What have I been up to? Early 2014 Edition

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The posts to this blog may have subsided, but my exuberance (and GitHub commits) have not.

Working on Book #2

My next book is titled A Consumer-Centric Approach to RESTful API Design and unlike my first book will be self published. I'm a lot more excited about this book than the previous one, Backbone.js Application Development. With the first book, the publisher approached me with a topic, a table of contents, and a title, and asked me to do the rest. Backbone.js, despite being a technology that I used at the YC startup I co-founded and my day job, just wasn't something I was passionate about. This next book regarding API design is something I've been really excited about for a while.

I feel much more confident in my abilities to market this book, as well as the quality of the content. My technical reviewers are well known in the industry and are helping me create an awesome book aimed at a typical web developer who is interested in building an easy to consume API. The target audience are web developers with at least a years experience.

Finch App

A bunch of friends and myself competed in Ann Arbor Startup Weekend 2014. The project we built is called Finch, and while we're still solidifying what the app will do, it's essentially an event image aggregator. We've got an iOS app, (mobile friendly) website, some websockets, and an API. It's still under massive development but we were able to pull a lot off in one weekend.

My role in the project has been a bit different that what I've done in the past. I've been a programmer for over 8 years now, but for this project I took on more of a Product Manager role, a sort of liaison between teams as well as doing some mentor and architectural decision making. I must admit, doing people interaction work has been a lot of fun. At my day job, I've been slowly transitioning from hardcore programming to people interaction by becoming a Developer Advocate, and I can see this being a pivotol point in my career path.

Left my Day Job

I actually put in my notice over a month ago and have been doing a lot of work on the side during this sabbatical. Of course I've been working on the book as well as Finch. I've also been working a lot with some technologies I've wanted to get more proficient with, such as PostgreSQL and MongoDB. I've used MongoDB with previous projects, but I've been wanting to get more experience. And I keep hearing good news regarding PgSQL vs MySQL, so it's been fun to learn another SQL dialect.

Moving to San Francisco

And finally the Pièce de résistance is that I'm moving to San Francisco, CA. The reasons for this are plentiful: SF is the mecca for our industry; Ann Arbor, MI is currently 17 degrees and buried under a foot of snow; There are considerably more opportunities out west; I'm currently a mere 2 hours from my hometown.

The part that's been fun explaining to my family and friends is that I don't have a job lined up. I've got plenty of savings though, and a buddy of mine accepted a position at a company which provides temporary housing, so we'll have a month to hunt for a real apartment and I'll be living rent-free during this time. There is actually going to be five of us total making the move from A2 to SF (turns out none of us like the snow that much).

Thomas Hunter II Avatar

Thomas has contributed to dozens of enterprise Node.js services and has worked for a company dedicated to securing Node.js. He has spoken at several conferences on Node.js and JavaScript and is an O'Reilly published author.