Phil Nash has joined us recently as a Developer Advocate for C++, Objective-C and Swift tools. Here we talk to Phil about his experience and interests and introduce him to all of you.
A: Hi Phil, and welcome to the JetBrains team! Let’s talk about you. Can you please share a bit about yourself?
P: Hi Anastasia. Thanks for having me here. A bit about me? Well, I’ve been programming since I was 9. Like most who came of programming age in the early 80s, I started with various versions of BASIC on 8-bit home computers (ZX-81, ZX-Spectrum, Commodore-64, BBC Micro and others), but within a few years progressed on to assembler (mostly 6502 – but later 68000 on the Amiga, then 8086 on PC). In the early 90s I went for my first programming job, writing C & C++, which I prepared for by reading a book on C the night before. Somehow I managed to bluff my way in – but I hadn’t been there long before I realized I knew more C++ than anyone still there. That was the start of my C++ journey. It started on MS-DOS, but as the 90s progressed I naturally fell into Windows – which I did exclusively for the rest of the 90s.
A: What’s your background as a developer? I know you did C++ on Windows for a very long time. How did you end up doing iOS development in Objective-C and now Swift?
P: In the 2000s I changed things up a bit. The signs were there that C++’s heyday was coming to an end and I thought I should either learn other languages, or see which industries C++ would remain strong in. I started with the latter and moved into embedded programming – specifically mobile comms – where I stayed for about five years. It was a good experience and I’m glad I did it, but I also learned that embedded-programming was not for me. So I branched into banking, where I’ve mostly stayed until now. During that time, though, I also moved on the “other languages” front. First C#, then Python, then D and F#. At home I’d switched over exclusively to Macs, so I was interested in learning Objective-C, but it wasn’t until the iPhone AppStore launched that I gathered sufficient motivation to get past the initially steep learning curve!