Gaston Bouchayer

Gaston Bouchayer

Intro / Career

I discovered quite late that I wanted to be a developer. It was during the last year of my studies in multimedia school. I regret not having been more attentive at school toward technical studies but if I had, I would not have been satisfied for other reasons because I’m generally a dissatisfied person :)

After my studies I started to work in Montreal for half a year then came back to France and worked as a freelancer before joining Akaru, a small digital studio based in Lyon. At present I lead creative development and since December 2014, am also the co-owner.

Projects / Workflow

When we start a new project we gather around our beautiful silkscreened wooden table to brainstorm with the team. Everyone can share their ideas. We discuss the concept, design and technique, while keeping customer needs in mind. Being an interface animation enthusiast, I love spending time talking with the designers about user experience and animation. I love to think and design a project and not just content myself with writing code. I often play the role of pragmatic guy, not only because that’s what I am but also because as soon as the design phase starts I am already think of the technical issues that could be encountered.

Tips / Tricks / Tools

I work with a little home-made JS starter with which I try to automate a maximum of things. I built it to be perfect for my needs. It helps me to avoid rewriting methods I use on each project like the routes controller, languages & contents management, preloads, show/hide views or mobile/desktop version management. It comes with the task-runner Gulp and NodeJS which I use for recurrent and painful front-end tasks like CSS/JS minimisation, image compression, JSHint or dev/prod environment management.

The developer's work is also to find a solution that will allow us to do as little as possible! I often update my starter to make less and less. :D

For the CSS, I use SASS + COMPASS but I think I'll switch to Stylus + Autoprefixer because I’ve heard a lot of good about them. I animate as much as possible with CSS, for rollovers and even sometimes for some transitions by only adding a class on the DOM. That is generally less costly in performance than using JS. But when I need to make more complex animations which come one after another and requiring callbacks, I use the famous animation library: please welcome Greensock!

Coding is done with SublimeText on a small 13-inch MackBook Pro and an external 24-inch screen. I keep an eye on TweetDeck to follow what is happening on the Internet. During a project, I use Wunderlist a lot to note every task or little things which comes to my mind and that I might forget.

Inspiration

I always work with music. That inspires me and helps me to stay focused and motivated in what I'm doing. I couldn’t live without music! The websites which help me the most in my work are Stack Overflow where I find many of my solutions to technical problems and CSS-Tricks for good tips, tricks and hacks.

life / Work / Balance

Outside of work I love doing sports (snowboarding, skateboarding, basketball), chill with my buddies, spend time with my family, go to the cinema, meet new people, drink some beers, have a good time actually.

For me it's essential to keep a healthy balance between work and personal stuff. It's these breaths of air and this balance that allow me to be efficient in my work.

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