Tim Perry: “Now is the time to explore new things!”

10 May 2018 devTalks

Hear what Tim Perry, senior software engineer at resin.io and creator of Build Focus has to say about his experience in the IT industry. Also, he has a message for the IT community in Romania and some kick-ass advices.

1. What do you think is the most important lesson that you’ve learned as a Technical Lead?

The most important lesson for me as a senior developer has been learning to explore problems effectively. This plays out in a lot of ways, from debugging complex issues in production to discussing and designing architectures. The key skill is being able to take a problem apart, explore the details of the challenge and your potential solution, spot issues, and relate them back to your understanding of the situation.

There’s a long list of other important skills in technical leadership (like actually solving these issues, for starters), but a surprising number of them become relatively routine, especially on the technical side, as long as you can take a problem apart, discuss and explore it, and understand the reasoning and the flaws behind the system you’re changing.

2. You are an Open-Source Champion, supporting open-source involvement, and organizing open-source hackathons and other events. Where does your passion come from?

Open source has powered my career from the start. That was true when I started as a developer initially, and depended hugely on the free tools and open code that I could use and learn from, and it’s still true years later. A huge amount of my learning has come from contributing to projects I use to better understand them and releasing my own code open-source and discussing and improving it with others.

Even today a huge percentage of the work I do daily is open-source. Knowing that that work is open to the rest of the development community to use or learn from in the same way helps motivate me, and knowing too that it’s life is reasonably independent of our company’s makes it feel more worthwhile. If Resin.io disappeared tomorrow, all our open-source code and projects would still be available indefinitely, and the work we’ve done continue to be useful to ResinOS, open-source Resin and Etcher users for as long as they need it. It’s a small thing, but it feels better to contribute back to a long-term ecosystem of open code, not just to a locked-down company repository.

3. Do you have a message for the IT community in Romania?

Now is the time to explore new things! It’s an amazing moment in the world of technology right now, with tech simultaneously starting to become an expected part of all domains and businesses, and a huge range of interesting tools to do so coming to fruition. Try your hand at IoT, VR, AR, machine learning, blockchains, new networking technologies, conversational interfaces, PWAs, 3d printing or anything else you don’t know yet, see what you can build, and see what problems you can solve. You’ll learn a huge amount on the way (in that tech, but also more generally) and you can play a part of shaping how the world will work over the coming decades.