re: I have been a professional developer for 31 years and I'm 53 now, Ask Me Anything! VIEW POST


Hi John! I have a few questions for you, if you don't mind:
1) How do you kept motivated as a developer troughout the years?
2) What tools do you use for development?
3) Wich current trend in development would be consider "black magic" when you started your carreer?
4) Have you achieved your life goals to this day?


1) Motivation is generally not hard for me. Only if I'm working for someone who is really unpleasant to employees am I demotivated (and I've definitely been there). The work itself is usually interesting enough that I don't find it hard to do that all day every day. Only a really unpleasant bug or ops task which drags on can get tedious.

2) I use WebStorm and VS Code as my editors. I cannot explain why I keep flipping back and forth but I do for some reason. Lately it has been WebStorm at work and VS Code at home and likewise I've been using Chrome at work and Firefox at home. Maybe it's my brain seeking more variety. Beyond that it's the usual stable of JavaScript related tools: Node.js, NPM, Gulp (until very recently, now that all major browsers support JS modules I'm beginning to use those and webpack too). I built with Hugo but I'm on the fence about it, I'm tempted to try out Gatsby instead. I use Ansible to do provisioning of really cheap commodity machines at places like Digital Ocean (think $5/mo) and deployment of my hobby apps.

3) Interesting. When I started your main tool was your compiler (we used Microsoft C) an editor and some manuals (way fewer of those than you think). That was basically it. I think we could probably envision most everything you see today except for the explosion and speed of change. However, that's not really "black magic", so the only thing that I've seen that really rises to that level is what we're seeing in AI with tools like Tensorflow. AI for most of my career has not produced anything tangible that actually worked in any useful way. To have off-the-shelf packages that can say, "That's an orange. That's a dog. That's John." That's the first thing that might be a real surprise to 1987 me.

4) Hell no :) But there's still time.

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