Medium (2014—2017)

I joined Medium in March, 2014. During my time there I worked on product features, infrastructure, and trust & safety. I also mentored a few people through their system of skill-specific guilds and through CODE2040. Working at Medium allowed me to grow in so many directions and I will always be grateful for that.

Interestingly enough, it is through Medium how I got introduced to meditation and to say that it was a path altering experience for me would be a big understatement.

I left Medium in September, 2017. I felt the need to re-calibrate.

Charted (2014—)

People at Medium love charts. People show charts during all-hands meetings, they rotate charts on TV screens around the office, they send charts to each other. So at some point Mike and Evan made a nice little internal tool called Charted. After a little while Mike approached me about open sourcing Charted and making it a service. As someone who loves maintaining software I agreed and after a couple months of work we introduced Charted to the world. Charted is still used within Medium and I still maintain its open source version.

Beautiful JavaScript (2015)

After working on my previous book, I vowed to never write a book again because, it turned out, writing a book was hard. Then I had an idea: what if I act more as an editor and make other people writing chapters for my book. I remembered how much I liked Beautiful Code so I contacted O'Reilly and pitched them my idea of Beautiful JavaScript.

Author copies for Beautiful JavaScript

It turned out that making a bunch of busy computer programmers to write and edit chapters was even harder than doing it all by yourself! Nevertheless, I love how Beautiful JavaScript turned out. I gave authors a lot of editorial freedom and it paid off. The book is a collection of personal, sometimes weird, sometimes satirical essays about JavaScript and the craft of writing computer programs. Writers' personalities shine through their essays. It's great.

Third-Party JavaScript (2013)

In 2011 (or 2012, I can't recall anymore) Ben was contacted by Manning to either review or proof-read their book. We were sitting around at the Disqus office when he joked about us sending Manning a proposal and write a book. We've been doing a lot of experimentation with third-party JavaScript back then since Disqus was a third-party widget, browsers were not that good at cross-domain communication, and that kind of knowledge was pretty dispersed. The book made sense.

Author copies Manning sent me after our book had been published.

Writing a book is a lot of work! When we finally finished the manuscript, we both vowed to never write another book again. I kept that vow for about five months until I started working on Beautiful JavaScript.

Mozilla (2012—2014)

I joined Mozilla in September, 2012 to work on the Firefox Developer Tools. I was stepping into an unfamiliar territory: desktop software. While I realized that, at least back then, writing desktop software was not my thing, I met many good people who I now consider to be my close friends. And I still have an enormous amount of respect towards Mozilla, its goals, and its passion.

I left Mozilla in March 2014 to go back to web development at Medium.

JSHint (2011—2014)

On January 18th, 2011 I was frustrated with the most popular JavaScript linter at that time, JSLint, and wanted to have a better tool. I ranted about it to Paul on IRC. (#html5 channel on freenode, if my memory serves me well)

2011 jQuery Bay Area Conference. I believe this is the first time I gave a talk about code quality and JSHint. Photo by Ben Alman.

15:49 antonkovalyov: i am seriously thinking about forking jslint
15:58 antonkovalyov: paul_irish, do you use any linter for your project?
16:00 paul_irish: antonkovalyov: no
16:00 paul_irish: also. you should start by forking jslint
16:00 paul_irish: honestly there needs to be a proper fork on jslint these days.

I forked JSLint and the first thing I did was to write a lot of unit tests. JSLint didn't have any which I thought was a bit odd. Then I started making changes. About a month later, we released JSHint. JSHint clearly hit the nerve and quickly surpassed JSLint as the most popular linter for JavaScript. It had a good ride and I was proud to serve as its maintainer for three years, until July 21st, 2014 when I announced that I would be stepping down as the project's lead.

It was a good run and I learned a lot from making and running JSHint.

P.S. Around the same time as I was switching my energies from JSHint, Nicholas Zakas started a new project called ESLint. It was more modular, more extensible, and generally just a better linter. It quickly became the de-facto linter for the JavaScript ecosystem. I even switched the Medium codebase from using JSHint to using ESLint. Nicholas and his team had done a tremendous job with ESLint.

Disqus (2008—2012)

I joined Disqus in November, 2008. If my memory serves me well, back then we had a total of five people, including myself. Needless to say everyone was doing everything. I started as a generalist and, once the company started growing, moved towards being a lead front-end engineer.

Disqus circa 2008. My desk is in the middle.

Daniel and Jason, the founders of Disqus, made the decision to hire me while I was still living in Uzbekistan. They arranged my visa, paid for my travels (I didn't have much money back then), and let me crash on their couch for the first few months. I always remember their trust in me.

I left Disqus after four years, in September, 2012. I went to Mozilla to explore a world of desktop software.