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Ben Halpern
Ben Halpern

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Role Call! Tell us a bit about yourself.

  1. Tell us a bit about you, the developer, in a few sentences.
  2. Tell us about your life and interests outside of code.

Top comments (51)

ben profile image
Ben Halpern

I'll go first.

I'm a developer by trade, but also a longtime entrepreneur and company founder, so my day job these days is less development-focused. My main specific expertise is Ruby on Rails.

In my personal life, I'm a Canadian living in New York State. I'm one of five kids growing up. I'm married with two dogs and have pretty eclectic interests in my personal time: I'm a lifelong comic book fan, into sports, enjoy art and design, and generally like to make things.


grahamthedev profile image
GrahamTheDev • Edited

Hi Everyone!

About me as a developer

I am an average developer. Plenty of spaghetti code knocking about with my name on it.

However I have spent a lot of time working in and learning about accessibility, website performance (and core web vitals) and Conversion Rate Optimisation and despite imposter syndrome I would call myself an expert in all 3.

Just started a new role at which is even more on the marketing side of things (I am designing my own job, so my official title doesn't exist yet!), so my development skills will be spent on dashboards, analysis and tools to speed up the marketing process and I will finally get to flex more of my creative muscles!

About me personally

After 15 years of abusing my body, eating poorly and doing no exercise I have been hitting the gym hard the last few months! Loving it (still weak and fat, but less weak and less fat than I was 3 months ago!)!

I have also been improving my diet, luckily I really enjoy cooking, it has always been something that I find relaxing.

I spend a lot of time reading and writing nowadays, I really love challenging my own beliefs and biases so I tend to try and read things that conflict with my own views and opinions.

I have an unusual talent, I can watch 2-3 seconds of a film and (assuming I have watched it), tell you what film it is purely from the colour grading and sound design etc. Maybe I missed my calling in video production 🀣

Occasionally I draw, I am useless at people etc. but I love architecture so I draw cityscapes, dream houses etc.

xinusys profile image

Welcome to Dev , @inhuofficial !πŸ₯³
'Average' is a tricky word to use for a one knows everything , not even top I.T. management.
Certain projects take years and various refinements . It is by working together that we get the job done.
Good luck to you! Hope to see some of these cityscapes someday.🀩

hassan8521 profile image


miketalbot profile image
Mike Talbot ⭐ • Edited

I started developing software in 1981 at the age of 13 and started a games company when I was 15. At 17 I made a game that sold 500,000+ units and ended up working for UbiSoft and living in Paris. Since then I've formed three companies, managed to float one of them on the London Stock Exchange at the height of the Dot Com bubble - fortunately surviving that nightmare!!! My coding career has allowed me to live in 5 countries and visit more than 70.

I still code every day and am a passionate believer in lifelong learning. I've been a CTO for 22 years and I strongly believe you have to understand the code to direct a product. I also think that there is no hierarchy to good ideas and that my best work is done when I'm part of a high functioning team.

For fun you'll find me hiking up a mountain or behind the wheel of a sailboat. That or watching movies and drinking too much wine...

grahamthedev profile image

That was super interesting! Always love learning little bits about people I have chatted with loads!

miketalbot profile image
Mike Talbot ⭐

LOL - I do have a lot of stories (like having my picture taken for the Financial Times with the other 2 founders of a business where I'm positioned carefully in-front of one guy to cover up the vomit stains on his suit jacket from the very wild IPO party!)

Thread Thread
grahamthedev profile image

Haha, love it! 🀣

I look forward to hearing more random stories like that!

pridly profile image

An awesome journey!!. Thanks for sharing.

booleanhunter profile image
Ashwin Hariharan • Edited

Hi everyone!πŸ‘‹πŸ˜Š

About me

I'm a software engineer from Mumbai, India, and worked in the startup ecosystem of Bangalore for several years. My love for writing helped me make a transition from full stack development to Developer Relations πŸ₯‘ at my current organization.

My interests outside of code

Science, fitness and philosophy are some of my other passions.

  1. I often do intermittent fasting & HIIT. πŸ‹οΈβ€β™‚οΈ
  2. Currently reading a book by Jiddu Krishnamurti called Freedom from the Known πŸ“–
  3. Learning to play the keyboard 🎹

Would love to connect with y'all and know what your lives are like! πŸ˜„

kasuken profile image
Emanuele Bartolesi

I am a full stack web developer, more focused on developing products.
Right now I am working at SoftwareONE as Microsoft 365 Architect.

