We’re excited to introduce our new lead web developer, Matt Watson. Matt lives in Byram, Mississippi, and started with us in August. Get to know him better by reading his Q&A below.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received? To get into web development. This was definitely the best career advice I received, as it fits me like a glove.
Most-craved dish? Catfish plate from Jerry’s Catfish House in Florence, MS. It’s hard to miss, as it’s the only igloo-shaped building on Hwy 49.
Something you’d love to learn more about? Math and computer science. I’ve learned a lot of programming skills and web development through experience and self-teaching methods, but I think I could really increase those skills with more knowledge in math and comp sci. It would also enable me to make more video games, which I’ve tried to do before with limited success. One book on my reading list in The Imposter’s Handbook by Rob Conery.
What album could you listen to on repeat? Mission Bell by Amos Lee. Country enough to be good but not annoying.
Time travel is a thing. What year do you visit? 2008 so I can invest a grand or two in Bitcoin.
Who do you admire and why? I admire Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, who wrote one of my favorite books – Don Quixote – and did a lot of other cool things, like survive getting captured by pirates. He also wrote several novellas people rarely hear about.
If you had 5 minutes to teach someone something new, what would you teach? How to pronounce Spanish words. It’s a beautiful language, and the pronunciation rules are easy to learn and have very few exceptions.
What inspires your work? The possibilities. When I started making websites in earnest, all the possibilities felt overwhelming and still do. I’m always having app ideas, however absurd they may be. Furthermore, I have muscular dystrophy, and for me, programming is not only a craft I’m physically capable of doing, but also a way to gain access and independence. If only I knew robotics!
If you had an all-expenses-paid vacation to go anywhere, where would it be? I am not a fan of flying, so I would want a John Madden-style cross country trip visiting some major US cities.
Favorite place? San Antonio, TX. I’ve only been there once, but I loved it and it was an especially happy time in my life.
Current favorite artist or creative? Mel Gibson. He was my favorite action hero growing up in the ’90s, and when he made The Passion of the Christ and Apocalypto in the early 2000s, I thought a few decades of historical epic bliss lay in the future. While it didn’t quite pan out that way due to his personal controversies, I’m still keeping the hope alive that Hacksaw Ridge (2016) is the beginning of a slow but steady directorial comeback.
Why web development? A web development opportunity arose in 2016, even though I had very limited experience. I had to make a decision at that point: leave a Spanish PhD program or switch careers to coding websites. Obviously, I picked the latter, and it has proven to be very fulfilling. I owe a lot to my brother, who has been my primary teacher in this field and was doing this stuff in high school when I thought it was utterly boring.
How did you connect with Storyware? I saw a job ad they posted to Indeed in 2020 and applied. We had a good conversation, but COVID was in full swing and things were put on hold. Then in 2022, I got a surprise email from Storyware inquiring about my availability, and the rest is history!
What excites you the most about this job? I love learning new things related to this profession, and the opportunity to learn from the broad experience in all things web of the people who work here is exciting to me.
Matt is Storyware’s Lead Web Developer. He loves working on full-stack applications and making things as easy as possible for developers and users alike. Outside of web development, Matt has a love of languages and a master’s degree in Spanish.