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Matt Gawarecki

(he/him)

About me

TL;DR

Hi! 👋 I’m Matt.

I write software for a living, but I’m a dorky little kid at heart. I have two modes: “sleeping” and “hey, what’s this do?” In my spare time, I’m usually learning stuff, building stuff, playing with stuff, or stuffing my face. I love talking to people, but mostly over the internet.

Some random facts

👍 I write left-handed, which makes for fun times when I’m in front of a whiteboard. (Or --- you know --- the opposite of that.) I’m right-hand dominant in a lot of other activities, though, so I guess that makes me… semi-ambidextrous?

😬 I have chronic anxiety. Sometimes it sucks, but it’s also driven me to learn more about stress, emotions, and how to understand other people.

🖥 My first computer was a Packard Bell. It had a 75MHz processor, a 500-megabyte hard drive, and came with Windows 3.1!

🌎 I grew up in a small town in Kentucky before moving to Nashville. We had one police officer and zero traffic lights. (Total population: around 500)

💍 I’ve been happily married since 2011. For our first date, we went to a live performance of The Rocky Horror Picture Show!

🐕 My wife and I have two dogs: Mocha and Cookie. We adopted both of them from rescue shelters. They’re the absolute sweetest.

What I do at work

I write software!

Captain Obvious, giving his very sarcastic approval

… right --- that was a bit vague. Sorry.

Mostly I write business software. The bulk of my work is in “back end”-ish stuff like web services and integrations, but I love being a full-stack generalist when I get the chance. My current job focuses on development for the Salesforce platform, but in the past I’ve delivered software in .NET, Java, JavaScript, and Python.

What I do for fun

My hobbies fall pretty neatly into three categories: learning, building, and eating.

Leslie Knope of "Parks and Recreation," doing her happy dance

(Shut up. Eating is too a hobby.)

Learning and building both stimulate my lifelong curiosity for how things work. Whether it’s code*, machinery, furniture, or food, I’ve always had a habit of tinkering with darn near everything I can get my hands on. When the weather’s nice, that means doing my own automotive maintenance and setting up DIY projects. Other times --- especially when it’s cold and dreary out --- I like to read books and try new recipes in the kitchen (usually sweets and desserts).

*One note on programming, though: To protect myself against burnout, I don’t code much outside the office. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it (because I do), but I’ve been burnt out once before, and it’s no fun. To make sure it never happens again, I limit my time in front of the keyboard and set firm boundaries between work and home.

Where to find me

Well, first of all, I don’t really get out a lot. 😅 But if you do catch me adventuring out in the world, it’s probably because I’m searching for food! I love finding new and different places to eat, especially when I’m traveling.

Natsu and Happy from "Fairy Tail," eating a large meal

I’m a pretty private person, but I do try to get out of my shell and engage from time to time. I like sitting in for PyNash’s monthly Python meetup, and I’ve been to a couple local development conferences (PyTennessee and Music City Code). I’d really like to get out to a few larger ones --- international events like PyCon, JSConf, or The Lead Developer --- but scheduling and travel expenses have made that difficult so far. Here’s hoping for next year!

In true introverted fashion, a lot of my social life happens over the internet. I’m particularly active in WeAllJS and Data for Democracy, which are both amazing organizations full of kind, helpful people. They give me goals to aspire to, jokes and good news to smile to, and smart advice I can set my watch to. If you’re interested in that sort of thing, they’re well worth checking out.