In my personal life, I am italian living in Zurich (Switzerland). I have a son, three dogs, 6 computers and a lot of tattoos. :)

I am a triathlete, as well!

aneeqakhan profile image
Aneeqa Khan

I am software engineer from Islamabad, Pakistan. I mostly work on React Native and React. Currently I am working as a React Native Frontend Lead in UK based company. I also write tech blogs here related to frontend technologies.

Other than that I love to draw, paint and sketch. All of my artworks are on my insta. I also like to crochet I'm learning it nowadays. I naturally like to organize things so in my free time I mostly cleaning mess create by my siblings and organising the space. πŸ˜„

thormeier profile image
Pascal Thormeier

I've taught myself PHP when I was 13 or 14 years old (32 now) and stuck with web tech every since, first as a hobby, later as education and then as my day job. I actually did my bachelors degree when I was already working in the field for almost 10 years, now thinking about doing a masters degree as well. I feel comfortable coding in any language, basically, as I consider them tools, just like hammers. You have to get used to the quirks of a language, but once you know the syntax, they're just like any other tool. I'm doing a lot of frontend stuff lately, but I'm also interested in backend, API development, desktop apps with Java and JavaFX, SBCs, such as the RaspberryPi and some game dev and ML stuff here and there. All things tech, really.

SBCs bring me to my main hobby: Tinkering! With electronics, soldering, woodworking and being a general handyman. I enjoy creating things (guess why I started writing lol) and teaching other people how to do the same. Seeing how people get better and gain understanding always puts a smile on my face. I also enjoy reading and rock climbing, as well as music. Next to that, I'm active in the local Samaritan association where we provide medical first aid at medium to large events, such as marathons, festivals, fairs etc. I'm also active in civil protection/disaster control (it was either helping people or going to the army, Switzerland is rather strict in that regard, mandatory service and such, army was not an option for me) since a good 12 years in the rank of a company commander, coordinating flood protection, initial accomodation for refugees, helping out in hospitals and such.

I'm happy to answer any questions!

grahamthedev profile image

Main hobby: tinkering!

OK as someone who is in need of a new hobby, I am officially going to take "tinkering" as my next hobby!

thormeier profile image
Pascal Thormeier

I recommend you start with a RaspberryPi and some bread board and basic parts, such as buttons, LEDs and resistors and some jumper cables. No soldering required, but you'll get a feel for the parts. Work your way up from there and learn more about electronics. Don't be afraid of frying things every now and then, happens to the best. I'd recommend using batteries or the 5v output of a Pi as a start, as the worst that could happen is maybe a a blister on your finger. Keep in mind that electricity is dangerous and approach it with due respect and you'll have a ton of fun! There's also construction kits out there that come with all the necessary parts and only need assembling with a soldering iron. If you design curcuits yourself, be sure you got the maths correct beforehand. Once you also take wood working or metal working into the process you can build amazing machines that look awesome. I recommend Adam Savage's Tested on YT, he's a huge inspiration :D

thomasbnt profile image
Thomas Bnt

Having studied electronics, I learned on my side to develop with a very old computer. Over the years, I was able to exploit more of the Web dev and other languages that are useful to me today.

Since one month, I am following a training that will give me a diploma at the end. πŸ‘¨πŸΌβ€πŸŽ“ I am so happy to be part of this path, to finally be recognized as a developer and not an electrician! πŸ₯°πŸš€

Apart from coding, I like to read from time to time, my latest books are about the world of Harry Potter, and a written account of a Youtuber's life called "I am not virile" (In French : "Je ne suis pas viril (Amazon link)"). Very good book ! πŸ“š

I also like to play with friends and also go out for a walk and clear my head.

cmohan profile image
Catherine Mohan

I mostly build small, specialized tools so that leads me to dabble a lot. I've focused on C# lately since it can be used for many different types of applications. But I can use other languages if needed for the project.

In my personal life, I love playing board games with my family and friends and enjoying the California sunshine 😎

just5moreminutes profile image

I love questions like this because it allows me to elaborate on my boring life and procrastinate anything else :D
So here we go, be prepared.

