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Allen is a published fiction and non-fiction writer working on his second novel. He currently resides in Hanoi, Vietnam where he is traveling around SE Asia. He is an avid reader and lifelong geek interested in fiction, philosophy, and technology. Allen is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 285 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Dev of the Week: Gary Sieling

07.03.2013
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Every week, we feature a new developer/blogger from the DZone community here and in our newsletter, catching up to find out what they're working on now and what's coming next. This week we're talking to Gary Sieling, Philadelphia-based programmer focusing on enterprise applications in the life sciences, and blogger. His most recent DZone posts include:

Thanks for talking to us! What have you been working on lately?

I've been experimenting with D3.js and Tilemill (for making maps), intending to build out some data visualization examples. I have some ongoing projects in solr (search engine), to search git repositories and collections of images, which are slowly moving along.

You write frequently about JavaScript libraries -- can you tell us about some of your favorites and what you use them for?

I think pdf.js looks exciting - this is a new library from Mozilla labs for parsing PDFs. There are a lot of people pushing all-Javascript platforms, and it seems like there are a lot of interesting proof-of-concept libraries, but  they have a long way to go to compete with equivalents on other platforms. In addition to removing a browser plugin dependency, PDF.js has the potential to enable more enterprise and business applications to run in Javascript.

Are there any particular developer tools or resources you couldn't live without?

I've been using Vagrant + Virtual Box a lot. It saves a lot of hassle when experimenting, because you can set up clean environment, without dealing with having multiple versions of the same tool installed on your main machine.

Do you have a favorite open source project (or projects) that you've contributed to recently?

I've been following lunr.js - this is a full-text search tool in Javascript, similar to Solr. I like doing proof-of-concepts in Javascript because the environment is always available, wherever you are- full-text search seems a bit dry but it's a nice basic data analysis tool.

Do you follow any blogs or Twitter feeds that you would recommend to developers?

Actually there are a couple email lists I subscribe to - Javascript Weekly and Coder Weekly. Email newsletters have an interesting vibe, because it's curated by some interested community member. This is in contrast to social media sites (HN, reddit, dzone, twitter), which pick news in a different fashion - each will find you some hidden gems.

Did you have a coding first love -- a particular program, gadget, game, or language that set you on the path to life as a developer?

I started out with QBasic, which was a real simple DOS programming language. I think it had only a few dozen functions, but you could do a lot with it, and the simplicity made it real fun to do graphics programming as a kid.

Anything else you'd like to mention?

Check out my blog - www.garysieling.com 

Thanks, Gary!