illustration for Being a Passionate and Deliberate Engineer with Jem Young

episode 28

Being a Passionate and Deliberate Engineer with Jem Young

John Lindquist

Today we are joined by Jem Young, a senior software engineer over at Netflix. Jem is here to discuss his programming philosophy and how it is an extension of himself, how engineers should have the freedom to have ideas and veto things, the difference passion makes, and being informed about the libraries that you include in your code and if they are actually needed.

Netflix's homepage got 50% faster when Today Edwards had the idea of not shipping React to the client. All event handling was done with vanilla javascript and React remained on the server side. Finding this balance of developer productivity and performance is important. Jem talks about how you should really examine the reasons why you are including a library in your codebase, and to ask yourself if it could be implemented in a simpler way with what you already have.

Jem discusses what it means to love the work you do and to have a real passion for creating software. Passion makes a difference in a developer's career path, the devs who are just looking to make a paycheck and don't really care don't end up in the same place that those who really care about their work do. Jem is curious, he experiments with software on his weekends, he'll sometimes wake up at 1am with the solution to a bug he's been thinking about all day, software is an integral part of his life beyond it just being how he puts food on the table.


  • Trusting your engineers to know what they are doing

  • Weighing the performance costs of included libraries

  • The difference that real passion for software makes

  • How programming is like solving a puzzle

  • How the code you write represents you

Jem Young:

John Lindquist:

More Podcasts