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Developer Spotlight: Abe Hendricks


Another Developer Hero joins us in our new installment of the Cosmic JS Developer Spotlight Series. We sat down with Abe Hendricks, a hybrid Developer / Interactive Manager / Content-Editor leading a government agency in California.  Check him out on GitHub, and enjoy the Q/A.

How long have you been building software?
I’ve been building websites and single page applications for a little over a year now.  Prior to that, most development was in the form of database development, business intelligence, and some basic server side scripting for task automation.

What is your preferred development stack?
Currently I’m working for a mid size Local/Regional Government Agency.  A long term goal is to keep any custom development in a tight stack.  We are trying not pick up a myriad of different technologies and tools with differing life cycles and diverging paths. I currently try to do as much development as I can in the front-end using Angular.  For servers we fill in the gaps using JavaScript / Typescript as well, with the aide of frameworks like Express. (If I were a freelance developer I’m certain my approach would be different). When I need to reach for something like a database I gravitate towards Firebase which fits in nicely with Angular.

What past projects are you most proud of and why?
It’s difficult for me to gloat about any projects in particular. I’m satisfied at the speed of which I’ve picked up new frameworks, tools, etc. and have been able to develop and deploy using these new tools.  Effectively I’m a bit more impressed from the quantity and speed of which I’ve developed applications, more so than the quality of them (smiling emoji). But ironically, now that I write that, I’m not really proud of that at all (sad emoji).

Talk a little bit more about your process for building apps in your world and vertical. How has Cosmic JS sped up your time to market for project delivery deadlines?
Cosmic fits in perfectly with our organization and needs. Before Cosmic JS we were using a popular Blogging / CMS platform for managing content, in the most headless way it could be implemented and used.  However, the end result always felt awkward, I’d say "pear-shaped" on a good day.  Trying to explain to non-technical people that they need to add content to WordPress, while at the same time you are telling them that we are not really using WordPress, never really even made sense to me, let alone them. When Cosmic JS came along it really rocked off some socks that we didn’t want to wear to begin with.  Cosmic’s API-first CMS was really what we needed all along.  Moving forward, Cosmic JS will allow and enable many individuals in our organization to build out our applications.

What are some technologies you are excited about that you are using today, or want to learn more about?
I feel like I’m always learning so it’s starting to not feel very exciting at all.  (Thank you JavaScript community). But do to the nature of my current role at my organization I’m expected to put on a few different hats on a day to day basis.  I’m not just the developer, but I’m also a content editor and designer.  I’ve been wearing the developer hat for quite some time over the course of the last year. In the near future, I’m hoping to spend more time using Cosmic JS to add content to our existing applications, and spend more time in Sketch working creatively on design. I mean, what’s the point of all this JavaScript if it doesn’t have any HTML or CSS buddies right? 

Somewhat related: I’m eager to see how certain projects such as Material2 for Angular develop and mature over the course of the next year.  Additionally I’m hoping to put together a native app or two using the Ionic Framework.

Cosmic JS Developer Spotlight Series
Developer Spotlight: Brian Mullis
Developer Spotlight: Micah Walter
Developer Spotlight: Joe Tuson
Developer Spotlight: Coding Dojo
Developer Spotlight: Simple Media
Developer Spotlight: Jon Kalfayan
Developer Spotlight: Jon Bloomer

Cosmic JS is an API-first cloud-based content management platform that makes it easy to manage applications and content. If you have questions about the Cosmic JS API, please reach out to us on Twitter or join the community on Slack.

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