Scotland JS

Edinburgh, 2018

Interview with Irina Shestak

Irina Shestak


@_lrlna
Javascript Takes on Genetically Evolving Cellular Automata

Hi Irina, could you start by telling us what do you do for a living?

Hello! I am Irina, a software developer at a Canadian telecom; currently based in Vancouver, Canada 🍁 I like JavaScript quite a bit. I have a bag and a hat to prove it.

Do you have any hobbies?

Outside of work things I like going out to explore. I pretty fortunate Vancouver is basically surrounded by mountains, so I get to go hiking quite frequently. There are really awesome trails a bus away and I don't have to drive to far-off places to enjoy one.

What are you interested in technically and personally?

Technically, I've been really getting into hardware hacking. @nodebotanist introduced me to working with an Arduino && Johnny-five at NodeInteractive in December. Now I have an Intel Edison and my friend sent me over a Flora board and some Neopixels. In other words, I am a happy hacker with some really cool toys to play with ^.^

Personally, I've been trying to get more involved in the community around town. The overall community and some really good folk "brought" me up as a developer, and it's important for me to give back. Occasionally you can find me teaching Ruby with a local chapter of Girls Learning Code. And I am pretty much always around at nodeschool Vancouver.

Why apply to Scotland JS?

Initially saw the call-for-proposals over in the twitter sphere. Then a few folks mentioned this is going to be a good event to speak at. And well, it's, oh my gosh, in Scotland \o/

What is your talk about?

My talk is on a genetically evolving cellular automata. The most bearbones version is this: simple components with simple tasks, together, producing a much more complex than the component itself outcome. What kind of collective computational abilities will we get if we try to evolve these components? How the heck are we going to do in javascript? How are we going to overcome the challenges that come with writing something that has to evolve? I am getting all giddy just thinking about it.

What are you looking forward to?

I love meeting new people, so I am most excited to meet all the cool javascript developers in Scotland. New JavaScript friends, yay!

How do you feel about participating in the Discussion Track? We're eager to get people's impressions about the format and find out how they feel about it.

Hmmmmm. I am not sure about it. I don't normally like Q&A in general, I feel like people are going to grill me over my facts. So this is probably going to be better than just a plain ol' Q&A. My most preferred way of interacting with delegates is probably just talking to people, i.e. folks coming up to me during coffee breaks and asking questions, things like that. It's more natural, doesn't feel overwhelming for me, and for the person who wanted to say something. For example, someone came up to me after my NodeInteractive talk and we nerded out over their approach to interactive command line interfaces; it was great.

Thank you for taking the time to talk to us today Irina, we can't wait to meet you in a few weeks time.

Katie Fenn

Interview by Katie Fenn