Interview: Scott Hanselman, Programmer

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Scott Hanselman is a Portland-based programmer at Microsoft, an influential speaker, an empowering teacher, and host of a popular technology podcast. In this interview, he shares his unique EDC and some great advice based on a timeless maxim in the everyday carry world.

What’s in your everyday carry?

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View Scott Hanselman’s Full Everyday Carry

I’m a Type 1 Diabetic so I have my Medtronic Insulin Pump physically attached to me (you can see the tube going off-screen here) as well as an implanted glucose sensor talking to the blue Dexcom G4 CGM (Continuous Glucose Meter) which shows my current blood sugar. I have a Clif Bar in case I have a low blood sugar, so a bunch of my everyday carry is “staying alive” stuff.

Then I’ve got my keys which have more staying alive stuff, like my pills. Attached to my keys is LEGO Gimli, as well as a Bluetooth LE Tile in case I lose my keys.

Then I’ve got an Umbra Wallet with cards, but also my main 3 cards attached to my iPhone 6+, not pictured. The Limefuel is a 20,000mA battery and the HooToo is a Hotel Wifi Router and another 6,000mA battery. To top if all off, I have a pen that is also a stylus.

Could you explain to us what you do as a coder, blogger, and teacher?

I work at Microsoft on Open Source, the Azure Cloud, and ASP.NET Web Tools. I manage the community for our web platform and program manage aspects of the developer experience. I also produce a number of podcasts and YouTube series on the side. In addition to that, I present to schools and young people trying to get them interested in STEM, engineering, making, and DIY culture.

What inspires you to take on all those projects?

I like to teach and I like to learn. Getting a kid (or an adult) to suddenly light up with the light that only comes from personal empowerment and confidence in their own abilities is what gets me up in the morning.

Besides your career, what else are you passionate about?

I’m not too passionate or focused on my “career.” My hobbies and my job are the same thing: getting people stoked about building.

Why do you EDC?

I like to be prepared. To not have my pump or CGM or Power Bars means certain death, so there’s that.

But I also like my phone and feel uncomfortable if I run out of power. Ultimately all my EDC choices are utilitarian ones. I value function above all else.

You’ve done a great job refining your EDC to just the essentials you need to do work and, as you put it, avoid certain death. With those bases covered, is there anything else you’d want to carry?

I would have a Leatherman on me if I wasn’t always going through Airport Security.

What projects do you have in the works right now?

I’m currently working on a cross-promotion with CodeNewbie and my own podcast Hanselminutes, called where we are doing a month of hardware podcasts, Google Hangouts, blog posts, and Twitter chats to inspire software people to try DIY Hardware. Experience the joy of making: March Is For Makers.

You’ve mentioned you love to learn and you love to teach. What have you learned over the years that you could teach our readers?

Measure twice, cut once. A lot of people base their decisions on their gut or the advice of others. However, few seem to actually measure and make changes. Be more systematic and focus on what you can do to incrementally improve all aspects of your life. Now, do that for 20 or so years, every day.

Learn more about Scott’s projects at his website, and follow him on Twitter for another way to connect with him.

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