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Q&A with Henrik Joreteg

I make things, mostly with JavaScript

I'm Henrik Joreteg, I make things, mostly with JavaScript. I'm the creator of, Ampersand.js, SimpleWebRTC, and author of Human JavaScript.

I've been writing JS at &yet for 5 years now where I'm fortunate to work with and learn from lots of great people.

How did you get started in js development? 

I first got into it in order to add in-page dialogs to my otherwise server-rendered app, which turned out to be a slippery slope.

Then discovered jQuery and started messing around with trying to build things that would later be called Single Page Apps.

Then Node.js and came out and I was hooked.

What software and hardware do you use for your work?

Software? What's that?! :)

I'm a fan of anything that helps me build things in a clean, quick, maintainable way. Currently that list looks something like: Node.js, Ampersand.js,, React, Webpack, and Sublime Text.

Hardware: I like ultra portable laptops. My 13" macbook air is my favorite computer ever. Just enough power to do everything I need in a nice portable package with good battery life.

What is your ideal work environment?

I spent two months, recently, turning a 16x8ft garden shed I had in my backyard into a sweet home office. Love it in there. I put in a skylight, and two big french doors so I get lots of natural light. Then I built a really big beefy desk, got some nice plants, bamboo flooring, and no interruptions. My wife and I joke that it's "The Conservatory" (as in the board game Clue™).

It was Henrik, with the JavaScript, in The Conservatory!

I think this picture sums it up best:

Top-3 your favorite books about web development

Regrettably, so much of my time recently has been spent writing instead of reading, but when I was first getting into JS I really learned a lot from Nicolas Zakas "Professional JavaScript for Web Developers" and of course "JavaScript: The Good Parts". Currently working on Foreward to Reginald Braithwaite's (aka @raganwald) JavaScript Allong? which is excellent.

Of course, there's also my book: Human JavaScript, but it's garbage, that guy doesn't know what he's talking about.

Who are the coders you admire most?

So many! Honestly, anyone who can make things that are simple but still powerful and useful. I really like Jeremy Ashkenas's minimalistic style (plus he's a nice guy). Also, folks like Raynos (Jake Verbaten) and Forbes Lindesay both do really great work. They both just ship great open source stuff without much fanfare. It just works™. Guillermo Rauch creator of has continued to make great stuff and won't stop publishing awesome blog posts at Also, I'm rather in awe of the work by Loren Brichter, he has a rare ability to design, build, and ship stuff as a one-person team. It's incredible.