Blog Authors: Valerie Skinner 060000VKGS is part of the IBM developerWorks team, getting to know the real developers who make up the My developerWorks community and exploring the world of social networking. I'm enjoying learning what makes developers tick! I'm very interested in exploring online communities and social media and understanding real world application - how they can help people solve problems and work together.
Interview with Jason Clark, software engineer and gamer
vskinner 060000VKGS Tags:  games linux open_source interview my_developerworks mydw gaming 3 Comments 3,271 Visits
This week I'm bringing you an interview with Jason Clark, a software engineer at IBM developerWorks. Jason's passionate about many topics in technology and I was excited when I saw him start a new blog recently because I know he's got a lot to bring to the table.
Find out more about Jason Clark: My developerWorks profile - Geek and Penguin Blog - @geekandpenguin Twitter - Jason T Clark Blog - @jasontclarknet on Twitter
Tell me about yourself and what you're currently working on...
Well, I'm a software engineer for the IBM developerWorks Advanced Design team, and currently I'm working on improving the My developerWorks experience for international users. Since My developerWorks is a community for developers across the globe, we want to make sure that our site is accessible by developers worldwide. I'm also a strong player in the developerWorks Twitter strategy, and have offered thought leadership on how we leverage social tools like Twitter to convey what we have to offer.
Describe a normal day for you.
At developerWorks, I wear several hats- a jack of all trades in a sense. I'm a software engineer, but my systems engineering and network engineering skills play a significant role here at dW. My typical day starts with a morning meeting, followed by bugs to squash (code bugs that is), keeping our development systems safe and secure from a security stand point, and making sure that our team's daily development processes flow smoothly.
What led you to pursuing a career in technology?
Video Games. I'm a HUGE video gamer, and the technology behind them has always fascinated me. My father is a private pilot, and uses flight simulator software on his PC. When I was younger, it was my job to make sure that his computer was adequate to run the software, and to fix any problems that came up. That's really how this whole thing began for me.
Do you have any strategies for keeping up with what's new in technology?
I read RSS feeds, a lot. I use a RSS reader to give me the news in technology across a number of industries, and typically I blog or write about those that are most interesting to me. These two tips typically give me plenty to talk about on my blog, and discuss those findings with others.
How do you use developerWorks?
Articles and Blogs are what I use the most. They say that people come to developerWorks looking for an aspirin on a vitamin. For me, there are lots of 'vitamins' on LINUX technology at IBM developerWorks. The blogs are always nice to read up on as well.
Tell me about your new blog that you've started called The Geek and Penguin... What inspired you to start it?
Well, I've used LINUX and opensource tech for years. Many of those in my circle always cringe at the idea of using LINUX. I thought that starting a blog about the coolness of LINUX, and all of the really 'geeky' things that you can do with it would give people a different idea about it.
As a connoisseur of LINUX and opensource, I thought that starting a blog that speaks to those like me- The Geek is the user and The Penguin is the product; similar to auto enthusiasts magazine Car and Driver.
How are you using social networking today?
Social networking is important for me. I use social networking tools to interact, collaborate, and syndicate things around the Internet. I like having those 'at the water cooler' discussions over the web where you discover news and interesting ideas, then share them with other people. Not only that, but it's great to also share what you're up to with those who are interested. My social tool of the moment is Twitter. There has been plenty of times where I've heard things on Twitter before anywhere else- I think it's a great way of keeping your ears to the ground.
The biggest problem with social networking is...
The signal to noise ratio. Many times you have to filter out a lot of noise just to get to the real content that you are looking for. However, things like hashtags have helped the situation.
What are some of your favorite websites/feeds/twitter accounts to follow?
As far as twitter goes, I like to follow @guykawasaki and @mashable. I also keep up with the gaming industry by following @gamasutra and the Industry Gamer RSS feed.
When you're not working, what interests or activities do you enjoy?
I play lots of video games, and I make music. I DJ, play piano, and make dance tracks in my spare time.
Email or text messaging?
Email. More words, less finger soreness.
- Thanks Jason!