Every week here and in our newsletter, we feature a new developer/blogger from the DZone community to catch up and find out what he or she is working on now and what's coming next. This week we're talking to Andreea Borcea, developer of patient-empowering solutions for the healthcare industry, co-host of Farstuff: The IoT Podcast, and featured author in DZone's 2014 Guide to Internet of Things.
1. What have you been working on lately?
Along with doing Farstuff (the Internet of Things podcast I do with Charles Wiltgen), I’m currently working on the early stages of a few projects, one of which will hopefully become my next venture. I have also been enjoying brainstorming and collaborating with other like-minded developers and entrepreneurs.
2. In the 2014 Guide to IoT, you wrote "An Early Mover's Guide to IoT" and touched on some significant opportunities for IoT, such as healthcare and infrastructure. Are there any other industries that you think will present a lot of opportunity for IoT?
The Internet of Things has the opportunity to be one of the most significant influencers in healthcare and remote infrastructure, especially with the right support from regulatory agencies and medical professionals. That being said, these are definitely not the only industries that could be significantly impacted. The consumer world will become an all-encompassing Internet of Things experience — from the ways users will experience entertainment like concerts and films to the ultimate personalized shopping experiences.
3. Are there any particular developer tools or resources you couldn't live without?
Every geek has a favorite text editor they call home, and I really like Komodo Edit — it’s open source, extensible, cross-platform, and just never fails me. For anybody “in the market”, I’m also really excited about the potential of the GitHub-driven Atom editor. On the marketing side I’m a Alexa/Google PR junkie, so my browser always has that toolbar across the top.
4. Do you have a favorite open source project (or projects) that you've contributed to recently?
As a product person that does development mostly for fun, I’m intrigued but intimidated by the idea of contributing to open source projects. But most of the projects I’m considering have open source components, so I hope to be able to contribute in other ways. I do love watching these open source projects evolve, especially the ones that could best significantly impact the spreading of great ideas, so I do spend some time on SourceForge and track platforms like Moodle that promotes open source online education management.
5. Do you follow any blogs or Twitter feeds that you would recommend to developers?
I like using Twitter for as a constant stream of funny and smart snippets, so I follow people like Snipe (@snipeyhead), and Gina Trapani (@ginatrapani) I also think it’s important for developers to also really understand the business side of things so I recommend delving into the “lean startup” methodologies, because who wants to build stuff (open-source or not) that doesn’t get used especially when there’s great potential? Start by following Eric Ries (blog, Twitter) and Steve Blank (blog, Twitter).
6. Did you have a coding first love -- a particular program, gadget, game, or language that set you on the path to life as a developer?
In middle school, Logo was my first exposure to coding and since then I was hooked. I loved that by writing a few lines of related instructions, if/then statements and references, I could make something happen on a screen repeatedly and without having to interfere once the code was written. Of course, these days kids can use Arduino and Processing to build an actual turtle that moves around. Jealous! My preferred language for back-end development is PHP. Uncool, I know :) but it’s straightforward and I don’t find it limiting for what I want to accomplish.
7. Is there anything else you'd like to mention?
Developers, learn about design. Designers, learn about development. Everybody, listen to and have sympathy for the people that use your stuff. When everybody can speak everybody else’s language, great things can happen. Never stop looking for inspiration!