BisBabble: Aravind Balla

Today we unveil a new series: “BisBabble”.
Aravind – a recent contributor to the Bismuth project – gets the ball rolling and tells us about his background, interests, and development work.

The interview

Q: How do you describe yourself at dinner parties?
I make sure I taste all the varieties of the food being served.

Q: Is programming your day job, a hobby?
It’s my day job. I work as a Javascript Developer.

Q: Code you’re the most proud of?
My website (I guess). There is a module in the website which generates images for sharing it in social media(open graph) dynamically when the website is building. I like that part.

Q: Programming languages you practiced?
Learnt C but never liked it.
I like Python. I used to build stuff using Django.
My first paying job was in Java, which I wasn’t a fan of. Maybe because of the way I learned it in college.

Q: I saw you are giving talks about cutting edge tech (Gatsby for instance), do you feel it’s a part of your job as a developer?
I like sharing what I learn and helping others (devs) in their journey. That’s the reason write a blog as well. Its a pleasure.
Also, I feel noticed in the community when I am out there talking about things I’ve learnt. I feel everyone should share because its beautiful to look at the person’s view of a certain topic. Sometimes its completely different and it opens new doors.

Q: What’s your experience in the crypo field?
I think I’m a beginner who understands what a blockchain is.

Q: How did you get introduced to blockchain?
Back in those days, I heard dude in my college was making money trading cryptos. I asked him what a blockchain is and couldn’t answer properly. So I research a bit (but was still confused).
Recently, a year ago, I met a guy who runs a company based on blockchain. Taking to him gave me some clarity and motivated me to research more.

Q: And what led you to Bismuth specifically?
All because of Shadowcrypto

Q: Back to that dude trading cryptos, has the context changed since?
I mean, for you, your relatives, is crypto something noticeable that changed the world?

For me, YES, lot of context had changed. I think it will take time to influence the people around. I’ve read news that the state government here is using blockchain (not exactly crypto) for a few things which is interesting.

Q: What do you like in Bismuth?
The community. You people are so nice!
And its in python, the only language I can understand other that JS.

Q: Most loved programming language & why?
Javascript (of course), mainly because we can write it anywhere these days. It used to be only for scripting in the webpages earlier. But now, after the v8 engine, it can be run at most of the places. Servers, client side, mobile (frameworks like ionic, react-native), IOT, etc.
So you learn it once, use it everywhere.

Q: Yeah, that’s evolutionary pressure I guess. Some languages designed to rule all platforms (Java) tend to lose ground, while some “hacks” gain much power (Php, “personal home page”; Js “simple script for the browser”).
Side effect of wide adoption and doc, tutorials everywhere.
Speaking of evolution: I feel the “modern” developer uses more and more libraries and frameworks, and some frameworks are almost like a new language (react to describe html code, high level abstractions, Laravel for PHP…)

What’s your take on that?
I feel its evolving for good. (I maybe completely wrong here)
The frameworks have abstracted the things devs don’t have to deal with. And its easier to just focus on the business logic.
Take React for example – Updating the DOM is abstracted. It uses a virtual DOM underneath but you don’t have to understand how it works. This virtual DOM is way better than directly updating the using JS (or jQuery).

Q: What are you up to when you’re not coding?
I like adventures. Most of my vacations this year were treks on the Himalayas. So you will find me hiking or trekking.
Other than that, I draw sometimes.

Q: Cool! Is your offwork “routine” totally disconnected from your work, or do you happen to have “haha” moments when doing something totally unrelated?
There is no routines as such, but I enjoy the things I do in my breaks. I have to mention that sometimes I work an Interesting project (involving code) and that feels like a good break too. So there is mix and match here.

Q: Developers are often seen as a geek caricature, whereas from my experience the best programmers out there often are more of the creative and artistic type than pure geek robots.
Do you also feel creativity as a part of your dev job?

I do enjoy code as art. I Recently started reading code of other and realizing how beautiful it can be. Creativity is not just the UI or how it looks. Its also how Beautifully it has been written.

Q: Your best piece of programming advice?
It’s not rocket science. Some other person wrote it. So you will understand if you spend some time. Patience!

Thanks a lot Aravind for answering our questions, can’t wait to see your next contribution to Bismuth!

About Aravind

Aravind is a software developer, working as a Javascript engineer.
His help was much appreciated for the client side voting helper.
He is also working further on a modern client-side web wallet for Bismuth.

You can reach him: