Developer Spotlight: Jamie Introcaso in the Cosmic JS Community

Carson Gibbons

This article originally appeared on Cosmic JS.

In this installment of the Cosmic JS Developer Spotlight Series, we sat down with Jamie Introcaso, an experienced Software Developer residing in Charlotte, North Carolina. Jamie is an active member of the Cosmic JS Community and recently shared a blog documenting his migration from WordPress to Cosmic JS using the WordPress Importer Extension. With more community projects on the way, we're excited to interview one of our own for this Spotlight. 😎 Check Jamie out on his Cosmic-powered website, Twitter and LinkedIn, and enjoy the conversation.

Cosmic JS: When did you first begin building software?
Jamie: After graduating high school, I worked as a live sound engineer and bartender for almost 15 years before deciding to go back to school and finish my bachelors degree. During my time working as a sound engineer, I had noticed how much more was being done using technology and software. I have always been drawn to technology from a young age, so that passion paired with the job growth in the industry made getting a degree in computer science an easy choice. I graduated in 2014 and have been working professionally in the field since then. And it has been super rewarding. Everyday I am learning something or even better teaching someone about something to solve a problem.

What is your preferred development stack?
I have mostly worked in the C#/.NET stack in various forms such as WebForms and MVC and that is what I feel most comfortable with. I am starting to try and branch out a little bit more and learning more front end frameworks. It is nice because I can still have the familiarity of .NET using WebAPI and grow my skills using a new front end framework.

What past projects are you most proud of and why?
I would say the project I am most proud of is a MES (Manufacturing Execution System) that was built by myself and two other developers. It was my first time leading and architecting a project from the ground up so that was good and bad and exciting and scary. Luckily I had a great team supporting me. I still would marvel when I would visit the plant and see all these operators using software that I had built. It was definitely a trial by fire experience. I realized that they were not going to shut the plant down during our initial “go live” so I could fix my software! But I also realized that I was up to the task and was able to execute a project and implement it at a professional level.

What made you want to get away from WordPress and shift to a headless CMS?
I initially went to WordPress out of convenience, maybe more so laziness actually. It was just so easy to get a blog up and running. And it was. I had a nice editor to type my blog posts for the world to read. And I could go in and click and add pretty themes and plugins that supposedly improved my performance and caching, basically treating symptoms caused by WordPress itself! It was just madness! 

I tried to set up a WordPress development environment a couple of times to tweak my site and it was so frustrating! I can make a UI. I just needed the part where I could host my content and have it delivered to me. That is what led me to looking into the idea of a Headless CMS. For someone like me who was versed in programming applications, it just made sense. The idea of just having something that would deliver my content to me and allow me to implement it in the way of my choosing was so liberating. And have you ever tried to migrate a WordPress site from one environment to another? It’s maddening!!

What's your best advice to a developer mired in WordPress right now?
Ask yourself how much of your development time is spent creating workarounds in how WordPress handles things. How much time have you spent on updates for WordPress? Fixing broken plugins? Rolling back changes and doing database updates? Think about what you could use that time for. Put more time into your site. Create another site. Spend more time with your friends and family. There is a better way. You have all the tools you need to move away from WordPress. More than likely you know HTML and CSS and JavaScript. That is all you need. Cosmic JS has the tools to migrate your posts into their API in a matter of minutes.

What are some technologies you are excited to learn more about?
As I mentioned before I am starting to explore learning some front end frameworks. Primarily Angular is what I have been working on learning. At my current position, we are using it so it is nice to get paid to learn it! I also have a desire to learn more NodeJS. I have used it a little bit, and I just think that deeper learning of Javascript in both the front and back ends will be useful to me in my career. Other than those, I feel like learning other technologies and concepts that help scalability and reliability are the next key things for me to focus on. I think knowledge of things like microservices, containerization, distributed systems and system design are conceptually some of the next things that I will be focusing on learning.

The Cosmic JS Spotlight Series is dedicated to showcasing developers that are building apps using modern tools. Learn how to contribute here. To stay connected with us follow us on Twitter and join the conversation on Slack.