Who won the 2018 ng-conf trip?

Want to get to know the person who won the ng-conf trip?  His name is Tom Price, and he lives with his wife in Raleigh, NC. He will be joining us in Salt Lake City for ng-conf in just a few short weeks!

Read the interview below to find out more about Tom.

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How long have you been a developer?
I've been at this professionally since 1976. I guess that probably makes me one of the oldest guys in the room. I have been fortunate enough to witness some phenomenal advances in technology and how our society uses it. Back then, some us still had decks of punch cards or worked on teletype terminals that required the occasional shot of WD-40.  These days, an 8 year old has a smart phone connected to the internet.

Why did you choose to get started in this field?

I started out wanting to work in the sciences and remember all the tedium trying to reduce laboratory data. There was a lot of personal satisfaction in building tools to solve those tasks. 
I recognized that it would become an important part of society with many opportunities, although never in my wildest dreams did I envision it would develop into all that it is today.
That said, few professions change as rapidly or as completely. That makes it exciting and fun, although "staying relevant"  can become a formidable task. 

How long have you been working with Angular?

I did my first real application using AngularJs about 3 years ago. I've been working some with Angular for about a year, although I'm still paying my dues.

What do you like about working with Angular? Dislike?

When I first saw the interpolation and two-way binding in AngularJs I thought it was awesome. Angular components are also a great feature. 
Angular has support from both Google and Microsoft.  It's positioned to leverage the javascript of the future. It's going to be enhanced, improved, and supported by third party tools. It has a large, vibrant developer community. Training and online help are readily available. You can see that it's strategic and is going to be around for a really long time. 
Authentication and authorization still seem to have a "roll your own" flavor to them. Specifically, I'd like to see openId and oAuth2 more tightly integrated into the product. Maybe I haven't found that really good comprehensive template that does it but I know that eventually I will.

Where do you go for resources when you want to learn more or get stuck on something?

I'm fortunate to live near RTP and belong to several user groups. 
  • I got my introduction to AngularJs at TRINUG (Triangle Dot-net User Group) perhaps 4 years ago. In addition to monthly meetings, this group organizes informal special interest groups for training and organizes an annual day-long code camp. The group had presentations and SIG training on Angular as one of a series of web technologies.
  • I also attend the RTP Angular.js and Modern Web meetup groups. I found these groups on the Meetup web site. These groups were able to arrange two different presentations by Dan Wahlin, John Papa, and Joe Eames during their visit to the area last year. Modern Web has a "javascript jeopardy" component to their meetings where the charming and entertaining Tracy Lee frequently dresses in costume.
Modern web organizes podcasts that often include members of various development teams. Follow them on Twitter

For learning at your own pace, I'm a real fan of Pluralsight. Dan Wahlin, John Papa, Joe Eames, and Deborah Kurata are among the authors with really good Angular courses there. There is also plenty of good material on the Angular web site.
For day-to-day help, Google is my friend. Often, that search ends at Stackoverflow. I think it's one of the better Q&A sites.
I don't often look for that "right-now" kind of help, but a good resource for that is the Angular discussion at Gitter. 

What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing code?

I'm a do-it-yourselfer and shade tree mechanic. Sometimes my enjoyment comes from discovering what makes things tick and solving a problem, other times just by not having to hire a specialist to do it. 

About a 2 1/2 hour drive from home I have an old trailer near the beach. When I'm not doing mundane tasks there like cutting grass and fixing things, it is a great place to unwind.
I enjoy watching motor sports. It's fun to watch a driver take a car that their team built though a competition and prove they're the best. My wife and I have met a number of current and past NASCAR drivers and personalities; there are so many interesting people.

My wife and I enjoy travelling to the Caribbean and especially to the island of St. Martin. 
And finally, what could be better than learning something new on Pluralsight or at a user group?

What are you most excited to learn about or experience at ng-conf?

Of course, there are going to be some great presentations by great speakers. I expect to learn a lot about existing features and where the product is going in the future. Most will be live streamed and eventually show up on You Tube for people who can't make it. 
But for me, the most important thing is the ability to network with others passionate about Angular. In some of the less formal settings, I hope to hear a little about what people are doing with it, what is important to them, tools and resources that they like (or hate!), and what they think about some of the presentations. Hopefully, I won't be a lurker and can make some acquaintances that will last beyond the end of the conference.