Meet John Sonmez – One of July’s Most Interesting Developers

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John SonmezJelastic has chosen John Sonmez as one of our Most Interesting Developers for July, 2014!

John is the founder of Simple Programmer, where he tirelessly pursues his vision of transforming complex issues into simple solutions. John has published over 50 courses on topics such as iOS, Android, .NET, Java, and game development for the online developer training resource, Pluralsight. He also hosts the Get Up and CODE podcast, where he talks about fitness for programmers.

Tell us about yourself.

I’m what you might call a life coach for software developers. I still write code, but my main focus right now is helping developers live better lives by becoming better at writing code, but also by improving their fitness, mental state and financial smarts. I run Simple Programmer where I provide consulting services, create podcasts, write books and create online courses for software developers. I believe the software development world has gotten far too complex and too many people try and keep it that way, so I have taken it as my person mission to make the complex simple.

Do you think you are interesting? If yes, why?

Yes. I think what makes me the most interesting is the wide variety of interests that I have. I an an entrepreneur at heart, so I am focused on looking for new opportunities where I can use my software development skills and I like to write and talk about how to start and run your own business. I have a podcast about entrepreneurship for software developers called Entreprogrammers. I am also a real estate investor. I started investing in real estate when I was 18. And, if you follow my podcast Get Up and CODE, you know that I am into fitness as well. I’ve also been a model and actor – but that was a long time ago. Oh, I also created 55 courses for the online developer training company, Pluralsight – and I did it in just over 2 years.

Can you tell us a little about your first development project? Is it still available today?

My first development project was probably creating my own MUD (Multi-User Dungeon.) MUDs were these old text-based games that you would play over the internet, in its early days. I wanted to create my own MUD, so I downloaded the source code and taught myself C by looking at it and modifying it. (Perhaps not the best way to learn C, but it worked for me.) The MUD is not available anymore, but there are other MUDs still around.

Preferred coding language?

It would have to be C#, with Java a close second.


Well, it probably stems from C# being the language I learned after C++. C++ was hard. C++ was a painful language to use. I was proud of knowing C++ and knowing that I could bend void pointers to my will. But, once I learned C#, I realized I was about 500% more productive than I was with C++. I’ve always found C# to be just the right mix of expressiveness and elegance that I need to do most jobs.

Any groups or open source projects that you are part of?

I am part of the Entreprogrammers. A group of software developer entrepreneurs who meet each Friday to discuss our plans to take over the world by signing up people to our email lists.

Who do you think is the most interesting developer in the world (excluding yourself)?

I have to say Bob Martin. He is probably my all time hero of software development. The guy is just awesome. I love his books and highly recommend them, especially Clean Code. He is a true professional with high standards and integrity. He is also a really great guy. I’ve had the opportunity to interview him for my How to Market Yourself as a Software Developer course and he was very kind and helpful. Plus, who can stand the test of time like Uncle Bob?

We have received a LOT of nominations for Uncle Bob!

What is the idea behind Get Up And CODE?

Software developers sit a lot. Many software developers are unhealthy. Get Up and CODE is a podcast targeted at software developers and IT professionals to help them get into fitness and nutrition and to connect with other software developers who are already into fitness.

And just for fun…

Choose one of the following:

Deserted Island or Japanese Subway?

Definitely deserted island. I could finally catch up on my reading and video game playing. I would definitely need some power source though. If I could have a nuclear power generator on my deserted island and a wall outlet, I’d do ok. I could probably live without the internet.

What’s your favorite made up word?

Bastage. It has the feel of saying bastard, but isn’t quite as vile.

Finish this sentence:  The internet is…

A place where all kinds of imaginary irrelevant arguments take place for no purpose at all.

Thanks John!

Do you know The Most Interesting Developer in the World? If you do, then nominate them here!

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