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Developer Spotlight: Matt Cain


by Carson Gibbons on September 13, 2017

In our latest installment of the Cosmic JS Developer Spotlight Series, we sat down with Matt Cain, a web developer who took a physics undergrad and spring-boarded into the world of Java, Rails and ultimately, programming language agnostic APIs. In addition to his day job of being a web application developer and writing code, Matt is a Cosmic JS Contributor and responsible for several apps and blogs in our ecosystem. Check him out on his portfolio site or LinkedIn, and enjoy the Q/A.

How long have you been building software?
I've been seriously building software for about a year. When I was a kid I liked to play around building static sites in Frontpage (the good old days) but moved away from it. Still, I continued to follow the web development world in the background and about a year ago, around last October, I decided to dive in and get my hands dirty. With the Java and Python skills I picked up from my physics undergrad I was able to pick up JavaScript and Rails pretty quickly and started working with  their respective frameworks.

What is your preferred development stack?
I love full stack JavaScript with NoSQL. I love language agnostic APIs. If I can get away with it, I prefer using services like Cosmic JS as a database rather than something like MongoDB. I realize there are flaws inherent to those preferences but I'm typically working by myself or in small teams, so keeping code in one language and data remote really reduces cognitive strain.

What past projects are you most proud of and why?
I always like to say my first real project is my favorite. I had spent a couple weeks learning Rails and some fundamental CS stuff and really wanted to build my own app. So I decided on a map data visualization app. I used Rails, jQuery, and hosted the maps with MapBox and basically learned everything as I went. The code's sloppy, it doesn't look great, but it was something that made me proud and encouraged me to keep going. Check the live website out here: http://pghmaps.mattcain.io/.  More recently, I was pretty satisfied with the Premium User Blog app I built for Cosmic JS.

Talk a little bit more about your process for building apps, who they're for, and how Cosmic JS has helped. 
I've been building a lot of small apps and prototypes for mostly small businesses and entrepreneuers. So I like to deliver things fast. Cosmic JS being essentially a simple to use, one-stop-shop for everything I need to deploy is a blessing.

What are some technologies you are excited about that you are using today, or want to learn more about?
I'm excited about using PWA's and integrating bots in sites more. I'm very much looking foward to where AR goes.

To learn how you can contribute Apps, Articles and Extensions to the Cosmic JS Community, contact us at support@cosmicjs.com.

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