Note: This article was first published to Medium.
In this feature of A Developer Story, I’ll be interviewing a student named Krish Dholakiya. Without further ado, let’s get into it!
Tell us a bit about yourself. Where are you from? How old are you?
I’m from a ton of places; I was born in Colorado in the United States, lived here until I was in the 4th grade; from then until I was in the 6th, I lived in Bangalore, India, before moving back to Colorado for middle school onwards. I’m currently 18 years old and am studying Computer Science and Political Science at CU Boulder.
How long have you been writing software?
I’ve been writing software for ~4 years now (since my freshman year in high school), although I had played around with HTML/CSS and QBasic when I was younger.
What was your first software project?
My first software project was a group of tools I was building for teenage programmers ~4 years ago (when I was one myself). It involved a small job/internship board targeted at the age group, a forum, and a collection of resources for young people to get into software development. It didn’t really get any usage (mainly because it was a highly-addressed need already) but it was a fun project to build nevertheless.
Who’s your favorite music artist? Any reason why?
Kanye West. It’s pretty cliché for most Kanye stans but I’d attribute that to the diversity of his discography (in that each album is so musically different relative to the previous) and the grandeur of his personality. What’s also worth noting is his ability to collaborate with a variety of artists as though he’s the “CEO” of his albums working with a startup’s worth of collaborators towards the same vision. I could go on and on but the Internet has explained it enough.
What was your first open source contribution?
A lot of my very first “open source” contributions were either my own projects or me filing issues on projects I used a lot. I’d say my first productive open source contribution was my git.io CLI (github.com/krrishd/gitio) that allows you to get a custom git.io URL even though the web interface doesn’t give you that option. It’s pretty simple in terms of the tech (just an HTTP request wrapped in Node.js) but people actually use it so that’s nice.
Favorite programming language? Why?
What are you learning at the moment?
I’m currently working on learning Flux/Redux for React; the React work I’ve done has generally been architected as per the spec of the project, but I’d like to have the consistency in architecture that understanding Redux would provide.
Do you have any advice for beginners in open source or software development in general?
I think for beginners the biggest inhibition towards open-source is not feeling competent enough to positively impact an existing project. To that I’d say two things. For one, there’s always project ideas that have yet to be created that’d be within an ambitious beginner’s reach (so get on them). Additionally, if you look hard enough at interesting projects on GitHub, there’s a lot of issues filed that’d be fairly trivial to help solve, that haven’t been addressed because of more important issues that the maintainer has chosen to focus on. Find those simple issues and use them as your foot in the door to potentially help with more impactful contributions going forward.
In terms of software development in general, I’m just going to pass on advice that I got along the way that I’ve found repeatedly beneficial: don’t build what you think you’re capable of building, build what you want built and use it as a chance to develop the capabilities that it’d require.
How can people connect with you (Github, Website, Social Media)?
That’s all folks! If you would like to be interviewed or want request a developer to be interviewed, please email me at email@example.com. Also, if you want to write for HypeTonic, sign up at our website or email me.