January 29th, 2016

12: The Zen of Programming

John K. Paul


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  • "Programming is the optimization of the learning process. It is not any particular technology."

  • "Frustration is a part of the job. I remember looking at a bug and being pissed off. Now I look at a bug and think "That's a bug. ". I call it The Zen of Programming, that I feel we all eventually get to, and we all need to be talking about more, such that people get comfortable that they're not there and that's OK."

  • "I think that we are all culturally programmed to assume that '...going into management means forgetting what life is like and not caring about anything but deadlines.'... Do I still have every bit of the same urge to over engineer? 'Hell yeah I do!'. "

  • "The reason why human beings, post agricultural revolution, specialized is because specialization is good."

Skip To:

  • 1:09 - The Drank
  • 3:20 - About John
  • 7:02 - How did you end up as CTO of InRhythm?
  • 9:23 - What made you interested in programming?
  • 11:31 - How do you maintain your programming knowledge while not writing code all day?
  • 20:51 - Commit to jQuery!
  • 24:22 - Why is it so hard to find good engineers who are good at managing people?
  • 31:55 - Full-time vs consultant
  • 44:33 - Questionnaire
  • 45:17 - If these people were programming languages in human form, what would they be?
  • 46:10 - Who do you want to have as your karaoke partner?
  • 47:05 - Assuming there's WiFi in heaven, and you have access for 5 minutes, what would you download?
  • 47:57 - How much code coverage would Gandhi have?
  • 48:45 - If you had to name your child after a programming language, what would it be?
  • 49:40 - If you weren't a programmer what would you do?
  • 50:47 - What do you suck at?
  • 52:34 - What sucks about the web industry?
  • 54:28 - What's the coolest thing you worked on?
  • 55:47 - What's your greatest 'mess' up?
  • 57:00 - As a consumer, what technology are you most excited about?
  • 1:00:14 - Is it a good time to get started?
  • 1:02:09 - How do you see the future of front end development?
  • 1:05:16 - What do you attribute your success to?
  • 1:12:45 - If you could go back in time, what advice would you give yourself in college?
  • About the guest:
  • John K. Paul is the CTO of InRhythm.
  • He was the VP of Engineering at Penton Media
  • He was the VP of Engineering at Avagen Ventures
  • He was a Lead Technical Architect at Conde Nast
  • He was a Client Side Architect at Happify
  • He was the VP of Development at 76Hudson
  • He was a Lead Front End Software Engineer at
  • He is an avid speaker with dozens of talks under his belt.
  • He was a keynote speaker at jQuery conference in 2014.
  • He has been doing Duolingo for over 735 days in a row!
  • @johnkpaul
  • John K. Paul @ LinkedIn
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