Mike's Blog

Welcome to My Blog

January 23, 2019

Wow. How novel. A developer with a blog. Yea, well, how else can I share my ideas with the world? A 25 tweet twitter thread that gets washed out by inch-deep political takes and the current week’s tech twitter “crisis”? Not likely!

I want to use this blog to jot down my thoughts, tech discoveries that I make (to hopefully share with the world) or sometimes, just to vent or talk through a problem.

But first, who am I?

About Me

My name is Mike Joyce. I’m a 30-something (god it’s weird to say that) software developer that lives in Minneapolis. My beautiful wife, Alex, and I live in Minneapolis with our coonhound Larry and cat Alphonse. I’m originally from Wisconsin but went to school at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities and after a 4 year hiatus where I left the cities, I moved back, bought a house and have become firmly entrenched in the “Frozen North”.

I f’en love the Green Bay Packers (probably a little too much) and also enjoy playing softball, working out and drinking alcohol (in moderation…usually). I don’t really have many hobbies other than programming, unless you count the occassional video game playing or book reading (are those hobbies?).

While I’ll primarily focus on the former, the latter two subjects might leak into these posts…along with other personal life stuff if I’m so inclined.

Where I Am Now

Currently, I work at Target as a “Senior Engineer” where I work primarly on frontend applications. I’ve been at Target since August of 2017 and so far, it’s been as close to my ideal job that I can imagine.

I have about 7 years experience in programming, with 2 of those years being in building macros in Excel (great program) and teaching myself programming. The last 5 years have been full of “real” application development where I was actually paid to build stuff in such technologies as:

  • VB.NET (shudders)
  • AngularJS
  • Knockout (nearly breaks spine from shuddering)
  • NodeJS
  • React (my love)

I have some database experience sprinkled in there and have dabbled with pretty much every level of the traditional tech stack.

In 2019, I hope to achieve a bunch from a professional and technical perspective, including improving my design chops (they’re quite poor ATM), giving 2 technical talks (I gave my first tech talk today!) and become proficient in GraphQL. This blog site is actually one of my main goals for 2019, as well.

So what’s this blog going to be about?

What I (hope to) achieve with this blog

My main goal with this site is personal: I want to work on my writing skills as it relates to technical problems. In my opinion, being able to explain a technical topic well will greatly help you advance in your field. Whether your medium is orally or through written word, the ability to explain technical concepts and solutions to problems not only educates the consumer but also the…explainer (?). By forcing yourself to explain a problem to others, you force yourself to learn the concept at a deeper level, further solidifying it in your brain. There’s probably science around this.

A secondary goal is to share things I have learned (and opinions I hold) with the world. Kent C Dodds (who is such a boon to the development community) states it well in his blog post about “widening ones reach” in their area of expertise:

You are constantly creating value. A conversation with a co-worker, a meetup talk, a realization after hours of working on a hard to solve bug. The trick is to take those value creating experiences and make them public.

At work, I try to do this on my team by creating blog posts in our internal knowledge base system instead of sending the tidbits in slack or via email (where they’ll be lost forever). Since the internet is written in ink, once you put something out there, it’s out there for everyone to consume, forever.

So that being said, I will likely post solutions to problems I face, problems I face that I can’t solve, or other random things I run across that I find important enough to jot down for everyone to see.

Finally, I might just use this site to sound off on things I find interesting, things that frustrate me or things that I’m thinking at that given moment. Whether the post is long or short, if I think it should go on the internet, it’ll be up there. Kind of like Twitter, except without the virtiol and smarminess.

Speaking of long posts, this is getting too long. But at least I wrote it and hopefully I can carry this momentum and reach my goal of 16 posts this year.

Mike Joyce
My name is Mike and this is my blog. I write about technology, work and, at times, my personal life.