MJS 083: Christine Legge

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Panel: Charles Max Wood

Guest: Christine Legge

This week on My JavaScript Story, Charles speaks with Christine Legge who is a computer software engineer who works for Google in New York. Previous employment includes Axiom Zen, and Vizzion, Inc. She and Chuck talk about her background, past and current projects, and her future goals.

In particular, we dive pretty deep on:

1:07 – Hello!

1:10 – Chuck: You were on Episode 328 in the past. Tell us about yourself!

1:24 – Christine: I started working with Google about 2 weeks ago. In the past I worked in Vancouver, Canada.

2:05 – Chuck: Let’s start with how you got into programming?

2:14 – Christine: When I was in HS I wasn’t interested at all into computers. I wanted to do applied math in Toronto Canada for college. For engineering you have to take an introduction to programming in the 1st year. I had a 4-hour computer science course in the morning and I dreaded it. I dropped out 3 months later b/c I didn’t like the program. Surprisingly, enough, I did like the computer science course. I went back to Vancouver and I said to my parents that I wanted an office job. I went to the YMCA center and wanted to be hired. The man there asked if I had any interest in data entering, and I started working for him. I worked 4 hours a week with him where he taught me C+. I decided to go back to school for it.

5:37 – Chuck: What did you like about it?

5:43 – Christine: I liked the problem solving part of it. I like how you can break things down. The technology doesn’t interest me that much, but I like the problem-solving aspect. The guy wasn’t that up-to-date with the newest technologies either.

6:53 – Chuck: You have a 4-year degree in computer science.

7:05 – Yes that and statistics, too.

7:13 – Chuck: I was going to say “nerd.”

How do you go from desktop applications to web apps?

7:25 – Christine: I worked with a company part-time and fulltime depending on the year/season.

I didn’t know what web development was but I thought that THAT was computer science. I thought that if I knew how to do web development then I was going to be good to go. This company asked: What do you want to do? And I answered that I wanted to do web development b/c I thought that’s what I was lacking. I basically got thrown into it. I didn’t understand anything at all. It took me to write one line of CSS and it took 4 hours.

10:35 – Why did JavaScript attract you more so than C# or other languages that you’ve used?

10:43 – It’s simpler and you don’t need a lot of setup; from top to bottom. I am working in typescript, I like it even more, but I like how Java is more free to do what you want. I like functional programming in JavaScript. I like the big community for Java, and there are tons of applications for it. I really like how flexible the language is. You can do functional and oriented or you can combine the two. You aren’t constrained.

12:00 – Chuck: You get in, you work through JavaScript, were you only doing backend?

12:14 – Christine: Yep, backend.

13:00 –Chuck: I know you talked at the conference, and what are you most proud of?

13:14 – Christine: To be honest, no. My mentor (Pablo) at the last company – he wrote a book about D3. He started learning and writing the book. To me that I had thought that all these people are experts from the get go. I realized that everyone has to start somewhere to eventually become an expert. I do want to make an impact even outside of my job. I don’t have anything new that I’ve been working on. It’s a goal for me within the next couple of months.

15:30 – Chuck: I understand that.

15:36 – Christine: I haven’t found that balance, yet. When I gave that talk during Developer Week I was moving and stressed out. “I am NEVER doing this again!” It was over and it was very rewarding. People gave good feedback, and I would like to do that again.

16:56 – Chuck: People have different experience with that kind of stuff. People are interested in different things. So you’ve been working on moving and all that stuff right? What would you like to dive back into?

17:32 – Christine: Yes we are using Angular 2 and typescript and a Reactive Library. Angular is interesting to me. I would like to dive into the dependency injection in Angular. I really like typescript.

19:24 – Chuck: Have you looked at resources?

19:39 – Christine: I read the documentation so far. Like for React I just read the documentation but I haven’t found a central source just, yet. Not a single source. The docs are okay to get started but I haven’t found that they were enough.

20:50 – Chuck: This is about your story. I worked through the Tour of Heroes, and that helped me with Angular. It’s in the Angular Documentation.

21:23 – Christine: When you are starting at a new job I want to make sure I’m settled-in. And now I want to start thinking at a high-level of how these things work
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