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Q&A with Bjorn Enki

Freelance website designer and developer

My name is Bjorn Enki. I've been working as a freelance website designer and developer since 2007, but I've been hacking around on computers since I was about 12 or so and got my first job as a systems-administrator/graphic designer/web-developer at 17. I've also had success in SEO, but after getting backstabbed by my then-supervisor for the SEO credit, I was eager to start working for myself.

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

In the days before Google, I'd muffle my dad's external dialup modem with a pillow so I wouldn't wake my parents while sneaking online. I remember playing around in Photoshop, Bryce, and Maya back in the late 90's. Programming didn't really come until highschool, but I was always messing around with something. I'm an entirely self-taught computer enthusiast, which I think can be very helpful in this line of work. I remember moderating a popular IRC channel on undernet when I was 14, where I learned a lot.

What software and hardware do you use for your work?

My favorite software is open-source: Linux, Vim - which I can't stand working without, php, mysql, etc. Hardware wise, I prefer anything affordable (PC architecture) with hardware that's generally supported by Linux. I just replaced my last PC, which lasted 7 years and I still have my Galaxy S2 from 2011, so this probably says something about how little cutting-edge hardware means to me. I owned an iPhone once, which was my first and only Apple product. I wasn't a big fan, but the iPhone 3G was the first smartphone to have a full-fledged browser, which was crucial at the time. I'll take control over simplicity any day, so I'm not exactly a Microsoft fan either. I use my Kinesis advantage keyboard for any serious programming, as anything else makes me feel like I'm crawling. I use the Linux terminal for daily tasks, which keeps things pretty simple yet powerful.

What is your ideal work environment?

My ideal work environment is outdoors or at least in a well-lit area next to an open window. I'm not easily distracted, so I often enjoy music, or perhaps a dumb comedy to keep me entertained while I work on tasks that're a bit more mindless. Having my home-brewed beer close by for the longer nights can also be nice.

Top-3 your favorite books about development that you recommend to read

Don't make me thinkDesign for hackersvi and Vim Editors

Who are the creatives you admire most?

Linus Torvalds, Richard Stallman, Steve Wozniak, Edward Snowden