Pinax Developer Profiles: Damien Lee

This is a post in our Pinax Developer Profiles series, where we highlight awesome people who contribute to Pinax. Read more about it here.

Damien Lee is originally from Sydney, Australia, but now lives in China. He is a Chinese education market industry professional and part-time Pinax and Django developer.

Tell us about how your story with code started.

In 1985, yes I am old, my father (himself a C+ developer) bought me an Amstrad 6128plus that booted up from the 3 inch floppy disk. I started on DOS and Basic which then turned into mindless hours on Sierra’s Kings Quest…

Basic, those were the days.

What do you love about programming?

I was never truely gifted enough to appreciate machine code. Even though I learned logic gates as a teenager, I believed programs written creatively, could disrupt industries even before the word “disrupt” became a thing.

I did a lot of multi-language HTML work in my design startup in the late nineties (featured in a prominent Australian internet publication) . Later, friends and I discovered how PHP could change how phonecards could be sold online (we scratched all the codes from physical plastic cards, entered data into a MySQL database and sold them online). That was 2003. Code could do all this?! (With an ISP and Windows server 2003 IIE add-on of course!).

Why did you start contributing to Pinax and what do you like about Pinax?

Well, no pull requests from me yet, however using Pinax apps in our subsidiary greenfield online platform made me realise how much the frameworks of yesteryear have changed. I took a hiatus from development and IT for several years doing our educational agency, and returning to head this new project I found Pinax encapsulates open source in the most practical way (as does Django). I appreciate the modularity of code.

I hope to contribute to Pinax not so much from direct pull requests, rather by setting up developer interest groups in China for Django and Pinax. I hope to get Chinese developers to put up pull requests that may “localise” the framework here.

Tell us about a cool project you built with Pinax.

Well, I’m working on a PC and Iconic enabled Hybrid app within my industry of educational referrral services. It is still in a premature stage and slated for a March 2016 launch.

What’s a Pinax app/starter project you would like to build/you think is missing?

I have nothing on my mind right now. A seperate suggestion would be that some of the core of user accounts and the starter projects have more social media OAUTH or a similar integration.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

I can enjoy the time off my infant kid. Only parents can understand that statement.

Do you have any tips for new Pinax contributors?

Enjoy and take pride in what you create, no matter how big or small you think it is. You create something, that is all that matters (and even the boring but important things like documentation, testing…).

Thanks Damien! :)

If you are a Pinax/Django/Python developer living in Shanghai and would like to get in touch with Damien, please feel free to send him an email.

If you contribute to Pinax, we’d love for you to do an interview for our Pinax Developer Profiles 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 who 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!