Know This Nerd? Meet Mike Boardley

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Mike Boardley is a Freelance Senior Front End Developer With Comfy Chair Consulting.

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

My dad was a programmer in the 80s so I grew up around computers.

What was the first programming language you learned?

Coldfusion

What do you do now?

I am Senior Front End Developer for Comfy Chair Consulting, Inc..
I primarily build custom WordPress sites using a custom theme I built.
My goal is to build single page WordPress sites using Vue.js

How did you develop the skill sets to get to where you are today?

The short version: building lots and lots of websites.

What tools do you use on a daily basis?

Sublime Text 3, Gulp, Browser Sync, SCSS, Node.JS, PHP, Photoshop, Illustrator

What is your favorite part of your job?

Problem solving & Automation. Once I solve a problem, I figure out how to automate the process so I don’t have to repeat it in the future.

What is your biggest programming pet peeve?

(Trigger warning) Organize your CSS properties A-Z. I know most people don’t but the reality is that when you do this, the developers coming after you don’t have to guess what system of organization you’re using. Plus it makes parsing your CSS much quicker for everyone. New devs and old will be able to follow this method.

Laziness. It’s easy to do things poorly or cut corners when you’re tired of working on a project that seems to be fighting you at every turn. Take pride in your work and realize how lucky you are to be able to program for a living.

Any advice for people considering a career in programming?

Ask yourself “Why do I want a career in programming?”

The love of programming is what will get you through the hard times and motivate you to continue improving your skills. If you’re doing this because it’s a “quick” path to a larger paycheck, programming will be a more difficult road for you and you will struggle to be as good as your colleagues.

Programming is a journey that lasts a lifetime. Keep grinding and keep pushing yourself. You will get there. It takes time. I know YouTube would have you believe you should be able to learn this and have a job in 6 months but that is not reality 99% of the time.

Think of programming like a video game. You wander around the game doing tasks, talking to people and reading things. Then, suddenly, you have a break through and level-up. Now you’re able to do more tasks and get farther in the game.

Build Things. Online learning, Bootcamps, Books are great but you need to APPLY what you’re learning to real world projects so you can train your mind to solve real world problems. Everyone has neighbors or friends that have a side business or hobby that could use a website. Find those people and build it for them for a small amount or free. Remember, your compensation is the knowledge and experience you will gain.

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

If Artificial Intelligence continues to grow as fast as it is, a lot of what we do may be replaced or greatly reduced because they are already to feed a program a sketch of a web layout and it can produce that code and layout with 77% accuracy. So we will see.

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

https://jsnes.fir.sh/ –  A JavaScript based Nintendo emulator. It’s cool to be able to play all of those old games in your web browser but it’s not necessary.

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

I am a Christian so my life in tech and out of tech boils down to this: 1. Love God & 2. Love People.

I do both by being the best programmer I can be and when I am not programming helping people anyway I can. Whether it’s running Free Code Camp meetups two Saturdays a month, giving a stranger a ride or something to eat or just being there to listen when someone needs a friend.

I am so blessed to have been able to do this for the last 16 years and people have helped me throughout my career, that I cannot help but to give back. I also play guitar and I spend time with my wife and two daughters.

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