one of Chuck's friends from early in his programming career.
Eric is @coderberry on Twitter. He's been a Ruby developer for about 9 years and doing software for about 19 years.
[02:15] How Eric got into programming
He was hired to do HTML for a company called vLender. Eric worked in Photoshop 2 (pre-layers).
He, then, went on an LDS mission and while on his mission, he built a system to track the cars and assets for the mission.
Then, his brother moved out to Switzerland to join an eCommerce company. Eric bought a PHP book, read it, got a passport, and started showing up at his work. Eventually they hired him.
They started shifting over to Java. They coded Java with VIM.
While in Switzerland, Eric and his brother had created an app that allowed them to share photos with family back home.
His brother raised funds and they moved to England to build up the photo sharing app.
They eventually sold shareaphoto.com to HP. Eric jokes that this was his “college.”
9/11 hit and Eric's brother moved back to the states. Eric stayed for another 2 years, then moved to Las Vegas.
He was a residential appraiser for about 4 years. While there, he built some software to help the company.
Eric took a pay cut from $180,000 to $65,000 per year to go back to software.
He and his wife eventually moved back to Utah and got a job working for AtTask (now Workfront)
[10:43] Eric finds Ruby
Eric and one of his co-workers went out and created projects with Django and Rails. They both loved Rails.
Eric was using Rails at AtTask in the marketing department and spent a ton of time figuring out how to deploy Rails with mongrel.
Eric has also worked for Omniture (acquired by Adobe), Instructure, and One-on-One Marketing.
[14:12] Teach Me to Code screencasts and Chuck's story
Initially, Eric created Teach Me to Code as an homage to Ryan Bates from RailsCasts.
Eric left his mistakes and fumbling in. He got feedback from people that liked that it showed how to debug and figure out issues.
Chuck came in to create content for Teach Me to Code.
Eric's company and focus moved to Groovy on Grails which prompted him to hand the series off to Chuck.
Eric mentions Chuck's tenacity.
Teach Me to Code is a large part of Chuck's journey into podcasting.
Eric has been building other people's businesses for about 20 years. He's done all kinds of projects at all levels.
He doesn't want to continue on a path where he doesn't participate in the end result of the project.
Eric tried out AdWords. It'll pay off in 2-5 years, but he has not passion for it.
Eric loves programming and developers and wanted to do something that served them.
Open Source is starting to have problems with sustainability.
People are building their businesses on top of software that's maintained by 1-2 developers. These folks have a day job and aren't paid to write their open source software.
The get a bunch of requests for help and that workload doesn't go away. Then they get burned out.
Then you have the “no longer maintained” notices on projects that you're using.
Codesponsor solves this problem by bringing marketing into the picture to put some money into the developers' pockets and gives them some validation for what they did.
Eric talks about a pay me button that Kent C. Dodds put on some of his repos. He didn't get any contributions.
The problem with corporate sponsors is that the developer feels obligated to provide unpaid support when their sponsor has a problem.
OpenCollective explained. Their biggest problem is money is not coming in.
Open Design Collective
CodeSponsor allows companies that want to get in front of developers to put non-obtrusive, subtle text ads in the README's and websites of the projects without creating the issues that come with direct sponsorship.
Mention of ReadTheDocs.org
[37:02] Eric's current work situation and Nate Hopkins
Eric talks about Nate Hopkins and Chuck mentions that Nate Hopkins was his first mentor as a professional developer.
Eric shares a funny story about Chuck and Nate working together.