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Kara Luton

CrowdStrike

Kara went from tutus to tech. After pursuing a career as a professional ballerina, she returned to her hometown of Nashville, TN to work as a music publicist. A life of pitching journalists and red carpets left her feeling unfulfilled and she made the switch to the tech world.

Inteview image for Kara Luton

What led you to become a developer?

I had a weird path to becoming a developer. I grew up pursuing a career as a professional ballerina. I even moved to New York City by myself at 17 to dance full-time with the Joffrey Ballet School while I finished up high school through an online program. I absolutely loved ballet but knew a ballet career doesn’t last very long. That’s when I decided to go to college back in my hometown of Nashville, TN.

I majored in public relations and minored in music business. I was one of the lucky few to land a job as a music publicist shortly after graduation. I absolutely loved what I did but I was getting burnt out pretty quickly. I was looking into other career options when I stumbled upon CodeCademy. I originally started teaching myself HTML and CSS just for fun but quickly fell in love with it. I enrolled in a front end engineering bootcamp and, here I am, three years later working as a developer and still loving it!

What’s your setup and development environment?

I really love my desk setup at home. I work remotely so it’s really important to me to have a nice space. I mainly use my laptop for slack and email and then have whatever I’m working on currently on my monitor in front of me. I have a mechanical keyboard that my husband built for me as well! I typically split my time between sitting at my desk and, if it’s nice outside, sitting out on my balcony.

What’s your favorite stack to work with?

I used Ember at work but Vue is my go-to for any of my personal projects.

What are your top 5 go-to repos?

My top five go-to repos are a mix of interview resources, repos going over best practices and lists of other amazing repos! I reference all of these a lot and find them really helpful.

Ryan McDermott’s Clean Code JavaScript
github.com/ryanmcdermott/clean-code-javascript

30 Seconds of Interview
github.com/30-seconds/30-seconds-of-interviews

Yangshun Tay’s Tech Interview Handbook
github.com/yangshun/tech-interview-handbook

Awesome Lists
github.com/sindresorhus/awesome

Awesome VS Code
github.com/viatsko/awesome-vscode

What technologies are you most excited about now?

I personally really love Vue and am most excited about it right now. I first learned it at my bootcamp back in 2016 and then used it at my past job. I now use it for any side-projects I’m working on. It’s so user-friendly. I feel like it’s doing some really progressive things for a front-end framework and I can’t wait to see where it goes in the future. Vue 2 has already made so many advances from the first iteration!

What does your ideal workflow look like, from messing around to production?

My ideal workflow really depends on if I’m working on a feature or a bug. For features, I like to make sure I completely understand the design and all of the functionality first. Next I usually break the feature up into small bits that I can knock out individually. This makes your to-do list a bit longer but I love being able to knock out multiple small-tasks within a shorter time period. Plus, it makes the feature not as overwhelming when you break it up!

For bugs, I always try to recreate the issue on production first then I’ll dive in locally through my dev tools to investigate what’s happening. If it’s taking a while to fix the problem I’ll always reach out to my coworkers and try to pair to figure out what’s happening together.

What are you currently learning?

I’m currently re-learning Ember! I had first learned it at my bootcamp a few years ago but haven’t since then. I’m now using it at my current job and having to jump in again. The best thing about Ember is their docs. They have a walk-through tutorial as well as a lot of other examples. Even though it’s been a bit since I’ve used Ember it’s all slowly coming back to me thanks to their docs and the Rock and Roll with Ember tutorial!

What project are you most proud of?

I’m the most proud of any project that pushes me as a developer, especially when it comes to JavaScript. I was really fortunate that CSS comes pretty easily to me but I struggle when it comes to JS. Anytime I get to push my JS skills on a project is a project that I’m proud of in the end.

What are beginner developers not learning that is critical in this day and age?

The biggest thing beginner developers are not learning that’s critical is how to learn. You’re always going to be learning in this career path. It’s one of the reasons why I love being a developer so much but you have to know how to teach yourself and continue to learn.

What tech challenges are you facing at your company?

I think right now our biggest tech challenge is keeping everything consistent. We have a large team that’s working on a large product and that’s tough sometimes. The team has put a lot of focus into this though and are working towards a way of improving.

What music do you listen to whilst developing?

Anything you want to promote or plug?

I blog on dev.to - mostly breaking down different topics into a level that anyone could understand. You can also follow me on Twitter for lots of tweets about tech and some dog pictures thrown in too.

Interview image for Roman Kuba
Roman Kuba

Cloudbees

Roman is an Engineering Manager at Cloudbees after joining the acquired Austrian startup Codeship in early 2014 as a frontend developer. He’s passionate about technology and loves to share his findings at various conferences. When he’s not working, he loves to spend time with his wife and daughter and get creative at cooking delicious food.

Interview image for Juho Vepsalainen
Juho Vepsalainen

SurviveJS Oy

Juho is behind the SurviveJS effort. He has been active in the open-source scene since the early 2000s and participated in projects like Blender and webpack as a core team member. Juho lives in Vienna, Austria, and was chosen as the Finnish Code Ambassador of 2017 by Blue Arrow Awards and runs React/GraphQL Finland conferences.

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Stefan Judis

Twilio

Stefan started programming 8 years ago and quickly fell in love with web performance, new technologies, and accessibility. He is also a curator of the web performance online resource Perf Tooling, organizer of the Accessibility Club Conference, contributes to a variety of open-source projects and enjoys sharing nerdy discoveries.

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