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An interview with Alex Koppel

Programming lets you build something and see it take shape and work

Alex is Just Another Rails Developer at 6Wunderkinder and the author of the Koala Facebook gem. Before joining the Wunderkit team to make the world more productive, he helped build a leading social marketing platform, led part of a massive healthcare IT installation in California, and moonlighted as an online bookseller. An amateur cook, eager language learner, and inveterate book reader, Alex dual majored in computer science and scavenger hunts at the University of Chicago.

Hi Alex! How was your last weekend?

Intense! I took one of my brothers (who was visiting) first to the symphony here (first concert of the year), then out to the bars and clubs of Berlin. Saturday was the Long Night of the Museums here, went to the aquarium (I held a rather enormous bug), and Sunday I saw three films in the Fantasy Film Fest. I'm not usually quite that fully-planned, but Berlin makes it easy to stay busy.

How you spend typical day?

Wake up, read the news, play with the cats, bike to work, code think code think code, (head home, cook for an hour or two, read || go out for dinner and drinks), read, sleep..

How would you like to spend a typical day?

Like the above, but with a few more hours for reading real books and cooking breakfast and lunch :)

What software are you using the most?

Vim, Sparrow, Chrome, Twitter, and Maps (it's hard to imagine how people ever got anywhere before they could look things up on the go).

Imagine World without computers. What would you do for a living?

I'd like to imagine either being a Renaissance man (tinkerer/reader/writer). I would say explorer, but I think that life is a lot harder than we imagine -- though without modern comforts (which is the easiest explanation for the lack of computers), perhaps I'd be more up for that.

Please describe your perfect holiday.

Long enough to unwind, filled enough to be inspired by new things, somewhere where they speak a language I'm learning, and relaxed enough that I can read and take time to do things I don't squeeze into normal life. (That's what I'm hoping for in Spain!)

What music bands we can find in your playlist? Do you listen to music while working?

I don't listen while I work most of the time -- the day flies by without it -- but I listen a lot to the Decemberists, Andrew Bird, and various classical composers.

Reading your biography, it seems like you're passionate about just everything. What has software development special over it all?

It's a bit like magic -- you compose your thoughts, and things happen. I can build something and see it take shape and work (and be useful!). That's amazing.

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