Interview with Brad Green
In preparation for ngAtlanta we are doing a series of interviews with our speakers. We are proud to introduce an in depth interview with Brad Green!
ngAtlanta: Let’s start with something easy, what was your first computer?
Brad: My first computer was a Timex Sinclair Z81. It was a $100 computer, I saw it in PopularScience magazine. I couldn’t wait for it to arrive.
ngAtlanta: Was that when you learned your first programming langauage?
Brad: Yeah it had BASIC, it had membrane keyboard. The keyboard had the keywords for BASIC, you had ‘Print’ and ‘Let’ and ‘GoTo’ as individual keys. It was a nice little shortcut for all of the BASIC keywords.
ngAtlanta: What’s one of your pet peeves?
Brad: That I have to file taxes when the government already knows how much I need to pay them. Just tell me, I’m happy to pay you. It’s this weird, passive-aggressive, do you love me enough to fill out my tax form game.
ngAtlanta: What is something you don’t usually in your bio that you can tell us about yourself.
Brad: I cannot stop doing projects at home. I raise chickens, I bake sourdough bread, I’m into woodworking and playing piano. I think I may have to learn how to make cheese this year.
ngAtlanta: Hopefully you bring a sample for us.
Brad: I’ll make sure I bring a nice Brie or something.
ngAtlanta: You may need cows or goats or something so you can get your own milk for the cheese.
Brad: I know, it’s a slippery slope. I don’t have room for cows but I do have room for goats.
ngAtlanta: What got you interested in software?
Brad: I think it was because I was a lonely, farm boy geek that needed something to do. Loving science fiction its a slippery slope down to robots and then you need to know how to program a robot so you learn to code. All of a sudden assembly language seems interesting.
ngAtlanta: So who was your favorite science fiction author?
Brad: As a kid it was Ray Bradbury for sure, with The Illustrated Man, Fahrenheit 451 and all of his short stories. Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein and Ben Bova, I’ve read them all.
ngAtlanta: Outside of software what do you love to do?
Brad: We talked about this a little bit, but I love home projects. I love running, swimming and doing projects with my kids.
ngAtlanta: What’s your greatest success?
Brad: I could take this from a bunch of aspects. Personally I think my greatest success is when I get to recognize something about myself and improve it. On the outside world Angular is my greatest success for sure. I started my professional life at this company called NeXT computer. Two guys I use to hang out with were Linus Upson and Craig Federighi. Linus went on to build Chrome at Google and Craig now runs iOS at apple. I have to something to hold up to those guys.
ngAtlanta: What do you wish people would ask you but they don’t?
Brad: I wish they would ask me why Angular was designed the way it is. What were the design decisions, what was it about the structure that made you do it this way versus any other way. Or what are the benefits of doing it this way. Most people ask how do I do “x”, or does Angular support “y”. I feel like every framework has fill in the blanks for “x” and “y”. The motivations behind them end up being the flavor of what you end up developing up with. I think that’s a more interesting conversation.
ngAtlanta: What question is nobody in software willing to answer?
Brad: I feel like developers in general, we as a breed tend to not want to answer the “How do I get along better with others question” or “Why is it important for me to develop my empathetic and interpersonal skills as much as my coding fu?”. Thats the area we are afraid to look.
ngAtlanta: What excites you about participating in ngAtlanta?
Brad: It looks like a new set of folks that I haven’t interacted with a lot. I think the focus on diversity is going to attract a new audience. I hope to have very different conversations from what I’ve had before.
ngAtlanta: Who is your favorite mentor and why?
Brad: I feel like my dad was my favorite mentor, even though he was an interesting guy and he didn’t really know all he was doing. He was a very philosophical guy. Him giving me that perspective on life, the “Hey take a step back and take a look at what’s going on behind the scenes. What’s the root behind this and figure out rules for yourself”.
ngAtlanta: What’s your favorite aspect of your job?
Brad: Getting to talk to people, getting to help people build big things. I think that feeling that we’re making lives easier to build the stuff that powers the world. Thats the best part for me.
ngAtlanta: Where or to whom do you go when you get stuck on things?
Brad: Actually I just go sit with my leads, Igor, Miško and Jules and it’s super helpful. When I get stuck I recognize that I’m not going to solve the problem by myself. If I tell the problem to someone else, it’s been super helpful for figuring out new things.
ngAtlanta: What about non-technical things?
Brad: Same deal, we end up talking about kid problems, interpersonal relationships and woodworking. We have a really tight bond on the Angular team.
ngAtlanta: What blogs, people on Twitter, books do you recommend?
Brad: My favorite podcast is something called “You are not so smart”. It’s about psychology and about how all of the fallacies of our brain and what to do about it. It’s super interesting, and most of the episodes end with a cookie recipe.
ngAtlanta: What makes you get up in the morning?
Brad: I’m very goal driven. Usually I have a list of things I want to get done. I am excited to do something that pulls me towards my goals.
We really hope you enjoyed this interview and we look forward to seeing you at ngAtlanta.
If you haven’t picked up your tickets yet stop by http://ng-atl.org to pick them up today. Use the discount code of “Medium” for 15% off.