Hello, everyone, welcome to another episode of That's My JAMstack podcast where we profile amazing people working in this awesome JAMstack community. This week after the short hiatus, we're back talking with an amazing self taught software engineer from Charlotte, North Carolina. Everyone please welcome to the show the awesome Brittany Ball.
My name is Brittany Ball. I currently am a software engineer at a company in Charlotte, North Carolina called Skookum. They're a digital consulting agency and what I do for fun, I like poetry. So I do a lot of the, you know, open mic nights in Charlotte around Charlotte and I like to visit the different breweries. So that's a hobby of mine too
I was ready to be like, so like, impressed and just have to like leave the call. Because Wow, that would have been amazing. Cool. So, uh, so kind of what's your specialty in terms of software engineering? Like, what what do you primarily do back in front end?
I started to do research on Gatsby. And so that was like my entry point. And I really fell in love with how flexible it was. And, you know, the way that you could, you know, stack plugins, and, you know, the theme aspect of Gatsby and, like, Netlify and GraphQL. I just fell in love and like, I'm still, you know, learning, you know, it's so much you can do with it. So like, I'm still learning but I love it.
when you're building the resourcing Casspi, I assume, yes. Very cool and what sort of what sort of plugins are using, so you love that you can, you can kind of stack those plugins together. And I'm very interested in cascades plugin ecosystem.
Um, so I'm using a plugin for that will. And so I have a blog aspect of this websites. I'm using a plugin to bring in our RSS feed. I'm also using a plugin that I actually worked with Jason Lengstorf who works for Gatsby, we built a plugin that would allow you to bring in things using a meetup API. So yeah, I'm using that plugin also. So like, I'm trying to like, it's a lot of things one into this learning resource. And so I'm having to like do a lot of research and if you know, it doesn't plugin, I'm learning to build my own and put it out there for others to use.
Because Gatsby is somewhat new in some, some of the issues I run into. Haven't, you know, they don't have a lot of in the community they don't have a lot of answers for. And so I have found myself going directly to the people that work. There are the people that don't that, you know, the Gatsby theme, and you don't have questions, I go to the person that built it. And as you know, oh, you know, does this have this? No functionality yet, and getting answers straight from the source. So I like that they're really open to reaching out to you and like helping you with that.
Pretty cool. Yeah, I've actually noticed that too. Like, I run into a bug and there's like, maybe one stack overflow question about it. Like you can't find the answer. Yeah, that's actually something I've heard a few different times about Gatsby Is that like a lot of people in the ecosystem are real friendly, you can reach out to them.
Yeah, they they are really friendly. And I just found out about Spectrum. And so on Spectrum, we have like a really big community and they're all open to answering questions about Gatsby and you know on Twitter if you you know, hashtag Gatsby have a question. So many people will reach out to you and like try to help you solve the issue.
I really enjoyed the fact that so like, I'm a static site guy, I've been using like Jekyll and 11ty, but I love that like Gatsby is the this thing that's kind of beyond that, right? Like it's static sites, but then it's like a static app builder. Almost like you can do so much with it.
You do so much. Like I've been talking to like others and then like, I don't know about Gatsby aesthetics, I'm like, but it's like, so much more than just a static site. Like, it's so much you can do with it and like, just so awesome.
So the stuff you've been doing with it, have you been doing, like the full, like, single page application aspects of it? Or are you doing server side rendering with it or you actually kind of combining both of those?
Um, it's a little combination of both. So I'm using like, Netlify. So yeah, it's a combination. So I'm trying to, you know, this is like my first Gatsby site, so it's like trial and error, figuring it out on what to do and what I like and what you know, after this, I think I'm going to build something else in Gatsby like to just keep building until I figure out what works best for me.
About that. Right. So before you kind of discovered Gatsby, and for you maybe got into this whole static site world, were you wanting to do side projects? And was it harder before you kind of discover this stuff?
And so coming in coming into this kind of world did you do you have much experience with back end technology or view just has brought in okay, because I got a little bit of experience and I hate it I hate back end stuff.
Yeah, yeah, I had a little bit like starting out. I don't know if you know, but I'm completely self taught. So like I taught myself web development using YouTube. Yeah, and so I had to figure out a back end and front end and not like it was the line was kind of blurred for me. You know, which was front and back end, but I learned quickly the difference because front end is like so much more like a Filling to me.
And it gives you that quick feedback loop to like you you do something, you see it, it works. It's great. Or you do something you see it. It's horrible. You fix it. Yeah. So you mentioned learning on YouTube, but what were some of like your big resources? Or was it just random videos that you would find by googling?
Definitely. And sometimes the definitions don't mean what people expect them to mean to that. That was like my first five years learning I was mostly self taught like with a couple mentors, and like they would say something and I searched for it and it actually meant something different and yeah, exciting.
so so you're using Gatsby you're enjoying it, I assume. So you talked about how much you love it. What what's going to kind of keep you in this obviously you're maybe not using it professionally right now. But what's going to keep you playing in the jam sack working with a jam tech what makes you like what gives you the Love.
Um, they're always coming out with something new, some kind of improvement and so like, you know, because it's new or like, it's always something new to learn, like, and I heard, you know, they're doing something different themes now, you know. And so like, I'm just excited to learn what's new Gatsby? What you know what exciting thing I can do with it now you know, so they're always coming out with new ways to use it and so that's really exciting for me.
all right, so so you know I don't want to keep you too long. Keep it nice and short. But I do want to know what was your actual jam right now? Where do you jam and how to where you listening to dancing to? I don't know.
So I have fallen in love with Lizzo, I love her. And I love everything about She stands for as far as like, women empowerment and you know, loving yourself and, you know, so I really, really adore this. Oh, you know, that's my jam, especially when I'm coding. Like, she just gets me pumped and excited and you know, proud to be a woman and like, I just love her
I am currently starting my own chapter of Tech By Choice. So it's a nonprofit that, you know, empowers women and anyone that, you know, classifies themselves as a woman. It empowers them and helps them on their journey throughout tech. So it's free, free, free to low costs, courses and classes and like you know, mentorship and you know, that kind of, you know, You're not alone in this.
Well, thank you for taking the time to chat with us. And letting us get to know you a little bit better. And I hope you keep doing some amazing stuff. And I'm going to be on the lookout for Tech By Choice. That's for sure.