Pinax Developer Profiles: Javier Derderyan

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

Javier is almost 33 years old and from Buenos Aires, Argentina. He loves to understand and work with the hidden side of things, that’s why Javier loves software development and psychoanalysis; both allow him to work directly with the hidden part of different things (computers and people). Javier has been doing software development since he was 15 years old, and he plans to keep doing it for a long time :)

Tell us about how your story with code started.

I started coding in Visual Basic 5.0 (yeah, sorry) when I got my first computer. I quickly moved to HTML (I bought a pirated copy of Front Page -yeah, sorry again-) creating my first “Simpsons Argentina” website, where I uploaded a bunch of Simpsons pictures I had downloaded during early web browsing. I started playing with Perl scripts to create automated pages there, and that opened a whole new world to me. I learned ASP around that time too, which seemed much simpler than Perl!

One thing lead to another and suddenly -around my 17th birthday- I was coding “vbs worms”, “word macro virus” and stuff like that, mostly because I liked the idea of getting a part of my work around the world. I never liked viruses that killed computers, mine were mostly trying to “spread”. That’s how I created a “VBS Worms generator” with Visual Basic, which got some attention around 2001 when the “Anna Kournikova” worm was created with my “worm generator”. I got really scared and disconnected from the internet for about a month…, until things got calmer. Then I stopped doing that kind of stuff.

PHP came into my world around that time, and I also needed to get a real job, so that helped a lot. PHP lead me to Linux, Debian, Ubuntu (my first Ubuntu install killed my HD…), and in the Ubuntu Community I heard about Python…and that’s when everything changed ;)

What do you love about programming?

I love to build things and make them grow. I love working with code and making websites, hardware or apps “come to live”. Getting people to use my software and be more productive, help them in their day to day life, and see how they interact with software.

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

I started contributing to Pinax as a way to give back to the tools I use a lot. Also I like to help in open source communities, and I hadn’t done that in a while, so Pinax looked like a great place to start giving back.

I like the “first push” that Pinax gives me for new projects. I know that if I use Pinax I won’t have to dedicate the first painful hours to creating a base structure for my project; I can just use Pinax and have a working site in a few minutes, and then focus on what I like: coding.

Tell us about a cool project you built with Pinax.

I built an “online school” where over 1000 students login daily to:

  • Connect to online classes (using the Opentok api) with over 400 people online
  • Send and receive messages
  • Pay monthly

This software keeps growing, and we’re aiming to have more and more people in our classes every month, so I have to keep working on it to make it better and easier for everyone.

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

Just thinking fast here…but maybe something more “CMS” focused (maybe there is something like that and I haven’t found it yet!) where I can just have a simple website where users can add pages, content, etc. without much hassle.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time?

Reading new things (about coding, psychoanalysis, international news). I also like to do public presentations on software and psychoanalysis, and traveling around the world.

Do you have any tips for new Pinax contributors?

Try to always think what could be good for the community, and maybe not just what you need. That way you can build what you need but with a bigger reach for other people.

Thanks Javier! :)

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!