Who is Dave Fayram?
I’m a long time programming hobbyist who just happens to get paid for his work. Unlike some developers that are in it for the challenge of building big systems, I’m in it for the challenge of learning new things. In particular, I’m a total language nerd. Actually, I’m a total nerd in general.
Where and when did you start programming?
My first experiences programming were on an old Apple II that my father let me play with when I was 5 or 6, and I asked how to make it do something. My father was out of his depth, but helped me write a “Hello World” program. Later when I was 7, I spent a summer learning Turbo Pascal and BASIC during a long summer vacation on my grandfather in Santa Barbara’s PC. After 2 years of this I could write C fairly competently, but I never did very much with this until I was in high school, when I got into UNIX network programming.
About BankSimple? Languages is built with? Goals to achieve?
I’m excited about BankSimple. Not only is it a chance to build a service I really (really!) want to use, but it’s a chance to build a bank infrastructure from the ground up. We’re using Clojure, Scala, and probably some JRuby. Our goal is to be able to choose the best language for a given system but still allow them all to interoperate.
I don’t think that people fully appreciate what a rich language Java is as an intermediate between other High Level Languages. We’re used to porting our code to other languages using C as the intermediate language, which is error prone and enormously time consuming (even with code-generation tools). Java, for all its faults, is a heck of lot easier to map libraries onto over C. I hope to demonstrate to the world that polyglot programming is approaching a golden age.
Your Favorite Language (Ruby/Erlang.Clojure ..)? And why?
To be honest, I don’t really have a favorite these days. I’m currently interested in Scala, because it’s such a pragmatic departure from the type-inference languages I’m familiar with. I’ve been deeply enmeshed in Clojure as well, because I have a long history with Common Lisp and Scheme projects.
Before I got involved with BankSimple, I was working to write a book on Clojure for O’Reilly. Unfortunately for me, I had to step away since a book workload and a startup workload exceed my capacity.
What does your typical day look like?
I start the morning jogging my dogs around the block and making a small cup of coffee and toast. This is my morning alignment, and I am very grumpy if I miss it. Once I get to work a few hours later, I typically AeroPress another cup of coffee and begin work.
Anyone who is in a new startup can tell you this: there is no typical day in a small startup. Everyone has to wear every hat; there simply isn’t a big enough staff for people to play coy about answering emails, talking to customers, writing code, or doing design work. That’s one of the things I like most about startups, sometimes there is slack and you can pick it up, often totally outside your field. It may not be a permanent solution you provide, but it’s hands-on experience.
What do you do in your free time?
It varies. Besides dedicated time to my lovely wife and needy dogs, I’ve been exercising a lot over the last year. I’ve lost about 100lbs in total since Sept 2009, and significantly improved my physical fitness. I’ve also been trying to improve my mental fitness; my current project is going through Conceptual Mathematics 2nd ed. with Thomas Lockney’s group.
My most visible obsession of late has been learning to make quality coffee at home. I’m currently fairly good with a Chemex, Aeropress, Swiss Gold dripper (which is not restricted flow, so it’s similar in many ways to the V60 drippers that are so popular lately), and—this one being my real passion—Siphon coffee. I’ve even helped make an art-ish video about how much fun it is to make siphon coffee.
Just between you and me, I’ve also been trying to finish Dragon Age for the PS3 in anticipation of the sequel. But don’t tell anyone, all right? ;)
Current favorite apps?
On the desktop: Emacs, TextMate, Safari, Tower.app (really good!), Sparrow (Notify.app with teeth), Reeder, Divvy, and Cloud.app. My chosen shell is Zsh.
On iOS: Reeder, Instapaper, Intelligentsia, Rdio, Camera+, 360º, Path, Beluga, Latitude.
What OS do you prefer?
As my app listings might suggest, I prefer Mac OS X for desktop work. For deploying network services, I am devoted to Linux.
Small picture for your Workplace?
Name something that has inspired you recently?
My co-workers, Ian Collins and Toby Sterrett. Their work has really been an inspiration to me; I wish I was as good at my job as they are at theirs. I mean, have you seen the BankSimple site and the stuff Ian has been open sourcing? Really good work!
What do you prefer (and why)? Freelance work or full time employment?
Freelance can be fun, but is ultimately a permanently stressful lifestyle. I prefer to split the difference and work for startups. It’s stressful, but you get to work towards larger goals on longer timespans.
What are your personal projects and goals for 2011?
I want to do two new things this year:
1. Launch BankSimple
2. Run a small coffee shop at the Dickens Fair.
If I can accomplish these two things, I will consider it an average year. Bonus points for everything else!