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Q&A with Ben Schwarz

Independent web developer Australia

I’m Ben — I run a business called Calibre, and I’m one of the founding members of CSSConf in Australia. Apart from that, I think I can best describe the work that I do as ‘creating for the web’.

How did you get started in development? What is your background? 

It all started for me sometime around 98’ — I messed around with the web using computers at my school library. A week later I’d started creating my first website. Apart from studying at university, I started picking up freelance projects that basically snowballed into me becoming a programmer (Traditionally, I’d thought of myself as a designer… but it never panned out that way).

What are you working on now? 

Right now, as I type this I’m sitting on a plane in between LAX and MEL… so I’m doing anything to distract myself. This is when I write emails that I’ve been meaning to get to for a month.

What software do you use for your work? 

Right now I have Messages, Slack, Terminal, Sublime Text, GitX, Mailbox, Twitter, Safari (surfing), Chrome (dev) open right now. Its hard to imagine those apps being closed.

And what hardware? 

Every new computer I get is the best one I’ve ever had. Today its a 13” Macbook Pro. I’d love to get something even smaller and lighter soon though.

What is your ideal work environment?

Coffee, Couch, Cat. View.

Who are the developers you admire most? 

Gosh. I don’t know — there are sooo many. Its really great to run a conference that allows me to meet so many of my heros. I’m just going to name one person — Amit Pitaru. I started following his work back when I started in the industry and I still find myself thinking about it today… although I haven’t been keeping up with his work recently, I think he made a signifigant impact on me.