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MEET THE PRESENTER : FEATURING MICHAEL TIMBS

By Simon Cook


On Thursday 6th of February 2020 at the Belgian Beer Bar, the Front End Dev Adl team (Shane Smith, Dan Harris and Matt Pigram) are hosting an evening of Lightning Talks. These consist of bite-sized presentations of around 10 minutes each, all on developer-related topics. It's a new format for the event and one the team is excited about!

At the time of publishing this article, 49 people have already RSVP'd - so it's well on track to sell out. (I have included the link to register at the end of this interview.)

I took the opportunity to interview each of the presenters ; below is one in a series of five conversations that will be released in the lead up to the event.


This first interview is with Michael Timbs, Full Stack Engineer from Fleet Space. Apart from being a Polygot Developer and experienced conference presenter, he is also a proud dad, a hobby Data Scientist, a passionate Punter and was even featured on the Australian edition of Shark Tank in 2016! Buy him a drink on the night and ask him about it!


Who are you, where do you work and what do you do?

Full Stack Engineer at Fleet Space. I do a bit of everything, Jack of all trades, master of none kind of scenario. It means I get to work on a broad range of problems, especially the more complex, fuzzy, problems that aren’t well defined and with no clear solution. 


What is the title of your talk?

"Why Vue is the Best"


What is it about?

I’ll be trying to make a case for Vue as the “best” default javascript framework for most use cases. I’ve had a great history with Vue on a range of projects from small personal sites to enterprise applications. The inspiration for this particular talk is largely driven by a lot of my recent frustrations with React. Don’t be surprised if there’s a few pot shots at react driven by my recent frustrations.


If you could wave a magic wand and change one thing to improve the life of software developers, what would it be?

Most things are pretty great about being a software developer so it’s hard to genuinely complain. If I had to pick it would probably the same thing everyone wants - for people to understand what it’s like to be in your shoes. 

It’s really difficult sometimes communicating the complexities of building software. Lot of pressure to ship, ship, ship and sometimes it feels like you’re talking to a wall when you raise concerns about quality/maintainability/resources. 


Can you describe the Adelaide tech scene in 5 words or less?

Undervalued on both sides.


Can you make a case that front end developers are more valuable than back end developers?

I’ve spent plenty of time arguing for things I don’t believe so I’m sure I could manage that!

If I had to make a case for this I’d probably say that backend developers are doing a good job at providing tools to make themselves redundant for a lot of things on the web. The amount of things that can be built by a front-end developer with no backend skills is increasing every year. I think the creativity and experimentation you see on the front-end, paired with these new backend tools will make front end engineers very valuable for a lot of things.

On the flip side of that, the kind of things backend developers are working on these days are becoming more and more complex so they need to find a way to provide the basic backend functionality “for free” to free up resources to work on those other challenges.

I might be biased but I’d take a generalist over a front-end or a backend engineer for most tasks. If I had to build a team of 5 I’d choose 3 generalists and one specialist from each of front-end and backend. 


How would your family describe what you do for work?

Very poorly I imagine. They know it’s software related but apart from that not much else. I’ve had a pretty crazy run of job opportunities over the last three years which doesn’t make it any easier for them either.


What is one question I should have asked to make this an even more interesting interview?

What are your top 3 software/developer/tech related podcasts?


Good question! (damn, I wish I'd thought of that....) What would your response be?

My top 3 would be

Full Stack Radio (http://www.fullstackradio.com/)Soft Skills Engineering (https://softskills.audio/)Hard to chose but will say BaseCS podcast (https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/base-cs-podcast/id1304168963)

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Michael will be presenting at the Front End Dev Adl on Thursday 6th of February 2020 along with Darragh Kearns, Ollie Boermans, Josh Young and Thais Aquino.


To register for this free event, go to https://www.meetup.com/Front-End-Developers-Adelaide-FEDA/events/267850251/ today


Encode Talent is a proud sponsor of Front End Dev Adl.


See you there!

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