Open Source with @bendotcodes: TDI 14

Threads Dev Interviews

I am finding developers on Threads and interviewing them, right on Threads. You are welcome to follow along and let me know on Threads if you would like to be interviewed.

“we are stronger if we all share some of our works together than if we all kept everything to ourself.” (@bendotcodes) on Threads

Today we have @bendotcodes. We are going to start out talking about open source software because that is a topic not yet covered in these interviews.

In case someone new to dev doesn’t know what it is, what is open source software?
And, how has developing open source software helped you as a dev?

Hi @ryan.swanstrom , glad to be here.

Typically when you or a company code a software, the source code is kept behind closed door. It is proprietary and protected under copyright and intellectual property laws. It makes sense since you are the one that spent time and money on it. 🧵

Open source software is when you make that code available for free to anyone. It does not mean they can do anything they want with it. That source code has to come with a license that could restrict it’s usage.

For example, it could be limited to non commercial usage and charge for using it commercially. The most common license right now is MIT which says you can basically do anything with it.

So why would someone want to work for free then? There are many many answers but the main three ones for me were an opportunity for learning, contributing/giving back to the community and a passion for solving other’s people problems..

It is realizing that we are stronger if we all share some of our works together than if we all kept everything to ourself.

At the end of the day, I have to admit I just love codingband it gave me much more freedom of choice than my day work, which is normal.

How does someone get involved with open source software?

The easiest way is to contribute to the projects you are already using. Go into their Github repository and look for beginner friendly issue. You can help answers question there, you can find ways to improve documentation, you can fix bugs and open a PR.

Then, if you really like it you can start thinking about creating your own, but it’s not the only path. So many important other projects need help and you would be surprised how much of a difference just a little bit of your time can be.

How did you get your start in tech and development?

When I was 11 I saw a show that talked about programming and I though it was really interesting (weird I know 🤣). Because of that I searched for forums to get help learning Quick Basic and some people were incredibly kind and helpful.

Seeing how interested I was, my dad bought me a C++ book with Visual Studio 6 and I got hooked for life. While at high school I really developed an interest in coding in PHP and later on video games, especially the engine. I went to college (you gotta have that paper 🤷‍♂️) and started in the industry with my first job out of college In a video game company as a developer.

What was it like being a dev at a video game company? I have heard video game devs need to know a lot of math. Is that true?

It was back in 2009 so I’m sure a lot changed since then but it was really important to understand how to do matrices and vectors operations with OpenGL. It was the foundation to move or rotate anything in the screen. I also remeber using Newton laws quite a bit to simulate things falling.

It was also really important to understand how memory works. I remember working on a few games on the Nintendo DS and it had something like 8 different types of memory for different purposes.

Now you don’t need nearly that much knowledge unless you are working on a game engine. You will most likely use one that do the heavy lifting.

Most people don’t stick very long in the industry because most companies ask for a lot of overtime. I was lucky enough to have been able to work for two that did not.

You recently launched a new blog. As a dev in 2023, what tech did you use to create your blog?

I went the lazy way and just found a good template with NextJS. I’ve tried a bunch of technologies before but for a blog, nothing feels as easy as this route. It’s something I love to use outside of work because how little setup it needs for a really good dev experience.

I mainly went with something that were familiar to me instead of trying to find the perfect tool.

Its open sourced on, not a lot changed yet but I itend to improve it over time.

How can people find you elsewhere online?

Thank you, it was a pleasure! You can find me mostly here on Threads or join my newsletter about software engineering at

Full Interview on Threads: @ryan.swanstrom • Threads Dev Interview #14 I am finding developers on Threads and interviewing them, right here on… • Threads





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