Know This Nerd? Meet Brian Saycocie

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Brian Saycocie

Brian Saycocie is a Front End Engineer with Thomson Reuters and a local freelancer for hire.

When and how did you originally become interested in technology?

My earliest memory was back in elementary school, I was first introduced to a IBM PC and played one of the greatest games at the time, Oregon Trail.

At what age did you write your first computer program?  What did it do?

In my early teens, I got my hands on Macromedia Dreamweaver (before they were bought out by Adobe) and built my first, yet terrible website.
Think table layout with inline styles.

What do you do now? What languages are you proficient in?

Most of my work revolves around WordPress with a focus on front end development: HTML, CSS, JavaScript. I understand user experience and visual design, while applying that to the programming side with PHP and JavaScript. I’ve dabbled in JavaScript frameworks like Angular.js and JQuery learning more as I go. Building responsive websites is my specialty.

How have you increased your skillset over the years, formally or otherwise?

I’ve always been a curious person which motivates me to keep up with the latest tech. Subscribing to tech blogs and reading about new tools, then learning to use those new tools through their documentation really helps you grow as a developer. Also, going to dev conferences and being part of communities where you can share your experiences are very important.

Which do you prefer in programming, the struggle or the achievement?

They sort of go hand in hand don’t they? There is always a bit of a struggle to achieve what you want. Keep chipping away at it and eventually it will become something that meets your expectations or sometimes more. You don’t realize what you’ve done until you get feedback from others, then you know you’ve really achieved something.

What people, groups, projects, or resources were most influential in your development as programmer?

I got into this field by accident. While in school, I was working part time at a small financial company. At the time, they were looking for someone internal to help them redesign their existing site. After they saw some of my work, they hired me on as a Web Designer. They gave me the time I needed to learn, and that’s what really pushed me to make this my career.

Along the way, I’ve met and worked with very skilled and intelligent developers. That experience has helped me grow to what I am today, and I’m forever grateful for that.

What do you enjoy about it? Is there anything you dislike?

I love that it is a job that requires you to constantly learn. I always end up learning something new in every project I’ve been a part of. When I complete a project, I get that sense of accomplishment that makes you proud of what you do. If there is anything to dislike, it’s the frustration you get when you’re stuck on something. But when you’re passed that, everything is all good.

If you were to be doing anything else, what might that be?

Tough question. I would have to say working as a Mechanical Engineer. I’ve always been into cars and almost went down that career path if it wasn’t for my first development job. Sitting in front of a computer all day is much easier than wrenching on cars in a garage.

Where do you spend most of your time online?

When I’m working, I’m on client sites or looking up documentation on something I’m trying to build. Sites like WordPress Codex, Stack Exchange, API documentation, etc. I’m on quite a bit.

At home, I’m usually on Facebook, Twitter, Netflix, and Xfinity. Or I’m learning new stuff on tech blogs.

What concerns you most about where technology is headed?

My biggest concern is the possibility of losing our free and open internet due to political issues. If that were to happen, we would take a major step back in our modern society.

What excites you most about where technology is headed?

I’m excited to see new inventions and tools to help humans be more efficient. Things like home automation is exciting to see.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I love sharing new ideas and tools via Twitter. Feel free to connect with me!

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Comments

  • Bruce Bell

    If you call yourself front end engineer then you got to know some back end technologies and js frameworks. Tools like sass, grunt, git, angular, backbone and OOP. I know what he knows(html, css, js, wordpress) but I don’t call myself FE Developer. But because you know wordpress doesn’t mean you know PHP and Sql. Someone don’t need to know Ruby to use SASS.

    I might be wrong but i doubt it.

    – Bruce

    • http://twitter.com/casey__allen Casey Allen

      I’m not sure what point you are attempting to make here, Bruce.

      It sounds like you’re trying to call out Brian for not being “engineer enough”.

      Virtually all devs have at least a cursory knowledge of DBs even if they don’t broadcast it.

      Your comment comes off as a poor stab at HN-style snobbery when you start telling people (unsolicited) what they “should” be proficient at.

    • John

      Your trolling is completely unnecessary. The word “engineer”, by definition, does not define what languages you, Brian, or I write. Sure, the web industry may have a bit more definition around it, but even those definitions are not consistent between companies or markets.

      At it’s core, the word means to design and/or build something. Thus, all developers are considered engineers in some sort of fashion.

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