Dev

Fresh Meat for DevBeat

I’m Jolie, the new kid on the block here at VentureBeat, and I have deep hacker sympathies.

Fortunately for me, the kind editors have given me a hefty role within the DevBeat channel, so I’ll be working hard to bring you news about interesting technologies, interviews with leaders in the field and the occasional tidbit of developer drama (come on, don’t pretend it never happens).

In all seriousness, I hope to be able to add some insight and convey some balanced perspectives to what is sometimes a very noisy and emotion-driven space.

My interest in web development began as a curiosity about tech startups. In working with startups over the years, especially very early-stage companies, I found myself talking to tons of (mostly young) founders about how and why they built their applications. There was always at least one developer on these teams, and hearing about their relationships with technology only made me want to dive deeper into the world of developers. At hackathons and demo days, in offices and coffee shops, the more I talked to these early-stage founders, the more I became immersed in how the web actually works and how apps are built.

Eventually, I ended up studying object oriented programming (Java for a while, then C#) so I could better get my head around some of the terms and concepts I was coming across in my reporting. And in learning more about programming, I became more interested in the ongoing discussions and debates among developers themselves. And at that point, I wanted to start talking to real hackers.

I talked to Richard Stallman, “the last true hacker,” about the concepts and ongoing value of free software. I talked to PHP creator Rasmus Lerdorf about prioritizing simple, pedestrian optimization over fancy code trickery. I talked to Github heroes, language core contributors, Linux-loving neckbeards, black hats, TopCoder champions and anyone else who might be able to open the window between the separate worlds of user and builder and give me a glimpse inside a developer’s mind. Through all those conversations, I have remained fascinated by how developers think and what they choose to do with their considerable talents.

I firmly believe that the process of how the web is made shouldn’t be shrouded in mystery; normal people browsing the web should be able to grasp what makes their favorite sites and apps tick, too. However, that being said, I don’t believe in dumbing down information about developer topics or glamorizing a very technical profession à la The Social Network.

I intend to make intelligent contributions to DevBeat, and I hope you’ll join me in the dialog. If you’re a developer or web designer and you want to chat about your work or share some interesting and perhaps overlooked news, you can reach me at jolie@venturebeat.com.

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Image courtesy of ZatPhoto.