Meet Alan: Macropod Backend Dev

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Alan joined the Macropod team in October 2014. With a wealth of experience working with many large corporates and various SMBs and startups, Alan knows his way around various programming languages and frameworks. An avid cyclist, Alan commutes to work via bike every day rain, hail or shine which we think either makes him very dedicated or very mad. A little from column A, a little from column B?

Meet Alan …

Alan Harper MacropodWhat’s your short story?

I am a wrangler of many children, string concatener, photographer of questionable talent and long distance cyclist in training.

How long have you been in the biz?

I started about 15 years ago. Initially I was doing support, then I moved into system administration.

I kind of fell in to development to solve a friends (small) problem. That was with PHP which started to annoy me pretty quickly, so I went hunting about and fell in to Rails around the 1.1 days. This came in very handy at a number of startups I’ve seen over the years.

What is your role at Macropod?

It’s a bit of a split roll, I look after the server and deployment side of things, making sure everything stays up and working correctly. I’m also one of our backend developers, mainly working on our Rails apps.

What do you enjoy most about being a dev?

It sounds corny, but I really like shipping things and having users use it.

It’s even better when they like it!

Anything you dislike?

When stuff breaks, especially out of office hours!

Also, I don’t like coffee. Yes I said it, it tastes weird and smells bad.

Why did you want to come with Macropod?

This may shock a lot of people, a recruiter I’ve been friends with for a long time suggested I come and check Macropod out. There were some interesting problems to solve as the business was in a period of rapid growth. Being within cycling distance of home (about 15km) was definitely appealing and a deciding factor!

Grand plans for your career/future?

Bootstrapping a company in a small but profitable niche.

What is your favourite site to surf?

The interesting bits will get pushed in to my stream. It’s also how I handle news in general.

If you weren’t doing this job what would you be doing?

Driving a train has always appealed to me … I’ve had a fascination with trains and rail networks for as long as I can remember.

What are you famous for?

Running meetups. I’m one of organisers of the Melbourne Go Meetup. I previously ran other meetups here and in Brisbane. I’m also famous for creating automated deployment pipelines.

You can catch Alan on twitter @aussiegeek or Github to chat about his various projects, or at the very least ask him how he survives living in Melbourne as a non-coffee drinker.

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