Meet The Self Taught React Dev Who Sold His First Website at 18
This post was initially published by Abstract! It highlights the career achievements and thoughts of Senior Front End Engineer Andrew McCloud.
What personal passions bring you to Abstract?
Design communities! I’ve been installing/building software for managing communities of designers since I was in high school. Shoutout phpBB, celerondude, Pixel2Life! In 2010, I attempted to create something similar to Abstract called Pixelcloud, inspired by Facebook’s internal design collaboration tool.
What’s one childhood lesson that you still carry with you to this day?
I can usually avoid the pain of finding out something on my own if I listen to the wisdom of my peers. e.g. I’ll “see” for myself or not. I’d usually end up seeing for myself and be met with “see” in response.
It’s quite funny now because I say “see” to my little sister, since she often likes to find out her way too.
Tell us about where you grew up and what makes it unique.
I grew up in a business and that business was my dad’s recording studio. The studio opened about ~35 years ago and has had some modest success, netting Grammy nominations, and multiple platinum records.
Recent films like Straight Outta Compton and Defiant Ones have hit very close to home for me because both feature situations and people I knew personally as a kid, but I wasn’t aware of the impact they were making.
In retrospect, I now realize that my dad’s business has always revolved around mastering technology to help artists deliver on their vision. Providing them with the process to go from a nimble idea to result. I’m happy to be doing the same for product teams now at Abstract.
What are you most proud of in your life/career?
There are two things I am most proud of:
- Honestly, it’s being part of the Abstract team. It’s hard to put into words how proud I am to be a part of this team. I’ve worked with several product teams throughout my career and Abstract—through the diversity of our team and our team’s background—has managed to blend the best traits I’ve seen. I can see how Abstract is raising the bar for what it means to craft a product and build a company.
- Splicd. It’s funny because I started my career by convincing my mom that I didn’t necessarily need to go to college. How? I built and sold one of my first websites when I was 18 years old: Splicd, now known by the link to time button YouTube. The ability to link to a specific point in time on a YouTube video did not exist before my tool and it shortly went viral until they officially integrated the feature into their player.
What’s your favorite hype song and why?
I’ve been asked this question before and I feel like I have to be consistent with my answer…
‘Cause it don’ matta.
You get to have dinner with one famous person. Who do you choose and what would you ask them?
It would probably be the computer scientist Alan Kay.
I’d be very interested to hear his thoughts on how to continue to blur the line between GUI design and program design so that there is less busy work translating between the two designs.