Photo of Jacob Bass
Jacob Bass

Jacob Bass loves delivering tooling and improving developer experiences. He likes repls and fast feedback, hates exceptions and is possibly the only person who enjoyed the year of "JavaScript Fatigue".

A moment with Jacob Bass

[Q] Who in the industry consistently blows you away with incredible work?

I’ve been learning functional programming, and would have been lost without the educational resources provided by Julie Moronuki (@argumatronic) and Chris Allen (@bitemyapp), as well as the awesome course by Tony Morris from Data61.

The work by Giuilo Canti (@gcanti) on patterns for adding types to JavaScript with Flow, specifically Flow Static Land has been amazing. Eric Clemmons (@ericclemmons) has been an inspiration in my work on tooling. I love almost everything done by ThoughtBot in the states.

[Q] Tell us about the journey that led you to what you’re doing.

I graduated with a degree in Electrical Engineering, with no interest in mining and no job prospects. A friend mentioned a startup he was working at doing data entry and suggested I join. Copying and pasting into Excel and formatting by hand seemed too arduous, so I wrote some Visual Basic scripts to automate the process, shared them with the team and wound up supporting 20 people rather than doing the manual work. The VB morphed into Python scripts, which eventually became Ruby on Rails servers and a proper Development job, along with a healthy serving of Devops, DBA, and project management. I’ve never looked back.

[Q] If you didn’t work on the web, what would you be doing?

I’d love to get into embedded software or anything a little closer to the metal. I miss a lot of the structure from electrical engineering, how the mathematics was correct or incorrect which made designing a solution more straightforward.

I also think data science is an interesting area, the blending of statistics, analysis, and programming makes it look like an enjoyable intersection.

[Q] What does your usual work day look like?

A litre of coffee and a morning full of tests. I prefer to start the day writing tests and structuring my work so that I can focus on actually writing software the rest of the day. I try and get ticket questions, bugs, and problems sorted out up-front, and then iterate through whatever I’m doing that day.

I love standing desks and try to stand all day. I find it makes me less likely to lean back and zone out or procrastinate. I tend to work with headphones on, very loud heavy metal music playing. I prefer having lots of conversations throughout the day, but very few structured meetings.

[Q] If money and time was no object, what would you be doing right now?

Exactly what I’m doing now, but from a comfier chair in more exotic locales. Or working on the quickest way to make a million dollars; start with a billion and open a vineyard.


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