The people who use our boards.

272 interviews since 2018

Andrew Thompson

Tech Lead/Cloud Architect

Who are you, and what do you do? What do you like to do outside of work?

Hi! My name is Andrew Thompson, and I’m an electrical engineer who has somehow found himself mixed up in software engineering. Along the way I’ve also worked as a video rental clerk, construction GM, Army officer and laser-tag ref, albeit not necessarily in that order. I used to think of myself as a front-end dev, but eventually transitioned to backend & cloud infrastructure and somehow, through the Peter principle, I have found myself helping to decide how we are going to build things, as I can’t be trusted to write the code myself! I love all the Javascripts large and small, and if I had to pick a favorite cloud provider, AWS is probably my first love. I’ve been working at BMW since 2019, where I currently help our EVs charge smarter!

Andrew Thompson's setup
High-quality peripherals do the heavy lifting here

What hardware do you use?

For computing I split my time between my Steam Deck, an M1 Max 16” for work, and a 2018 MBP 15” for personal use.

I have a love/hate relationship with my daily headset, a Logitech G935—audio is great, microphone is solid with flip to mute, but I’ve had to replace the headset three times due to QC issues. When recording quality is important for my audio, I use a pair of Sennheiser HD 6XXs and an Audio-Technica ATR-2100x paired with a Scarlett Solo as the audio interface.

For my webcam I my use my mirrorless Canon R6 with an old EF 17-35mm f/2.8 to get nice bokeh on video calls.

I use my Stream Deck daily as a bookmarks / git macros / home assistant all-purpose tool for controlling my digital setup.

For input I switch between a Logitech Ergo M575 and G502 Hero. Keyboard-wise, I am using a Moonlander paired with the very excellent Platform both at home and on the go!

And what software?

I spend most of my time working in VS Code—I’ve used other IDEs, but VSC does everything I need it to! I recently made the switch from the still-excellent Notion to Obsidian for personal knowledge management.

My two favorite utilities I use every day are my favorite launcher, Alfred, and indispensable programmer’s Swiss Army knife Devuap DevUtils.

I try to stay out of the frontend flame wars, but my personal preferences are React > SvelteKit > Vue > Angular.

Andrew Thompson's keyboard in use
Andrew's found a way to use his Moonlander everywhere

What’s your keyboard setup like? Do you use a custom layout or custom keycaps?

My normal layout is optimized for coding and use of Alfred.

As mentioned before, I typically use my Moonlander paired with the platform both at home and at work, but I’ve also recently been experimenting leg-mounting my Moonlander and pairing it with Xreal Airs and a Steam Deck for an on-the-go computing setup (the mouse layer becomes very clutch in this setup).

The software/specs are getting better and faster on AR glasses, so I’m almost to the point I’d recommend a similar setup if you like to work outside the office (as soon as there are more 4k models I’d recommend).

What would be your dream setup?

ZSA releases a low-profile choc version of the Moonlander in black, white, and a limited-edition Sakhir Orange along with optional rotary encoder or trackball thumb modules. Add in a maxed-out 14” MBP, a pair of the Vision Pros, and I’d be a happy programmer.

Andrew Thompson's Xreal Air AR glasses
If this isn't a happy programmer, surely he's at least a very contented one

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