Matthew Scofield is an applications developer (Java / C#) and local freelancer for hire.
What initially sparked your interest in technology?
Even as a kid, I could never seem to reconcile how we each somehow live together yet existentially isolated. I had a dream: I started to see myself like Jeff Bridges in Tron charting thoughtfully along some glowing blue stream carrying a sincere hope. I had an idea that ubiquitous communication could transcend all barriers to bring scattered “tribes” together (at least as closely as possible in this brief imperfect life :).
Ok, well all that, plus, my uncle would bring over a 1985 IBM PC-5155-68 to let me play Flight Simulator 2.0 on DOS 2.10 and if you missed it, that was EPIC.
What was the first programming language you learned?
What do you do now?
I’ve been focused on breaking into enterprise middle-ware using Java/C# core libraries + collections. However, I’m constantly approached about building in PHP/Magento or JS/React and since most of my friends seem to love one stack or the other – I feel a focus shift coming very, very soon.
How did you develop the skillsets to get to where you are today?
Formal training – at state college I learned English; I <3 the timelessness of the word, but I don’t <3 starving. So, I went door-to-door until someone let me on Help Desk, then I landed a deployment gig. I started playing with tech at home, which is where my skills started (including coding). Then this year, I bit the bullet and finished an immersive marathon boot-camp for Java / Spring / Hibernate. They got me hooked.
What tools do you use on a daily basis?
I use IntelliJ or Visual Studio, Git, Bash, AWS & Azure consoles. I also use a Lodge cast-iron pan plus any rando bottle opener.
What is your favorite part of your job?
When a solution passes testing, gets deployed, and users start hitting it. That, or getting the communication just right with my co-workers. These are tiny pieces of ownership that feels like maybe I just planted one small step in my strange journey toward healing humanity.
What is your biggest programming pet peeve?
Time. I want a special time-freeze bubble where I can over-build, deep-study and make sure everything I turn out is pure + simple + flawless. As Zuckerberg said “Done is better than perfect.” So here I am, temporal; always negotiating with time; always delivering.
Any advice for people considering a career in programming?
Just build. Look at what you think the world needs and chip away at it. It’s for a great purpose that you feel tension between what is and what should be. That passion will carry you. Then, once you get a job choose to love it too like it’s the cure for cancer. “We’ve all been raised on Television to believe that one day we’ll all be millionaires, and movie stars, and rock gods. But we won’t.” – Chuck Palahniuk
Where do you think technology will be as it relates to you in five years?
A new wave of talent is coming that will have language abstraction and algorithmic logic in their bone marrow. I’m a big-picture person and a sci-futurist, but I’m also a business pragmatist and a student of history. I love being a dev but once I’m in the right organization, I sense that I may be needed in an adjacent discipline. Huge leadership vacuums are building in society. I’ll do whatever is the best way to serve the generations to come.
What was the coolest, but most useless bit of programming you’ve seen lately?
I’m always judging myself on productivity so I vicariously dig the next gen embrace of fidgeting lol. Even though I can’t bring myself to use it, I’m a fan of Binky: The App That Does Nothing.
What are some things you’re into outside of tech?
I like to fanatically maintain my quirky, almost-classic cars because I just don’t have any other form of time machine, yet.
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