Question: What do you drink while coding? (Question from
Justin Frankel: I like coffee and I like English Breakfast Tea.
Coffee, I generally go Americano because it has America in the name, and
no, not really. And then I have some cream in it. No sugar. But I do
cream and sugar in my English Breakfast Tea because that’s the way it’s
meant to be.
Question: What does your workspace look like?
Justin Frankel: Generally, I like a big desk. I have keyboard
which is the originally Microsoft Natural keyboards, which was from like
1996, I think. They changed them after that and they have the arrow
keys that are an “X” I think, or are a cross, or a plus sign rather than
an inverted “T”, and those ones are terrible. But I have like three of
the classic Microsoft Natural keyboards.
Usually like one big monitor is my preference at this point. I have a
MAC next to it and I use software called Synergy, which lets you move
your mouse cursor from on one computer to a monitor on another computer,
which is pretty helpful when you’re doing cross platforms.
Question: Describe your work process.
Justin Frankel: I think most of my work happens at home. And it
used to be the kind of thing where I’d work late at night. But in the
last few years, I’ve definitely found myself getting more done in the
mornings as I try to get up in the mornings. Which I think is healthier
for me in general. But yeah, I think there's a lot of... there’s a lot
of not working but thinking about working and sort of having problems
in your mind that you’re trying to figure out the solution for before
you go and type any of it. There's a lot of typing things and then
realizing what you’re doing is stupid and then revert, and throwing it
all away and I think that’s something that's very useful to be able to
do, is to try things and if they don’t work out to move on.
Question: Do you listen to music while coding?
Justin Frankel: I tend to listen to music. I was reading
something recently where they were talking about how music with lyrics
will affect people if you’re like... if kids are doing homework, it
interferes with reading and I would tend to agree with that, but I think
code is different enough from reading that lyrics aren’t really a
Question: Do you ever procrastinate?
Justin Frankel: Yes, it’s funny you should ask that really.
Yeah, I think the right amount of procrastination is a good... a very
good quality because I think sometimes you’ll go and have an idea to do
something and then do it and spend a lot of time on it and then release
it and then you’ll be stuck with it and then you’re later on realize
that you should have don it a different way and now you’re stuck with
the current version. It’s less of an issue if you just try something
out and then don’t like put it into a released product, but when you
actually release things, you end up having this pressure of not taking
away things that people like. And so procrastination is good for that.
And also, I think if you really, really think things through it will
save you time in the end when you go to actually implement it.
Question: What do you have against llamas? (Question from Redditor
We shipped a default MP3 with one app for while that was "Winamp. It
really whips the llama’s ass." And then there was also an Easter Egg
where you could make the title bar show that. And the origin of that
is, someone emailed us way back when, and I think emailed my friend, Tom
Pepper, who was... ran all of our web stuff and was very much
instrumental in creating all of these communities. Someone emailed
saying, Winamp, it whips the llama’s ass, and so it just kind of
stuck. And then it turned out later that it’s actually something that
Wesley Willis, who's I guess is a comedian or a musician, or it’s kind
of complicated if you look him up... mostly musician, but it’s some that
he would say in a song, I think. I think somebody had emailed that,
quoting one of his songs and we just sort of liked it as far as what we
stood for, I guess.
Well, llamas are very cute. But, I don’t know, just, just kind of having
some sort of identity and having it be a little weird.
Recorded on June 21, 2010
Interviewed by Jessica Liebman