Who is Jamis Buck?
I’m just this guy, you know? ;) I’ve been married (blissfully!) for 14 years now. My wife and I live in Idaho, USA, and we have four kids, ranging in age from 2 to 9. We homeschool, and when you combine that with the fact that I work from home, this means I get to spend a lot of time with my kids, and I love that. I enjoy woodcarving, string figures, epic fantasy, playing the guitar, cooking, and (most recently) researching my family history. Mostly I just love learning new things. :) I speak English primarily, but I also know Korean (sadly, I’ve lost a lot of my skill there, but I can still read it okay).
What does your typical day look like?
I wake up around 6:30 or (on a particularly tired day) 7. My wife and I alternate “exercise” days, so I run in the mornings on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. We then do our morning meeting as a family, where we make our plans and figure out our schedule, and then I help the younger kids get ready for the day. I log into work around 8, pause for breakfast at 8:30, and then really begin my workday around 9. I stop again for lunch around noon, and quit for the day around 5.
In the evening I help entertain the kids so my wife can have a break for an hour, and then I either help clean up, or make dinner, depending on the day (my wife and I trade off). In the evenings I like to practice my guitar, and tinker on side projects.
What do you do in your free time?
For the last 9 months or so I’ve been pretty obsessed with learning the guitar, so I’ve spent a lot of time on that. Lately, I’ve started doing some family history research, and that in turn has inspired me to start tinkering on an app for recording my findings.
Where and when did you start programming?
I *first* was introduced to programming in the early 80′s, in elementary school, where we did some turtle graphics on Apple II/e. I didn’t come back to it until around 1990, the summer before my junior year, when my parents got a Tandy and I found the BASIC manual that came with it. I taught myself BASIC, and then Turbo Pascal, and then C, and basically devoured whatever I could find related to computer programming. I’ve been hooked ever since.
Favorite: Programming Languages, Frameworks?
My favorite programming language for the last 10+ years is Ruby, but lately I think CoffeeScript has been giving it a run for its money. I’ve played with quite a few other languages (most recently scala and erlang, and objective-c), but none have captured my heart and imagination like Ruby has. I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for C, though. I love so much about C, including (!) memory management. I don’t get to write C code much anymore, but I always enjoy it when I do.
Favorite frameworks: Ruby on Rails, definitely; I’m in that every day, and while I won’t say I’ve never been frustrated with it, it is so much nicer than any other web framework that I’ve ever used. I’m not a big consumer of other frameworks; most of what I use is part of the standard Ruby library.
What OS do you prefer?
Definitely OS X. I recently upgraded to OS X Lion, and while it hasn’t been without it’s flaws, I’ve really been impressed with it. Prior to OS X, I ran Gentoo and I enjoyed a lot of things about that. But it would take a lot, at this point, for me to go back to Linux as my primary OS.
Current favorite apps?
MacVim, Google Chrome, Twitter. Noteflight.com. Angry Birds. :) I’d be lost without GitHub. Also, rbenv, TabToolkit (for iPad).
Small picture for your Workplace?
Name something that has inspired you recently?
Family history research! Specifically, looking for clues about my paternal great-great-great grandfather, Samuel Buck, who’s been a great-great-great mystery for decades. I’ve managed to find a few new leads on him, reinvigorating some of that research. Related to that: I’ve enjoyed learning songs that my great-*-grandparents sang, and learning them on the guitar.
What do you prefer? Freelance work or full time employment?
Definitely full-time employment. I’m not much of a risk-taker (but I greatly admire those who are). Especially in this economy, I like having the security of a regular paycheck.
What are your goals for 2011?
I’ve been fighting burn-out for a couple of years, and I think I might finally be on the mend! One of my goals for 2011, then, is to not “overdo” it. I’ve been focusing a lot in recent years on non-computer hobbies and interests, and while it has resulted in me being less vocal (on my blog and elsewhere) and also working on fewer software projects, I think I’ve been happier overall.