Dev of the Week: Paul Hammant
Hi Paul! Thanks for talking to us. What have you been working on lately?
Before and after work, I'm darting around a lot of technical topics as a pundit/patron mostly. Those would be Client-Side MVC specifically (it's a game changer), and generally technologies that should be backed by Source-Control but are not historically. One such thing would be CMS, and whether GitHub Pages for one, can eat into that market (with a few changes).What do you think are some of the most exciting recent developments in the world of open source?
AngularJS for sure. It was started in 2009, and even had a commercial service back then before Google officially took it under their wing. It qualifies for the "last year" requirement of your question, as it really only pushed into the mainstream then. It's a stroke of genius. When I see a technology, and get that reaction, I kick myself that I could have had that idea too.
Are there any particular developer tools or resources you couldn't live without?Intellij. I've used it solidly at home and for all my clients since 2001. I've never learned Eclipse as a consequence. OmniGraffle for the Mac is a close second (though I wish it played better with source-control). If you made me go back to Windows and I couldn't take Bash for granted any more, I say that was super important as well as the Unix subsystem and package managers at that level.
Do you have any favorite open source projects you've contributed to recently?A couple of years ago I was committing quite a bit to JBehave. That was not my project, but when I saw JBehave2 I had that 'stroke of genius' reaction again. Then I also have many OSS pieces that I'm helping to push forward slowly, but am not presently a patron of something that's "big" or about to be big.
Do you follow any blogs or Twitter feeds that you would recommend to developers?http://thoughtworks.com/blogs is essential to me. We're 2000+ strong now, and still push the bar with testing, agile and enterprise application construction. Via the aggregated blogs I'm able to keep abreast of the advances/discoveries that colleagues are making.
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?I started on the Sinclair Spectrum and progressed onto the Commodore Amiga some years later. That was definitely my first love. The 'Miggy' was legendary machine - preemptive multitasking in 512K. It introduced me to ARexx (Rexx) which in 1990 was still better than AppleScript is now for interprocess communication / application scripting. My first 'open source' contribution was for a magazine 'Amiga Computing' in January 1992. I wrote it in C for the brand new AmigaOS 2.0, but I can't remember if the source was shipped too, meaning it was probably 'public domain' rather than open source.
Anything else you'd like to mention?
Yeah, application development is harder now than it was ten years ago, and I'm quite sure it should not be.Thanks, Paul!