Welcome to “Inside Wercker,” our monthly feature where we introduce you to one of our team members.
Who are you and what do you do at Wercker?
I’m Andy Smith, aka termie, and my job title is CTO. At Wercker this translates to architectural design at the high level, and plenty of plumbing work at the low level. This means I am the guy that gets to ask people to change everything and also the guy who is going to get the call if nobody else can fix something. I like to write the code that lets others write their code faster and better. There are additional management and corporate responsibilities, people stuff and business stuff, but my passion is for programming.
When did you know that you wanted to be a developer?
When I was a kid I first wanted to be a robot, an android like Data on Star Trek, then once I realized that wasn’t super likely, I wanted to be a scientist, but there was a lot of work and school required and I didn’t really like school even at that young age (sub-10 years old), so around 10 I realized I really like computers and got my uncle to buy me The C Programming Language. Never looked back.
What attracted you to Wercker?
At first when discussing Wercker with my long time friend Mies I was skeptical. It was in a space that seemed rather saturated and one that I had worked in long enough to develop my own opinions in. But after a few talks, I realized the approach being taken by Wercker was far ahead of all the other options and I could see the world I wanted to live in and it was one where Wercker’s methods had won. Between a strong focus on developer experience and creative use of new technology I knew we had a winner on our hands and I wanted to be the one to build it.
What software do you use?
I’m a Linux guy at heart, usually the latest version of Ubuntu, but I do use OS X on my laptop, mostly because it is useful having another OS around to run some apps just don’t have decent counterparts, though in the majority of cases I think most Linux apps I use outshine their OS X counterparts. In most cases I don’t agree with Apple’s opinions as to how I should use my hardware and software so I try to avoid them as much as possible.
Almost all of my time is spent either in a browser, Google Chrome, a terminal (GNOME Terminal on Ubuntu or iterm2 on OS X), or in gvim (MacVim on OS X). I use zsh.
Chrome has a nice extension system so I use and write many extensions for it, the most notable being Hangouts for phone stuff (I’m a Project Fi guy), Tab Menu for help finding tabs after long web binges, AdBlock for its obvious purpose, 1Password for password management, and a couple jokey ones for changing words on the internet to other words.
In vim, besides using a reasonbly modified vimrc, I also make heavy use ofNERD_comments plugin and a slightly modified version of the tabComplete plugin. Plenty of specific plugins for programming languages, nowadays mostly Go.
If you are using OS X, Homebrew is the best software package manager out there, I even prefer it to most Linux alternatives.
I’m an Android user and greatly prefer it to iOS.
What side projects are you proud of?
I’ve had a couple big ones, I think the one that has had the biggest effect on people is BarCamp which really opened up the idea of an “unconference” to the world at large and sessions in that style are now common at every type of conference in every field. After BarCamp, I made some significant contributions to the creation of the OAuth spec, the descendants of which are now used by almost every web service. My most recent significant side project ended up becoming OpenStack, a large open source project for managing cloud-style infrastructure, and is being used by a really ridiculous percentage of large companies and governments.
Where would we run into you when you’re not sitting behind a computer?
The airport bar.
Want to get to know more about Wercker? We’re hiring, so check out the careers page for open positions in Amsterdam and San Francisco.