Know This Nerd? Meet Matthew Dangerfield

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Matthew Dangerfield is a local freelance software developer for hire.

 
What initially sparked your interest in technology?

My Dad is a software developer, so he initially got me interested. He started teaching me to program when I was only about 8. I liked having the ability to create anything I wanted.

What was the first programming language you learned?

Scratch, a block-based drag and drop introductory programming language from MIT. I had a lot of fun making games with it.

What do you do now?

I do frontend development for a health startup creating a web application for doctors to manage their patients. It was originally written in AngularJS, but we’re currently working on migrating the entire app to Angular 4.

How did you develop the skillsets to get to where you are today?

I’m entirely self-taught, mostly using free online resources and a lot of practice.

What tools do you use on a daily basis?

Git, Bitbucket, Jira, Webstorm with vim bindings, Slack, Webpack dev server, Google, Stackoverflow.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Creating a newly designed page. It’s great to go from nothing to something beautiful, and it normally goes pretty fast at first.

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What is your biggest programming pet peeve?

Javascript promises in nested callback style. Promises were partially designed to get rid of callbacks within callbacks, so it’s frustrating when people nest promises unnecessarily. Unfortunately, I see this a lot.

Any advice for people considering a career in programming?

Get a really good grip on the basics at first, like learning what programming really is. Once you understand that, it’ll be a lot easier to learn anything. Also, it’s good to get a lot of practice on real applications.

Where do you think technology will be as it relates to you in five years?

Since the javascript landscape is moving so quickly, it’s hard to know exactly. But, I think a lot of frameworks will come up around web assembly, which will make it a lot easier to run almost anything on the web. As for web application frameworks, Vue.js is gaining a lot of popularity because of it’s lightweight size and simplicity. In five years, it might be dominating as much as Angular has.

What was the coolest, but most useless bit of programming you’ve seen lately?

Tycho Grouwstra’s typical, which he describes as “lodash for types”. It’s pretty much a programming language built on top of typescript’s type system.

What are some things you’re into outside of tech?

I like to read pretty much anything. I do a lot of reading on random technical things that seem interesting, but I enjoy reading fiction as well. A good science fiction book is my favorite.

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