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


Hi! hey I have some questions:

1 - Have you ever build personal projects or your own startups? What important lessons do you have from them that you may share with the ones that are starting?
2 - How do you make for keep studying while working and having a life?
3 - From your experience and the things you see that are currently moving, what things should we put more attention on general software development? (independently the kind of development, I believe there are things that may shape the current present and future).

  1. I have many personal projects (you can see some here: and here: Some are also online at:,,, and (obviously some of those need some love to look better or be more complete). I also did a couple of video courses for Packt Publishing:

    In addition I was part of a startup, a loooonngg time ago, called Select Payment Processing. It was purchased around 2004 by another company.

    The other notable project some of you might have encountered is I was one of the founders back in the late 90's. However, lots of other people put way more work into that one than I did.

  2. One of the things that people tend to forget about when they think about older developers is that we're often empty nest. My last kiddo left and went off to college five years ago. I have my work and my time with my wife and aside from that I can do a lot more experimenting than I could when I was 33 and had a small child. Sure, 33 year old me is younger, but he has a ton of commitments. I don't :) I see this regularly with my much younger co-workers. Often I've tried out stuff before they have and have put more time in with the interesting stuff than they can spare.

  3. We need to find a way to stop building much the same things in multiple languages. I know that's a tough thing to ask for, but if it can be accomplished, the payoff is huge. With Web Components we may start to see some visual components that get some wide reuse, but what would be really awesome is if the 700,000 packages in the Node Package Manager were available more broadly. Instead, look at C++, Node.js, Python, Ruby, etc. How many bits of software got reimplemented for each of those? And how many did not and are still unavailable to one or more of them.

    I read a book a long time ago called Object Oriented Programming: An Evolutionary Approach. In it the author was lamenting that he could go pull any IC chip he wanted off the shelf and plug it into something he was building, complete with an attendant set of documentation that fully described it, not only the in and out of the pins, but also characteristics like how much electricity it needed at different times and how hot it was likely to get. But there was no equivalent software IC with complete documentation that was compatible with a variety of languages and which described how much memory it needed under different circumstances nor how fast/slow it was. And this was a book written in 1986! Nothing with regard to that has really changed in 30 years.

    Occasionally you see languages that start from another language and thus are able to call functions written in that other language. For example Elm can use JavaScript I believe. But Erlang and Ruby or C++ and Java? Where is there a single common software library format for all of us?

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