Joost is a lecturer at the university of applied sciences in Amsterdam. He teaches students how to write code for the web.
Joost is deaf in one ear. He believes that this may have contributed to him becoming a frontend developer, someone who works on a computer, alone. Fun may be another contributing factor. But his partial deafness doesn’t prevent him from being an impassioned teacher. Students do tease him every now and then in class when they find out he can not pinpoint sounds.
It was to be expected. Joost’s extension is his computer. He makes his fantastic examples of new web technology on this computer. He prepares his classes on this computer. He communicates with students and colleagues with it. More than a tool.
For Joost writing code for the web is a very visual activity. Sure, in part it’s about the structure of the code, but in the end it is in big part about how it looks, what it does for the users. Whenever we invite a blind developer to do a guest lecture he’s awestruck.
His colleagues sometimes ask him to please stop tapping his feet. Because that’s what his feet do when he’s concentrated. He gets up to walk quite often as well. It stimulates his brain.
These are Joost’s hands. He uses them to control his computer.
A big part of his work is talking to students. Joost loves that. Listening to their ambitions and helping them in achieving them. Explaining things they find hard to understand. His head is also used to store new knowledge. He understands his profession better than ever, since he became a lecturer. At the same time he thinks he lost his production skills. It’s debatable whether that’s a bad thing.
Joost finds it hard to work in this open office space. It looks empty now, but there are always people walking in and out, talking to each other, asking questions that need an answer right now. When he needs to get things done he prefers working from home.
His students. Without a doubt his students are the reason why Joost makes things. He’s genuinely interested in their well being, he’s always there to help them out, to give them advice. He’s one of those teachers people will remember fondly.
Browsers, texteditors and Codepen. Joost’s tools are software.