Code Camp interview

Summary: Joining the Twin Cities Code Camp leadership team. Being interviewed by Mike Hodnick, a well-known Minnesota developer and Code Camp leader. We talk software, the future, code camps, and, of course, llamas. If you find this amusing, you may want to follow up when the tables are turned and I interview Mike.

Who are you?

I’m Judah Gabriel Himango, I work for Avtex. I like programming. I like thinking about technology futures and the evolution of software. But mostly I like programming. Creating things is fun.

What are you most excited about in joining the TCCC leadership team?

The existing TCCC leadership is composed of some of the most well-known, respected names in the Minnesota software community. If I surround myself with excellent people, I might trick people into thinking I’m excellent, too.

Why is TCCC a great event to you?

Code Camp gave me perspective on the Minnesota dev community. Helps you see the broader picture, outside of your little technology ghettos and outside your company. I love talking with nerdly folk; with them I am in my element! 🙂 Really, the reason Code Camp rocks is the people. You get to talk to other devs you’d normally never be exposed to. Good networking comes out of that, but it’s not all about career — it’s good to pick other people’s brains, hear what other people are building, expand your own ideas and horizons. Code Camp does that. Oh, and the tech presentations are fun, too.

Llamas or Alpacas?

In my last Code Camp talk, I built, in front of a live audience, Twin Cities Llama Radio. Oh yeah! May the llamas reign forever and ever.

As a programmer, what is your technology comfort zone (what do you typically work with)?

Oh man. I typically work web dev these days — everything is moving to the web. But, honestly, even though I’ve done web dev for 2 years, I’m not really comfortable, in fact, I feel inadequate. It’s like I should really know more than I do, and someday, somebody’s gonna find me out and expose me as an imposter. Even in my talks, I preface my them with, “Hey, I am not an expert! Forgive me for blatant factual errors. But listen to me anyways.” 🙂

But, yeah, web dev is where I’m working now, where I think the most innovation is happening, and where I’ll be for the foreseeable future.

What is a hidden gem of programming that you think every programmer should know about, but most don’t?

Distributed map/reduce function in Erlang. Yes, Bob, I did.

Do you contribute to any open source projects?

Yeah, I’m a big believer in open source, honestly. I’ve contributed to some libraries I’ve found useful, such as HtmlAgility PackRhinoMocksLucene.NET, and Ninject. I’ve also created a few open source projects for my own stuff, like Chavah Radio. I’m currently in the process of launching a startup, and my main product will be open source as well.

Second try: llamas or alpacas?

Alpacas are llama-wannabes with an inferiority complex. Also, did you know *anyone* can start a Alpaca farm? That’s what an infomercial told me. I mean, are Alpacas so depraved and needy that they resort to late night infomercials? Llamas, dignified and honored as they are, would never stoop to such a low.

Five years ago, did you see yourself doing what you are doing now?

No way! I was really sheltered, actually. I was at a small company writing software; they treated me really well, and I have fond memories of my time there, but I was kind of living in a technology ghetto, ignorant of the state of technology, jobs, and trends in the industry. Code Camp helped me break out of that and see the broad software community, engage with other software people, exchange ideas. Since then, I’ve started speaking at software conferences and user groups, growing my skills, expanding my horizons. I think the last 5 years have been awesome, I’ve advanced myself professionally, I look back and am astounded at how far I’ve come. (Woohoo, go me! :pats self on back:). I’m looking forward to the next 5.

Why does a mouse when it spins?

LOL. At first, I read that, and I was like — wait, is that a typo? OH LOLZ HE MADE A MISTAKE!!111 But then I Googled it, and now I see the light and higher the few. Probably the same difference as a duck, one has wheels. Yee-ahhh!