Zac Nowicki (z64)

Hi, I’m Zac! :slight_smile:

My handle - maybe you guessed - comes from way too many hours as a kid playing on a Nintendo 64 game console. Often abbreviated as N64, turning the N sideways… you get a Z, as in my first name - therefore, “z64”!

I programmed a lot as a teen, writing small C++ programs to do my math homework for me (it printed the work too so that I could copy it! :wink:). I also tried a bunch of other langs like Java, JS, etc. - however, I didn’t really have anything to program, so it didn’t really stick…

Some time after I graduated college, I would find Discord - a real time chat application similar to Slack, but marketed towards gamers. There, I met some awesome communities - not only of gamers like me, but of programmers as well, who introduced me to Ruby. Discord launched their public bot API, and it presented me with a great opportunity to give back to the community - writing tools and integrations for the games we played into Discord, using Ruby. It was so simple and expressive - just fun - I was hooked. I would later become a maintainer of the Discord library that taught me Ruby, which has been a great experience.

Eventually, Crystal came onto my radar in much the same way (Discord), and it brought what I realized that I missed a whole lot: Static types, analysis, and of course - native performance. Crystal’s core concepts and what it delivered despite being 0.x was almost too good to be true. The only thing that was missing was the well-developed ecosystem of packages. But, of course, that presents a perfect opportunity to contribute and be part of the journey. I was very excited too to see frameworks like Lucky from Thoughtbot pop up - I’m actually local to Boston, so seeing a professional team close to home using Crystal made me really hopeful for one day having a career in software, writing Crystal code!

Using and watching Crystal grow has been very exciting, and I’ve learned so much more about computers, compilers, programming, and working together with people in the process. I love helping people, so if you need a hand with something, drop me a line! I’ll always try my best. :heart:

Feel free to check out my projects, and those that I contribute to: