MJS 085: Chris McKnight

MJS 085: Chris McKnight

November 14, 2018

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Show Notes

This week on My JavaScript Story, Charles speaks with Chris McKnight who is a software developer who knows Angular, Ruby, Node.js, and iOS. He went to college at Louisiana State University and graduated with a computer science degree from LSU. They talk about Chris’ background, past/current projects, among other things. Check out today’s episode to hear the panel talk about JavaScript, Angular, C and C++, Node, React, and much more!
In particular, we dive pretty deep on:
1:12 – Chuck: Hello! Introduce yourself, please!
1:15 – Guest: I am a software engineer outside of Nashville, Tennessee. I work for a medium consultancy company. I know JavaScript, Angular, NativeScript, and JS, too.
1:41 – Chuck: Cool! Tell us your story and how you got into programming?
2:00 – Guest: I was a really big nerd in high school and grew up in Louisiana, USA. There was one other person in the school that knew what I was talking about. I was learning C++ and Visual Studio in 2003. That was really back in the day and Microsoft Foundation class was a thing. I moved onto PHP and started working for a company in Baton Rouge after graduating college. I have a computer science degree with a secondary discipline in mathematics. I graduated from LSU and got a job offer before I graduated. Doing some part-time work for them b/c they were swamped. I was writing PHP and they said that they used jQuery a lot.
4:47 – Chuck: You got started and you said you used C and C++, why those languages?
5:05 – Guest: I did a little bit of Java, but it was the “new kid on the block.” I wanted to get into a program that was user-friendlier.
6:21 – Chuck: I took C and C++ classes in college. Eventually I did Ruby on Rails. I totally understand why you went that way.
6:44 – Guest: I picked-up Rails, because a company (that I worked for at the time) used it. I usually reached for jQuery among other options.
7:31 – Chuck: When did you start taking JavaScript seriously?
7:40 – Guest: 2012-2013. Frustrations of not using JavaScript as good as I could. For jQuery you have to call when you have an issue. Then you run into all of these bugs, and...
9:18 – Chuck: It sounds like it was more out of necessity.
9:30 – Guest: Yep, exactly. Those pain points have been reduced b/c I have been using Type Script and Angular and now version 6 and version 7. You try to call a number method on a string and vice versa, and app development time.
10:03 – Chuck: ...it has a process running with it.
10:13 – Guest: Catching a lot of those easy mistakes (bugs) and it’s a 5-10 minute fix. It takes a lot of that away. Sometimes you can say: I want to ignore it.
Or it doesn’t give you runtime guarantees.
Some other libraries out there have been on the forefront of fixing those problems. REST TYPE is an example of that.
11:39 – Chuck: When I talk to people about JavaScript a lot of times I get basically that they are saying: I started doing more things in Node or React – I fell in love with the language. Your reasons for starting JavaScript are because “I hated running into these problems.” Did you start loving to work in JavaScript?
12:11 – Guest: I did start loving it but it took a while. I could write a short amount of code and then at the end I get a result.
Another thing that bothers me is FILTER. What does it return? It’s actually FIND and FIND INDEX and you use the pattern of filter and run this expression and give me index zero.
14:16 – Chuck: What work have you done that you are proud of?
14:20 – Guest: I started a new job last month; beforehand I worked at a mortgage company. I was proud of the Angular application and applications that I worked on. 
16:55 – Chuck: How did you get into Angular?
17:00 – Guest: Interesting story. October of 2016 – at this time I was all against Angular. However someone came to me and said we have to...
At the time I wasn’t impressed with the language. I learned about Angular at the time, though, and learned through Egghead. I learned a lot in 2 days, and I got pretty decent at it. I was writing Angular applications pretty quickly, and it made sense to me.
20:53 – Chuck: I am a fan of the CLI b/c that’s what we have in Rails. It’s really nice. What are you working on these days?
21:13 – Guest: Less on Angular b/c of the new job. I will do Angular on my free time. I work on Angular at nighttime. I build some things in React these past few weeks.
23:07 – Chuck: Any part of your experience that could help people?
23:17 – Guest: Learn what’s happening under the hood of libraries such as jQuery. Explore and find resources to help you. Keep learning and keep at it. Tools are so god now – such as Prettier and Lint – they will tell me “you don’t want to do this.” Use the tooling and learn the fundamentals. Also, use Babel! Those are my tips of advice.
25:55 – Chuck: That’s solid. Yes, the fundamentals and the poly-fills will fill in the gaps. So now it’s: what do I want to stack on top of this? Once you know the fundamentals.
26:55 – Guest: Learn what the frameworks and libraries are doing.
Don’t get overwhelmed. That’s my advice.
28:16 – Chuck: Where can people find you?
28:24 – Guest: GitHub and Twitter. I’ve been working on a website, but not ready, yet.
29:08 – Chuck: Picks!
35:45 – Cache Fly