The Twelve Developers of Christmas: Daniil Kulchenko, Piper Piping
by Isabelle Groc

Isabelle Groc, January 8, 2013

Last month and now wrapping up in 2013, we have been celebrating twelve Stackato ActiveState developers who share thoughts about the product, little known facts about them, and how they spend their time when they are not developing.

Daniil Kulchenko, 17, is ActiveState's youngest team member. Currently a Grade 12 student at Inglemoor High School in Kenmore, Washington, Daniil was born in Donets'k, Ukraine, and immigrated to the United States when he was five. He first lived in Kansas City, and now lives in Seattle. Daniil joined ActiveState when he was 15 after it acquired Phenona, the Perl PaaS company that Daniil founded.

He now works on many of the core bits of Stackato, including the cloud controller, DEA, stager, the filesystem data service, migration functionality, LXC support, and a few new features. He also manages the Stackato Sandbox.

Because Daniil has such a musical ear, he is our Piper Piping on the Eleventh Day of Christmas.

How did you become a developer?

My parents introduced me to web development at the age of five, and I've been developing since.

Favourite programming language(s)?

I was exclusively a Perl guy for 10 years. Since joining ActiveState, I've picked up Ruby and it's become my go-to language. It's the closest I've found to programming nirvana. The language is so expressive that it gets out of the way and makes the "brain to code" path as short as possible. I've been dabbling in, and enjoying Node.JS recently as well.

What do you do when you are not developing?

High school takes up a large part of my day, but in the remaining time I read, study, play Minecraft, and the piano. I started playing the piano when I was seven, and I have been playing almost every day since. My favorite composer is Claude Debussy, and my favorite piece by him is Clair de Lune. I also write, blogging mostly, though I haven't been doing much of it recently. I have a whole bunch of half-finished posts in my drafts folder. I hope to write a book some day, though I haven't decided yet on what!

What do you listen to while you're working?

I have a rotating cycle of Pandora stations that change depending on my mood. Anything from ambiance (Abakus, Amethystium, etc.) to hard rock (Foo Fighters, Rise Against, Soundgarden, Incubus). Recently I've been on a jazz kick, and I am a huge fan of Toronto's

Best book you've read this year?

The Racketeer by John Grisham, a real page-turner. I've yet to find a John Grisham book I didn't like, he's an excellent writer. I also recently reread The Hobbit in time for the movie premiere on December 14, and I really enjoyed reliving Tolkien's universe.

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Isabelle joined ActiveState as a Technical Editor after several years as a freelance journalist, editor, and photographer, and has contributed to a variety of media outlets including PC Magazine, Canadian Geographic, Discover, Canadian Wildlife, Georgia Straight, and Scientific American.