Tomomi Imura is flying in from San Francisco to join us at Web Unleashed to talk about Hardware Hacking for JavaScript Engineers, so we caught up with her to learn a bit more about what to expect.

By day, she works at a real-time data stream network startup, called PubNub. “Just like UX designers are trying to create great user experience for apps and services, I am working to achieve great developer experiences with our APIs,” said Tomomi. She’s no stranger to teaching complex concepts in an easy to understand manner, as a big part of her job involves providing guides and tutorials with easy-to-follow code samples and diagrams. She also occasionally gives talks and workshops at conferences, and we’re lucky to be one of them!

What’s your favourite part of your job?

I am always thinking about the most efficient and effective ways to make complicated materials into something developers can follow easily. I write tutorials like “How to create a collaborative HTML5 canvas drawing app” and “Internet of Things 101 with Raspberry Pi”.

So my favorite part is when people tell me they loved my articles, especially when they tell me they forked my project to create something even cooler.

Tell us a bit about what you’re working on.

Currently, a part of my work is mentoring summer interns to help creating Internet of Things projects, using Arduino, Raspberry Pi, other microcontrollers. But they are all very intelligent and creative so I can go pretty easy. Right now, one of the interns is creating a smart scale to monitor how much coffee in a pot!

My other tasks at work are probably not so interesting for you, although, I am trying to create something fun with Raspberry Pi for my cat when I have some time.

Who inspires you?

Probably my mom. She used to be an artist before I was born, and she was one of the most creative person I have known. I think she had inspire me subconsciously because I like drawing and anything crafty although I’ve never formally learn how to. I just regret I didn’t spent enough time with her before cancer took her.

How do you stay on top of your field?

Before I joined PubNub, I had been working in mobile industry for about 8 years. So naturally, I was one of the earliest web developers who worked on mobile devices in the US. I think I found my own niche and stick with it for a while.

I started as a web developer, and later I switched to developer evangelism. It was when I was working at Palm webOS after finishing the platform’s 3.0 release, because I wanted to advocate the APIs I had been working. I enjoyed my work and found another niche as a developer evangelist.

I have changed my jobs a few times after and here I am, I am doing well at what I do!

Why should people come to your session at Web Unleashed?

Because it is nice to have a little break from coding talks to check out something new! My talk will be about basic hardware stuff with front-end engineer’s perspective, so nothing should be too hard to follow!

What’s your fav candy?

Annie’s no-gelatin gummy bunnies.


You can find Tomomi on Twitter @girlie_mac and on GitHub.