Meet the Team: Jon Gibbs

  • Nov 25, 2015
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Q. How long have you been a developer for?

I’ve been a developer for about 5 years.

Q. How did you get started?

It started when I was 12 years old.  I started messing around with Yahoo Geo Cities.  They used to have free website builder tools that you could try to make your own websites with, so I created one for a very popular game I loved called Counter-Strike. 

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job?

I enjoy building stuff.  Giving companies a face on the web.  

Q. Biggest/hardest project you have ever worked on?

The biggest project I’ve worked on was Transonic.  It was also the first project that incorporated both Mura and Slatwall.  There was a lot of content, documents and pages to be built, so that was the first time I incorporated those two platforms.  

Q. How do you keep up with industry developments?

Subscribing to newsletters of popular web development sites.  I also use an RSS reader called Feedly, which I find to be the best resource, mostly in part because there is one person in particular who writes for a site called Site Point, and he has a curated a list of the top best RSS sites to subscribe to, so we can keep up with what he thinks are the best sites for industry trends.  

Another great tool is Stackoverflow.com.  Without that, it would be a lot harder to figure things out.  Lastly, Codepen.io, is a great place to go if you are trying to get an idea when working on a website and trying to figure out a small part to build or design.  People post little side snippits or projects all the time, so you can get inspiration.    

Q. What is the most challenging part about being a developer?

It’ sounds cliche, but keeping up on industry trends, mostly because it’s always changing.  The way you build something today, will surely be different from the way you will build it a year from now.  Whether it’s a CSS framework, javascript, or even HTML markups semantics, things are constantly evolving. It’s important to keep up with that, but also very challenging.

Q. How do you think the field will change within the next decade?

There has been a huge/major shift in the past few years of putting more emphasis on client-side web application implementation and steering farther away from server-side applications.  Less databases will be used and more emphasis on the client-side.  There will be more emphasis on Javascript / Angular-type applications.  Prototyping tools will be more involved, giving you the ability to do more of a drag and drop design to HTML-type things.  There is always going to be a need for a UI developers, but tools like that will become more sophisticated to facilitate that process.  

Q. Advice for future developers?

I’d say the best way to learn is to design or build something that motivates and interests you.  That will spark interest in learning how to do something better and faster.  There are also millions of resources out there to learn.  Over the past five years alone, there are so many companies that have emerged offering video courses on front-end and back-end development design, SEO, marketing, giving you the ability to learn anything on the fly.  If you want to be a developer, they offer these bootcamps that instead of going to a traditional college or university, you can spend $10k on a bootcamp and in a span of six months to a year they teach you from scratch to finish and prep you to be a developer.  It is definitely an alternative from a financial point of view and more so to what you are actually interested in, very specific.

Q. If you had to code in 1 language for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Being a front-end developer it’s hard to say one language because HTML, Javascript and CSS are so intertwined, they all go hand-in-hand together.  You can’t have one without the other.  

Q. How do you spend your free time?

Snowboarding; hanging out with friends and saxogramming.   

Q. Favorite movie?

Old School. 

Q. Favorite local lunch place?

Theatre Cafe.  I love the chicken cordon bleu, extra lube.

Q. Nickname?

Jibes, Jibbs, Jibbles and Bits, Mister Jibbs, Jibatron, Gibbs, and Big Boy

Q. Favorite video game?

Counter-Strike, one hundred percent!   We started a ten24 Counter-Strike LAN party on Fridays and naturally I crush everybody.  

Q. If you weren’t a developer, what job do you think you would have?

I’ve always had a fascination with impersonations and voice-overs, so it would be cool to have a job doing voice over.  Next to that would be announcing the Spanish telenovelas on Telemundo. 

Q. Favorite company-outing you have gone on so far?

Gibbapalooza 2013.  The best part was being surprised with T-shirts from Dave.

Q. Favorite restaurant?

Any Tapas place.  I want to conquer all Tapas restaurants in Boston, only a few left on the list.

Q. Favorite website to kill time?

Barstools Sports, techinsider.io, and YouTube cat videos.

Q. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had?

Working in the Whole Foods meat department.  Rolling sausages for days.  

Q. Do you have a secret hacker name?

I don’t have a secret hacker name, but my secret identity is Superstar Sexy Sax Man Sergio Flores.   

Q. How do you learn new technologies?

The most challenging part about learning something new is finding the time to do it, outside of your regular work.  There is always so much to do, so one of the things that I try to do that I find helpful is to try to incorporate something that you don’t know how to do, but you’ve been wanting to learn into a project you’re working on if it fits, if it’s within a scope or timeframe that will be suitable to do so.      

Q. What is your favorite IDE/code editor and why?

Atom.io  It’s a fast editor with a huge growing community and tons of packages.   It’s also very easy to create your own package to contribute to the community.  For example, I have created my own Mura package, so when we are working on projects you can use this package to develop faster.  It’s basically a bunch of code snippets.  

Q. What was the last conference you attended?

Generate conference in New York City.  It was a web-design and development conference that had pretty interesting talks on industry trends.  It was cool to see Ethan Marcotte, who is the pioneer and founder of Responsive Design, as well as to be able to network with people.

Q. Do you have any special secret talents?

Impersonating Family Guy characters and Spanish soap operas. 

Q. Favorite internet cat celebrity? (Grumpy Cat, Colonel Meow, Captain Pancakes etc.)

Grumpy Cat.

Q. Delivery or Digiorno?

Delivery and Digiorno. 

Q. Marvel or DC Comics?

DC Comics.  The Flash and The Arrow.


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