About me as a dev:

I started coding back when I was around 10 or 11. I wasn't really serious about it, I just got a little interested and was like "oh that looks kinda cool and I can flex on my friends". Turns out I was just looked at weirdly...
Either way, after realizing that Java wasn't the language for me, I switched to python which I really liked, and like to this very day. Along the way I learned a variety of other languages including Go. I even looked at Assembly for quite a while without any real reason...

So what skills was I able to improve on or master over the years? None. I'm still in the process of learning, and I think this won't ever change. I figure out new things almost weekly, I find out how to make my code more effective, clean or whatever. That's also what I love so much about coding.

Right now I'm mostly focussing on front-end development and theoretic stuff about things like compilers (yes I'm aware that there is absolutely no connection between those two). As you can guess from these two very different things, I still haven't really decided what field I really want to go into.

Do I have any job experience till now? Well, I had a few small jobs and a rather large one that I actually have right now!
Also, I hope to get a summer job again this year!

About me as a person:

I'm 16 years old and was born and still live in Austria. I'm still in school that isn't focused on software development or IT in general, in fact, the PCs there sometimes take over 45 minutes to boot, so you can probably tell that IT isn't really top priority around there.

Either way, besides coding I like a few things like:

1) Writing!
I have been writing stories ever since elementary school! Over the past few years the genre shifted a "little" from fantasy to (psychological-)horror or thriller. I usually write rather short stories that just go over a few pages, though I wrote something that could be considered a small book a few times already :D

2) Music!
I absolutely love music. Music is literally everywhere in my life. The first thing I do after I brushed my teeth in the morning is put on my headphones. My friends sometimes call me a walking music encyclopedia ;)
As of right now I'm also learning to sing which is going "really well"

3) Videogames
My main way of relaxing (besides music) after a long day. Also something that for some reasons manages to get me to be more focussed when studying! In case you ever experience concentration problems try playing a videogame for 30-50 minutes in case your schedule allows it, it really helps me!

That's already more than enough for just a comment... :')
I hope you all have a great day :)

mr_destructive profile image
Meet Rajesh Gor

Hello Developers!
I am Meet Gor, currently a sophomore IT student doing internship that involves making web apps in Django and Python. Writing articles about whatever I learn.

Apart from programming, I love to write and read fiction, sometimes do a bit of drawing. Into a bit of sports like cricket and football(not much). Casual Gamer and an introvert :)

jeremyf profile image
Jeremy Friesen

I love writing, be it code or prose or documentation. I’ve maintained code written before I was born, use an editor released the year I was born, and have seen the hot trends turning into heaps of tech debt fires. I favor boring tech and work to find a way to fight the forces of entropy on code-bases.

My interests outside of code are table-top role-playing games (TTRPGs), playing frisbee with my two border collies, supporting my partner in her entrepreneurial endeavors, and blogging.

domiii profile image
Domi • Edited
  1. I'm working on a next-gen JavaScript debugger. Hoping to publish with Show HN and ProductHunt soon (or whichever kind of outlets are out there where I can find people who are as pained by our antiquated tools as I am)?
  2. I don't think I have a life outside of code. I like to take walks and do low-mobility exercises regularly to cope with some stupid health problems.
mrdanishsaleem profile image
Danish Saleem

A newbie and a night owl in software engineering world, willing to create amazing websites and web apps. On a journey to become a MERN Stack and an Open-Source enthusiast.

I like video games, anime, and cooking.

scottshipp profile image
  1. I'm a software engineer with an emphasis on engineer. I worked in the industry for ten years, then specifically went through a famous software engineering masters program (the one Steve McConnell graduated from, among others) in order to soak up the best ideas from academia and the industry (adjunct faculty were from Microsoft, Google, and Amazon) before being spit out into another 8 years at companies like Expedia, Zillow, and eBay. I'm currently a staff software engineer working on public APIs at eBay. (Opinions expressed are my own, however.) I love working at "web scale" and improving what customers care about. And my customers happen to be other developers!

  2. I'm an avid outdoorsperson. I'm a gambler in the Gambler 500 sense, always happy to help clean up public lands and keep them available and open. I'm a fan of punk and garage rock. I'm a mountain biker. I'm a "typical Seattlite." I also have a bachelors in English/Writing and an interest in everything book-related. I'm predictably a fan of sci-fi the most. My favorite author is PKD.

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