Stripe, San Francisco, and Velocity.js

Julian Shapiro
Oct 21, 2014 · 9 min read

Go behind the scenes at Stripe, learn the trick to getting great SF job offers, and listen to Julian Shapiro gloat about his accomplishments.

  • Meet the SF-based entrepreneurs who reached out to me after the release of Velocity.
  • Live in San Francisco long enough to come to a conclusion on whether I’d want to move there. (Answer: Yes, but with several reservations.)
  • I, for one, like the weather here. But I understand others’ complaints. I dig the fog, which you can actually escape by driving a few blocks southward. Not a big deal.
  • Every task-running service is here: Instacart, Shyp, Uber, Lyft, TaskRabbit, Postmates, Caviar, and Washio. The level of convenience at your fingertips is surprisingly impactful. Don’t dismiss it as frivolity.
  • Real estate here is expensive. I know you know that. But, unless you’re living with a significant other, expect to have roommates well into your 20's, and very likely into your 30's. Unless you feel like moving away from the city, that is.
  • If you find hipsters repellant, be warned: Ornate facial hair, carefully slicked-back hair, skinny jeans, and tattoos abound. And mustaches everywhere. Even on cars.
  • If you’re in the right place (near the waterfront or a hilltop), your views can be spectacular. Few American cities are this gorgeous.
  • All the tech people you want to meet are in fact here. It’s not a myth.
Today’s lunch.
Stripes employees roam around the office, finding the most comfortable spot to work from.
  • Velocity is zipping past 5,000 stars on GitHub, and it’s poised to become one of the top 50 JavaScript projects within the next few months. From Digital Ocean to Tumblr to IBM, companies are embracing the Velocity ecosystem.
  • My second library, Blast, was released. It robustly crawls the DOM to parse text for a variety of powerful typographic animation and analysis purposes. I introduced it on the Mozilla Hacks blog.
  • Velocity Motion Designer was released. Many developers are excited about its potential to change the way we design motion in the browser.
  • I wrote “Animating Without jQuery” for Smashing Magazine.
  • I wrote “The Simple Intro to SVG Animation” for David Walsh.
  • I signed a book deal with Pearson. More info soon.
  • I’m working with both Stripe and Digital Ocean on a project that will hugely empower open-source developers across the web. I think this upcoming project will be significantly bigger than Velocity.
  • 2) Figure out the most broadly applicable solution to the category’s predominant problem. For me, it creating a performant general-purpose animation engine that wasn’t reliant on jQuery.
  • 3) Market your project heavily. In fact, expect to spend more time marketing than developing. Write as many guest blog posts as you can. Throughout, pimp your Twitter handle everywhere.
  • 4) Proactively go through your new Twitter followers / online mentions to find employees in senior technical positions at the companies you’d be interested in working for.
  • 5) Directly message those people, inviting them to a quick Skype chat in which you’ll explain how what you’ve learned while building your project will benefit the products that his or her company is developing.
  • 6) If you carry yourself well in these conversations, expect at least half of these people to ask if you’d like to come work for them. If you don’t know what “carrying yourself well” means, consider picking up the book.

Who the heck is Julian Shapiro?

Thanks to Kat Li.

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