Day 3: Inspirational tech people I follow on Twitter

Midway through 2018, I took a break from Twitter. I deleted the app from my phone, removed the “Feed” column from my TweetDeck, and stopped checking all the fake “notifications” it had for me — the kind that would tell me some person I follow liked another tweet, etc.

Honestly, it was a much-needed break from the toxicity running rampant through the platform. It would wear on me pulling up my feed multiple times a day to see a constant stream of negativity — people in dispair about their political party’s woes, bashing other people’s work, and hyperbolic, fiery statements meant to incite rage rather than promote actual discourse.

But after dipping out of my own Twitter feed for about a month, I really started to miss the “tech Twitter” I’d come to know and love. The kind of stuff that got me excited about building something new stuff that would make me inspire to keep building instead of tearing others down.

But after dipping out of my own Twitter feed for about a month, I really started to miss the “tech Twitter” I’d come to know and love.

I began finding folks I really appreciated and loading up their Twitter profiles directly. Talk about curated! It made me feel much more in control, being able to say “Hey, I wonder what cool thing @user has tweeted recently” instead of “OK Twitter give me all your shit.”

So here are some of the tech people I find most inspiring on Twitter — and who bring me joy.

Guillermo Rauch - @rauchg

Guillermo is the founder of Zeit, a company responsible for the Hyper terminal, Next.js SSR React framework, Now serverless deployments, and much more.

Zeit really makes me excited about modern infrastucture and developer experience. It’s the same feeling I had about DigitalOcean when it first arrived on the scene and lowered the bar for regular folks like me wanting to spin up a private virtual server.

Guillermo’s tweets include the latest and greatest JS thinking from super smart people.

Recently, Zeit rolled out v2 of their Now deployment service. The GA version of Now — an “everything is a lambda” approach — is a radical shift from their beta version, which was previously a Docker-centric product. They took (and are still taking) a lot of criticism for this decision, but you can tell that their product leadership is strong and that they’ll continue moving forward. It’s incredible to see how quickly new features get shipped within all their products.

It’s super cool to watch Zeit as a company push the limits with things like PKG, NCC, and Next.js. They have a team of heavy-hitters: folks who have created or actively contribute to popular open-source frameworks like socketio, mongoose, Node.js core, Storybook, Kap, and more.

Stephanie Hurlburt — @sehurlburt

I first heard Stephanie when she was interviewed for the the Indie Hackers podcast. She co-founded a successful image compression company called Binomial. Essentially, they sell compression software for $$$ to big video game companies.

On Twitter, her presence is positive and warm. She regularly tweets helpful information to folks in tech, especially geared toward underrepresented minority groups. She is also open about mental health, relationships and networking; and has shared that she suffers from PTSD from a traumatic experience in her past.

I’m surprised about how transparent she is about her business dealings, and what it’s like to be someone technical going out and selling a successful product.

She inspires me to build my own product someday and have the autonomy and choices that come with it.

Ives van Hoorne — @CompuIves

Ives created CodeSandbox, a go-to online IDE for front-end JS projects. The project started out as a React sandbox, but he has since added templates for Vue, Angular, Vanilla JS, and server-side evaluated projects like GraphQL servers.

The entire front-end of CodeSandbox is open-source. I’ve learned a ton by looking through it. The tech nitty-gritty: he’s found a way to compile scripts and import assets on the client side using Web Workers. Super clever. But he’s also put a lot of thought into building the editor. Recently, he wrote an integration to use literal VS Code (also open-source) as the editor. 🤯

On Twitter, he posts positive, uplifting stuff and shares cool things the community has created.

Oh, and he’s only 22 years old!

Sara Soueidan — @SaraSoueidan

Sara is a developer, consultant, and speaker speaker who is widely-regarded as the go-to SVG and CSS expert. Her Twitter feed is a nice combination of SVG/CSS thinking and tips, article recommendations and career advice.

I appreciate that she is willing to stand up for an idea and offer positivity, where the state of Twitter tends to be overly critical or slamming the bad features of a product:

She’s also honest and humble about her skills, which is great for beginners and newcomers to see experts also struggle sometimes.

Dan Abramov - @dan_abramov

I don’t know why it took me so long to follow Dan. He’s just a super intelligent guy.

He is a core contributor to React. His writing is concise and informative — I learn so much whenever I read stuff written by him.

His tweets trend positive in nature and share new ideas within the community.

And he just started a blog which explores lots of technical details of React’s implementation, in addition to general career stuff. Incredible writing.

Jessie Frazelle — @jessfraz

I started following Jessie back when I was the sole developer working at an ad agency. I sought out inspiration from other development shops and stumbled upon Barrel’s website. After scrolling through their team bios, I found Jessie and her Twitter feed.

I must have chosen to follow her on a whim — maybe because she had an entire library of copy/pastable PHP scripts for things like taking screenshots of websites and hooking into the Facebook API. You know, stuff that would have made sense to use when I was at an ad agency.

Jessie left the agency world shortly after I started following her, and she started tweeting about this new thing called Docker and containers. Like, super nerdy and in-depth thing about Linux and shells and security and stuff I couldn’t even imagine learning.

She eventually started working at Docker, then Google, Microsoft, and now GitHub. She’s regarded as one of the tech world’s container experts and often has really great writing about all things containers. Her Twitter feed is positive and interesting, too!

Kelsey Hightower — @kelseyhightower

Kelsey is a Kubernetes and cloud native genius. He created a tutorial for learning Kubernetes that I have yet to learn, but I’ve heard great things.

His posts are always generally positive about tech and things happening in the cloud/container community. And his [presentations] are marvelous!