In this issue of Behind the Dev, we're going to be taking a look into the day-to-day of Matt Stauffer.
If you don't follow him on Twitter, make sure to check out his profile at: @stauffermatt!
Behind the Dev
Can you tell us a bit about yourself?
Sure! My name is Matt Stauffer, I live in Atlanta, GA, and I'm Partner and Technical Director at Tighten, a consultancy that specializes in Laravel and a whole host of frontend tools.
How did you first get into web development?
As a developer, what’s your typical day like?
My day job at Tighten is a surprising amount of non-programming responsibilities. I oversee Tighten's people ops, programming, projects, and marketing teams, so on any given day I'll be doing a mixture of any of those.
An average day might include checking in on the status of our current and potential projects, chatting with team leaders about individual programmers' career progress, reviewing hiring or vacation policies, meeting with my partner Dan about our future plans for the company, taking a sales call with a potential client, open source work, working on the Laravel Podcast or Things Worth Learning, reviewing copy or features on FieldGoal or the Tighten web site or any of our open source SaaSes, and much more. If anything interesting happens at Tighten, it's likely I get to play a part in some part of it.
When it comes to actual programming, the main things I program on daily are our open source projects and our internal Tighten-only projects, and anything that's a part of an educational talk or video that I'm creating.
Are there any tools that you use on a daily basis?
Sure, tons of them! I code in VS Code mainly these days, TablePlus, iTerm2, Tinkerwell, Valet, and Takeout. That's my main programming world. Outside of programming tools, I love Choosy for browser choice, Alfred for launching, Divvy for window management, BusyCal, CloudApp, Rocket, BackBlaze, Mailplane, Photoshop, TextExpander, Hammerspoon/Karabiner, BreakTime, GitHub Desktop, MailMate. I probably missed a ton there.
Is there anything in particular related to development that you enjoy working on the most?
That new project feeling! I love a new domain,
laravel new or
lambo new, that exciting feeling when you're just getting started and you can't stop thinking about this new and exciting thing that feels like it will change the world!
If you could go back in time and give younger Matt some advice when you were first starting in development, what would it be?
Don't worry about what other people think you can or should do, or what fills in the gaps around what the people around you are already doing. Find what you love and do that.
Do you have any hobbies outside of web development?
Yes! I love being outside with my kids, which often includes exploring parks, working in the yard, playing soccer and biking with my kids, and woodworking. Before kids I liked to take photos, mountain bike, and play electric bass. I've played bass on a few albums, with a few bands, and in churches and religious conferences for years.
Can you tell us a little bit about your book "Laravel: Up and Running"?
Sure! O'Reilly approached me asking for me to write a book about Laravel in their "up and running" series, which usually suggests a quick 100-200 page introduction. Instead, I accidentally wrote a 500+ page Laravel Bible. I learned so much writing the book and have often considered it a bit of a superpower in the hands of any capable developer. I released the second edition a few years later and I'm currently in the process of updating the second edition to catch up to the last two years of Laravel's progress.
The book is an introduction to all the most important topics you need to understand to be a Laravel programmer at a shop like Tighten. It doesn't cover everything, but what it covers, it gives you everything you need to write Laravel every day.
Can you tell us a little bit about "The Laravel Podcast"?
The Laravel Podcast was started by Shawn McCool as a casual chat kind of podcast. He handed the project off to me and I've taken it through a few different incarnations. Season two was me, Taylor, and Jeffrey Way chatting about what's current in Laravel. Season three was me, interviewing folks in the Laravel world to learn about who they are as people. Season four was interviews, each episode about an individual section of Laravel (e.g. Queues). And season five, which is in progress, is interviews, each about a specific package in the Laravel world.