Work inspiration with
Lars Kappert

  • Lars Kappert

    Lars Kappert

    Web developer and architect from Netherlands

Hi there, my name is Lars Kappert. I'm a freelance front-end developer living in Utrecht, The Netherlands. Programming for the web has been a passion of mine since I was a student, and my enthusiasm has only grown ever since. I started out freelancing in 2010 and couldn't be happier I went for it. It allows me to learn from and help out lots of different people and companies.

Hardware

I was used to Windows, until I turned to Apple hardware around 2008 or 2009. Currently, I'm on a 15" Macbook Pro and to me it's a perfect combination of the looks outside and performance inside. It has a high-resolution Retina display, and the sharp text and images have significantly improved my reading and working experience. It's simply a pleasure to work with. Thinking of it, the hardware has actually become much less of a concern, since computers have become extremely fast and MacBooks just work (at least for me). Something I do desire however, is an additional high-resolution monitor to connect with the laptop for some serious nerdery. Oh, and better battery life is probably something all of us want in any cordless device.

Software

For a programmer, knowing an IDE inside and outside is invaluable. I have been using Textmate for a couple of years, but moved to WebStorm for its feature set and ongoing development. Sometimes I use Atom or Sublime, mostly for their speed or other specific features, but I don't see any editor replacing WebStorm anytime soon as my default IDE.

As I work a lot for and in the browser, it's important for me to know all about them and the tools to work with them. I'm using the latest versions of Chrome and Firefox, and dozens of developer tools. They become more and more powerful, allowing us to do lots of development and debugging right where the action is.

The programming language I dedicate the most keystrokes to is JavaScript. It is a language with quirks, but I like to believe that any "application that can be written in JavaScript, will eventually be written in JavaScript". For each and every project I'm involved in, I try to consider the options we have in terms of libraries and frameworks (if any!). I try not to stick with anything for too long, since the web and browsers are evolving at a fast pace. I think building up experience in knowing the options and picking the right tool for the job is extremely helpful for any engineer. It allows to stay flexible, sane, and to grow.

To me, productivity and efficiency are important qualities of developers. That's why I'm wasting spending trying to save time by researching and using tools that allow me to be productive, and I try to automate repetitive and boring tasks whenever I can. Examples include Markdown, Alfred, dotfiles, SourceTree, Divvy, Stay, and tools to automatically compile code, or reload the page in the browser when making code changes. There's probably many more that I got so used to I can't recall them now.

Inspiration

Until I come up with that gazillion dollar idea myself, I get inspired the most by real-world problems of others. People and companies creating great online services and products, but struggle with very specific issues. Such as a lack of in-depth knowledge, performance, or architecture. This is where I love to come in. Analyze and discuss the problem at hand and work on it with the team, or by myself. I can work for hours during daytime and/or nighttime, I just have to fix it.

People sharing their creations are definitely another rich source of inspiration. There are truly a lot of people I admire. Fantastic developers and architects that I've worked with directly, or people I don't actually know but have released great pieces of software, or have shared ideas and knowledge through their writings. I just love to use and read stuff that is crafted with passion.

I also try my best to give back a little to the community with articles and open source software in my own or other corners of the web (e.g. at Medium, Smashing Magazine, at GitHub, and via Twitter). I'm even listed at Superhero.js! I just hope such small bits help or inspire some others as well.

Another source of inspiration is sometimes in new hardware or software. In recent years for example, Apple's Retina display, Git and GitHub (for working with and sharing (open source) code), and Node.js and npm have been very motivational and inspirational in my work.