Phil is the technical lead at strongDM. Prior to this, he was an indie game developer working on the multi-player game Galcon. This gave him a lot of experience in low-level network protocols and cross-network synchronization, as well as security. But as we’ll see, Phil’s interests extend well beyond the tech world.
What is a typical day like for you at strongDM?
A typical day involves meetings with various other teams or pairing within the team I'm in. Pair programming has been incredible over the past 4.5 years. At first it was very challenging to be on Zoom for 5 hours a day talking about code with someone else, but now it comes very naturally. I always learn a ton from the person I'm pairing with and that's been super valuable.
Compared to other places you've worked, what makes strongDM different?
strongDM is very different from anywhere I've worked before, on size alone! As an indie game developer I was working solo, and prior to that I ran a small web development company with a single partner. Working on a team that started at 6 and is now 60+ has been very different from working alone.
What surprised you the most once you joined strongDM?
I'm really surprised how much fun pair programming is. I'm also surprised by the "ghost pair" effect which happens when I'm coding on my personal projects outside of strongDM. I can sometimes hear my strongDM pairing partners making suggestions.
I heard a rumor that you’ve had to leave work early to help your goats give birth. Care to elaborate?
My main hobby is raising goats and every year during May we deliver around 8 kids. Since the goats have little respect for my work schedule, sometimes they go into labor during my workday. Which means, sometimes after a delivery I'm able to bring a brand new baby goat to show off during our daily meeting!
Meet "Hawkins" from Treasure Island and Phil’s other goats at his website: https://www.goatorama.com
While we’re on the topic of goats, why does your first goat Cuzco only have one horn?
You have to join strongDM to find out. 😉
What books are on your nightstand (or phone, or in piles around your house…) at the moment?
I'm currently re-reading the Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy. It was one of my favorites growing up and I haven't read it in quite a few years.
Thank you Phil!