A Walk with Paul Irish

Have you ever wanted to know what’s inside other web developers’ heads? Have you ever wanted to catch up with someone that is an industry leader and an all-round awesome guy? How about a walk around the back streets of California with Paul Irish?

I flicked over a few questions to Paul in the hope of getting some answers. He took it too the next level.

Here’s a snippet from each answer that I found tops.

Do you have any big goals / plans for 2013?

Yes! Developing for the web platform a better thing.

Client JavaScript lacks a package manager, this leads to a lot of problems. No one wants to build a dependancy on anyones code and everyone keeps tackling the same low level challenges and its not a productive platform to build a highly sophisticated solution on top of. Thats a problem that is worth fixing and we can fix.

What is a typical day in the life for Paul Irish?

A typical day in the life of Paul Irish is, agh, it’s a lot of things – it’s a lot of email and tweets and G plus, and basically a lot of bugs that comes Chrome’s way end up going through me and I am like triaging and making people filing or other people filing.

In general, just trying to assist our overall story of how developing with Javascript for the web platform can be a more productive thing.

There’s a lot going on.

Do you have any advice for people that are overly engrossed in the digital space? Do you have any suggestions on how to avoid burnout and getting overwhelmed??

I am not a perfect person to answer this question. It’s a tough thing ha ha. Focus with specificity in what you listen to, what your trusted sources are and be a little bit more critical in what you absorb, what your incoming channels are.

What does the future hold? Will you be rolling out your own startup or joining forces with a few people to help change the world in some way? Or are you satisfied for the time being continuing on at Google creating amazing things?

Making the web a more productive platform for web applications. Basically, Google is a fantastic place for me; its a place where I can make an impact and have the ability to effect the browser and web platform landscape better than I can anywhere else.

Why do you enjoy what you do? Are the reasons for this still the same as when you first started out as a web developer?

I think as an industry generally we have a really cool job; we get to build the interfaces that people touch and click and swipe on the web. That’s fantastic!! I want to make sure that people love doing that and that they are able to make really incredible things and be satisfied doing that.

Do you have any advice for people who are just getting into the web industry?

My advice would be specificity is good. Specialising in a certain area is a smart thing.

There’s plenty within just the front-end that you could be specialising in. Specialising in front-end performance you would get a job in a heartbeat right now. Specialising in the performance of paint and reflow as a front-end developer, you would get hired in a heartbeat if you knew what you were talking about.

Trying to tackle all of web development is just immense!! To avoid feeling overwhelmed, you really want to get specific.

What is the one thing you wish people to always know you for?

Basically I think I would say what I try and do is I try and make developing for the web better. But I also try and do it with positivity. I really want to help bring a community together to build things that make developing for the web awesome and make the web platform an even better place to be developing for. I also hope that I can inspire and create an energy around this community for other people to do a similar thing. There is plenty of room for other people to be focused on purely making the web a better place to be developing for.

A lot of people want to make it better and I think we could all kind of work together to identify the best ways to do that and put some time into it.


In finishing, I just wanted to thank Paul for making this post happen.

Oh yeah, if you are keen on keeping up with the fast-paced world of web design, you should subscribe to the Web Design Weekly newsletter. A crazy amount of awesome links hitting your inbox every Friday!

 

Jake Bresnehan

A Front End Developer based in Sydney and the creator of Web Design Weekly.

Web Design Weekly keeps developers at the forefront of techniques and trends whilst helping them learn and grow to produce top quality code to make the web a better place for all.

3 Comments

  1. Awesome, really good testimony. I would like to translate into spanish to spread the word. We are doing similar actions in Madrid ( at very low scale comparing Paul Irish’s work) .We believe now is the time for cheering people to collaborate and make the web a better place step by step. Thanks a lot for this amazing post!

  2. Great stuff from one of the leading forces of the web, Paul Irish.
    He really has and continues to make the web a better place with all the projects he is involved in.
    Can anyone develop a site anymore making use of Modernizr, CSS3 Please or HTML5 Boilerplate?

  3. Great person for a great job! Web God Paul almost seems human in this video. ;)

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