James is the CEO of Eldarion and the founder of the Pinax project. He was born in Australia but now lives with his wife in Burlington, Massachusetts.
Tell us about how your story with code started.
When I was seven, my dad borrowed a Video Genie computer (Z80 CPU and 16KB of RAM) from a friend and brought it home along with a photocopied book about BASIC. Moving on to a TRS-80 Color Computer and then an Apple II, I mostly learnt to code by typing in BASIC source code examples in magazines and books like David Ahl’s classic BASIC Computer Games.
What do you love about programming?
Programming to me is a craft and I code for many of the reasons someone might go build furniture in their backyard workshop or fix old cars in their garage. Whether it’s for some practical purpose or not, I love tinkering away on a project and sharing it with like-minded individuals, sharing ideas and techniques and always striving to learn something new.
Why did you start Pinax and what do you like about Pinax?
I started Pinax because I wanted a quicker way of implementing all the ideas I had for websites and I wanted a way of leveraging work from one project on future projects. What I love most about Pinax is I can get to working on the core of a new website within minutes.
Tell us about a cool project you built with Pinax.
Too many to list all of them but some of the sites I’m particular proud of because they went from idea to launch in somewhere between an afternoon and a couple of weeks thanks to Pinax are: typewar.com, mytechne.com and thoughtstreams.io.
What’s a Pinax app/starter project you would like to build/you think is missing?
Right from the very first Pinax talk I gave in 2008, I mentioned wanting to build a learning management system in Pinax. We’re finally starting work on that which I’m very excited about. I’m also excited to see work on shopping cart and online store related apps.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Traveling and fine dining with my wife, composing music, studying linguistics, cosmology and wine (not necessarily at the same time) and contributing to scholarship in Biblical and Ancient Greek.
Do you have any tips for new Pinax contributors?
Pick something you want to build with Django and see what pieces are missing from Pinax. Find other people in Pinax Slack that might be interested in working on building the same thing with you.
Thanks James! :)
If you contribute to Pinax, we’d love for you to do an interview for our Pinax Developer interview series so the Pinax community can get to know you. You can submit your interview by filling out this form. If you’d like to nominate someone we should interview, please send an email to Anna Ossowski. Our Pinax community manager, Anna Ossowski, will be happy to reach out to them. Please don’t be shy! You are awesome and we’d love to find out more about you!