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6ccf83b7Martin Angers update website 8 months ago

About me

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My name is Martin Angers (that's pronounced like the French city of the same name). I go by mna or some variation of it on most websites. When the .dev craze cooled down in March 2019, I noticed that mna.dev was still available at a reasonable price, and decided that I'd make it my portfolio of sorts, listing my open-source projects, blog posts and stuff.

I'm a software developer, working mostly as a Go backend engineer since 2012. I work remotely as a freelancer based in Quebec City, Canada. If you're interested in my services, you can contact me - I may be available for part-time contracts.

You can find some of my code on github, gitlab, bitbucket and sourcehut, I sometimes answer questions on stackoverflow and although I closed pretty much all my social accounts (such as facebook, instagram, snapchat and google+ but then so did you), I still use twitter from time to time. I like to read hacker news and lobsters though I rarely comment.

Background

I have been programming professionally since 1996, and for fun since I was a kid. I have learned (and forgotten) a wide variety of languages and technologies, including:

  • BASIC (probably Color BASIC, as I had a TRS-80 Color Computer 2 way back then);
  • C, which was the language used in my computer programming courses and that I still use and enjoy every once in a while in personal projects;
  • Delphi (1.0), which I learned as an intern in 1995;
  • PowerBuilder, which was used at my first professional job at DMR Consulting in 1996 (now Fujitsu) - I was even sent by the company to the PowerSoft Conference in Los Angeles, probably in 1998? This was also the language used when I moved to Paris for work in 1999, at Paribas (now BNP-Paribas).
  • Oracle Forms (?!?!), which we used extensively on a big project in 2000, I believe, at a small consulting firm in Quebec (since acquired by CGI).
  • Visual Basic 6, and then Visual Basic .NET and C# - the whole Microsoft / .NET ecosystem was (and still is) huge at the government and insurance companies in Quebec.
  • Node / javascript, which I still use from time to time, of course.
  • Swift, which I used when I quit my job to start a (short-lived!) solo company to build and sell an app in the Mac App Store. This is a great language (well, it was around versions 3-4, haven't used it much since), but I feel it suffers from the (necessary) backwards compatibility requirements with Objective-C and the Apple Frameworks.
  • Go, which I started learning by reading the language spec for fun during a summer vacation (I believe Go 1.0 was just released a few months before), and that I still use extensively to this day - in addition to many of my most well-known open-source projects, it is also the language I use the most professionally, and the one I'm now most expert in.

I'm quite interested in programming languages in general (obsessed, some would say), and have played with many relatively unknown/alpha- and beta- stages languages such as Inko, Zig, Nit, Nim, etc. I even implemented my own toy programming language (now unmaintained), Agora.

Jobs

My career can be roughly split in 3 parts:

  • Consulting in Quebec City and Paris for DMR, Planaxis, Larochelle-Gratton and CGI, mostly big projects for large enterprises such as Visa, Paribas, government departments, Desjardins, etc. That was from 1996 to 2008.
  • From 2008 to 2013, employed by government departments, first Revenu Québec then Régie de l'Assurance-Maladie du Québec in a lead software architect role.
  • Since late 2013, working remotely (mostly as a freelancer, mostly for startups) for various companies around the world (USA, Switzerland, France, etc.).

Personal Projects

In addition to my professional work and my open-source projects (listed on this site), I also have various (sometimes closed-source) personal projects that were started either for fun, to learn or experiment with new technologies, to try to generate some revenue, or a mix of all this:

  • Horns of the Devil, a website similar to Metacritic or Rotten Tomatoes, but for metal reviews. I believe it was online from late 2009 to early 2011, and the only traces of its existence are now on the web archive. That was built in C#, Javascript and SQL Server.

  • Hypermégatop, parfois, my first blogging website (in french), focused on Node and Javascript. It was initially published on the blogging platform Calepin, but it closed soon after and I moved it to github pages with the Jekyll static site generator. This was in early 2012, and my posts over there are linked from this website.

  • Provok.in, a website where users could argue over a subject by linking articles or blog posts to prove their point, and vote for some point of view. It never took off but it was built with a very early version of Angular and I received a T-Shirt from them as my website was posted on their made with Angular website that was quite scarce at the time. According to the web archive, this was in 2012, so probably with a pre-1.0 or a newly released 1.0 of Angular. If I remember correctly, the backend was in Node.

  • 0value.com, my previous blogging website, custom-built using trofaf, a very straightforward Go command I implemented to generate a static website from markdown files. It is still live and my posts there are linked from this website.

  • Harfang Apps, a solo company I started, selling a Redis GUI app for Mac via the Mac App Store. The accompanying website is accessible via the web archive and was generated using Hugo and Bulma. The app itself was a native cocoa app built in Swift with Xcode. It was a great learning experience, not only for the Swift programming language and the native Mac frameworks, but also for the huge amount of work required to bootstrap a company, marketing, legal aspects, app store requirements, etc. I took a year off to work on this, from implementation to launch and a few sales - too little to keep going, sadly - mainly in 2017.

Family

My significant other and I have two wonderful kids, a boy and a girl. We also have two cats, which you may see from time to time on my Twitter feed or on some of my profile pictures (though usually this is feu Gribouille, who died in 2018).

Hobbies

I spend a good amount of hobby time on programming or computer-related stuff (see open-source and personal projects), but outside of programming and family life, I enjoy a few hobbies:

  • Listening to music - I'm a metalhead and have been since my teen years, maybe even before if you count Kiss and 80s hair metal as... well, as metal. I can enjoy pretty much any subgenre, but death and thrash metal is what I listen to the most. Outside metal, I'm also a huge Bruce Springsteen fan and I listen to various rock, folk and americana artists. Thanks to my kids I also listen to a fair share of contemporary pop and rap music.

  • Making music - I play decent guitar and used to play drums, although I haven't played in years (I sold my drum in 2017). I have two accoustic guitars and an electric one (a black B.C. Rich Warlock), and an old Korg keyboard. I recently bought an audio interface and a Shure mic, and started recording on GarageBand, there's a world of fun with that.

  • Writing - I enjoy poetry and a few years ago I wrote a lot of it (in french), and had two poems published.

  • Reading - I spend a lot of my reading time on technical articles and other programming-related documentation, but I also enjoy reading novels. Nancy Huston's Lignes de faille (Fault lines) and Mathias Enard's Zone are among my favorite ones.