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.
What software and hardware do you use for your work?
Software? What's that?! :)
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™).
I think this picture sums it up best: https://instagram.com/p/0UL3P7xGEW/
Top-3 your favorite books about web development
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 Socket.io has continued to make great stuff and won't stop publishing awesome blog posts at devthought.com. 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.