Interview with Dan Lebrero

I am Dan Lebrero, currently CTO at Akvo. Akvo is a non for profit organization that builds software tools and provides services to help governments and organizations to have a bigger impact in the development sector through the use of data.

What is your software development background?

I have a BSc + MSc in Software Engineering. My first job in 2000 was building web applications in Java (version of 1.2) and plain old JavaScript - this was years before jQuery existed, and Internet Explorer 4 was the dominant browser.

In that job I learned that I did not want to do frontend development, so I specialised in Java backend for the next 10 years. Then I spent a few years as Software Architect and finally now CTO.

I have built monolithic websites, embedded applications, low latency systems, micro services, streaming applications and big data. I have worked in companies from 4 people to 2000.

What tools do you use for Java development?

My main IDE has always been Intellij IDEA, and the Spring framework a safe bet.

Last few years I have actually been using Clojure as my main programming language. 

How does your typical working day look like?

Nowadays, it is mostly meeting after meeting after meeting, with a little bit of time here and there for more strategic work, and the occasional hands-on for outages.

What 3 last books or web resources about software development would you recommend?

As a generic book The Pragmatic Programmer 20th anniversary edition contains very sound advice.

I would also recommend Rich Hickey talks. They changed the way I see programming. https://changelog.com/posts/rich-hickeys-greatest-hits has a nice summary.

Last, The Unicorn Project. It is an IT novel about DevOps that is fun to read and full of Gene Kim’s wisdom.

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