Employee Spotlight: Matthew Philpot, Android Developer

Currently listening to: When I started: Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots by The Flaming Lips (pt.1). When I finished: Across the Room (feat. Leon Bridges) by ODESZA

1. What do you do at Linux Academy?

I develop and maintain the Android app(s) for Linux Academy. I also work with students to debug issues they’re having their devices. Android Developer, resident Audiophile and SQL expert. Been here since March 1st, 2017

2. What did you do before this?

I worked for defense contractor called Apptricity. I was primarily responsible for developing/maintaining their current and next-gen android apps.

I graduated from UNT with a BS in Computer Science, and a minor in Technical Writing. My biggest reason for coming here was the culture and closeness to home. And so far I’m loving it

3. What do you like most about what you do?

Having (mostly) complete creative control over the development of the Android App. Nowhere else would it have so easily been accepted to switch over to Kotlin from Java for Android dev.

4. What’s your favorite part of working at Linux Academy?

The people I work with here. They’re all great and all share the “all for one and one for all” mindset.

5. What do you like to do in your free time?

Listen to music – digital or vinyl – at home. I have a pretty serious system that I really enjoy listening to. It also makes for nice movie watching! I’m also part of a competitive team for a game, World of Warships. We actually just finished 1st in the North American Tournament which is pretty exciting!

6. Favorite food:

A good burger. Medium rare, sharp cheddar cheese, raw onions and lettuce. No sauce because I’m weird.

7. Favorite quote:

I’m gonna show nerd here a bit I guess. It’s from the semi-historical (but mostly legend and mythical) book called Romance of the Three Kingdoms. “There are five possible operations for any army. If you can fight, fight; if you cannot fight, defend; if you cannot defend, flee; if you cannot flee, surrender; if you cannot surrender, die.” -Sima Yi

Whatever you do, don’t read the abridged version. The non-abridged is miles better.

8. What’s something you’re really excited about right now?

Buying our first house with the wifey and having our first kid next year

9. What do you like to collect?

… Stereo audio equipment

10. If you could have any superpower, what would it be, and why?

I was going to just say flying (so I could avoid all that traffic, and it just seems like a good all-around super power), but now that I think about it… Telekinesis would be the better option because then I could just make myself fly in addition to others or moving objects and stuff.

11. You’re a new addition to the crayon box, what color would you be, and why?

Green. It’s a calming color, and I’m generally a very calm person, so I think it suits me well. Also, I gotta represent UNT.

12. Teach us something we may not know in 10 sentences or less.

I’ve been arrested once for petty theft. This was almost 10 years ago now. While some may view it as a smear in my history or character, I think it was one of the best things that could have happened to me. It set me straight and I’m glad it happened. I laugh about it now, though… Man, I was stupid when I was younger, but then again aren’t most “boys” stupid when they’re younger?

13. If you could interview one person (dead or alive), who would it be?

From the same book above. There was a character, Chuko Liang (aka Zhuge Liang). The book paints him as one of the calmest men there and a brilliant strategist, able to analyze and adapt to changing situations. When I was younger I took this mindset to heart and, looking at the StrengthsFinder results that every employee does here at Linux Academy, it shows as my #1 and #2 are Strategic and Adaptability.

14. What is one thing on your bucket list?

Hmmmm. Sky Diving.

15. Do you own any iOS devices, and why or why not!

The only Apple device we own is an AppleTV, because it was free

16. How has Android developed and changed since you first started in the industry? What has been the most exciting change for you?

The first Android app I ever wrote was a tower defense game for Android Donut, which came out in September of 2009. The biggest changes for me as an Android developer have come from increased API support from Google and better support for screen sizes, widgets, and video capture.

It’s just been a crazy journey with Google as Android morphed over the years in response to consumer demand in the changing industry.

The thing that has me most excited right now is the making of Kotlin a first-class citizen for Android development. I wasn’t super excited when the first announced it, but I’m a believer now!

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