Published on August 27, 2019
Who are you, and what do you do?
My first name is Lionel, but I prefer to be called by my middle name — Weston. I am an Engineering Manager for our excellent Indianapolis Team.
My speciality is in iOS development, but in my free time occasionally dabble in web technologies, server administration and when I am feeling it, I blog at Alloc-init.
Where are you from?
Born and raised in Southern Indiana, I grew up in a mostly rural town called Bedford, its claim to fame is that the limestone for the Empire State Building came from a nearby quarry.
I recently moved near Indianapolis to be closer to the office. Aside from a year I lived in Georgia when I was a kid, I have lived in Indiana my whole life.
Tell us a little about your background.
I started learning programming in high school, mostly Visual Basic. I was a member of our BPA (Business Professionals of America) chapter and even won a couple of awards in regional software engineering competitions.
After high school, I did a couple semesters at IVY Tech, but ended up dropping out due to money troubles. After Apple released the iPhone SDK in 2008, I decided to try to get back into programming so I saved up to buy a MacBook Pro, an iPod Touch and a programming book. I spent the next couple years self-teaching myself iOS development while I worked days in tech support at a local ISP, and in 2012 I entered the professional software engineering world.
I came to YML in 2014.
Why did you choose to come to Y Media Labs?
Before I worked at YML, the place I worked was very corporate and I wasn’t a fan of the project variety or the corporate politics. When it came to YML, I won’t deny that the idea of working for a Silicon Valley company with an impressive portfolio wasn’t also a factor.
I felt like YML also opened up my growth options.
What about this industry are you most passionate about?
When I am not programming, I do most of my computing on my iPad Pro. I think it is amazing that this 11” device can do so much and I am very interested in finding ways to do more and more on it. My friends actually think I am a bit nuts that I try to do things that most people would think of as a “computer” only task on it.
iPadOS is coming in September and it will even further expand what it can do, I am so excited! (Fun Fact: I actually am writing this on my iPad)
What are some other companies you admire?
I suppose Apple is the obvious choice here. I don’t think they are perfect, but I typically align with their decisions (especially when it comes to privacy and security).
Nintendo is another one, I love how they refuse to follow the typical Triple-A gaming pattern. Their games might not have the “best graphics,” but when it comes to pure fun they easily win against any other major game developer.
What are you favorite spots to eat in Indianapolis?
My favorite things to eat are burgers. And I have two favorite places in Indy: Between the Bun and Punch Burger. I love places that add unusual toppings to their burgers.
How do you spend your spare time?
I am an input nerd. Ever since I taught myself iOS development, I have been binging on educational YouTube videos. My favorite topics are Engineering and Design.
While I cannot draw to save my life, I have gotten pretty good at recognizing good design and this has really helped the work I do at YML. I also want to give a quick shoutout to the amazing channel Crash Course, where I’ve found a new passion in world history.
I also play a ton of video games. My current favorite gaming system is the Nintendo Switch and the rapid growth of my game library has probably annoyed my wife a bit. (If she is reading this, sorry honey!)