10 Questions with Mike Taulty

taulty

Mike Taulty is a near-legend in the world of HoloLens. A Microsoft Developer Evangelist out of Manchester, England, he runs an amazing technical blog where he tackles some of the biggest problems in mixed reality development (as well as lots of other Microsoft stack technologies).

How to describe his style? He writes as if he’s a computer programming version of Columbo, the TV detective, tackling cases he shouldn’t and stumbling over clues in an apparently haphazard way until he arrives at a solution, solves the case, compiles the app. He is our everyman.

In the process he manages to do two things. First, he provides a guide for working through some extremely thorny HoloLens scenarios for anyone who needs it. Second, and maybe even more important, he gives us an archetype of how a developer should approach new technology—with joy and a sense of adventure. He takes things that are very hard and makes them approachable.

Mike is held in high regard throughout the community not just because he has solved, over the past year, many of our hardest HoloLens problems for us, but also because of the panache with which he has done it.

 

What movie has left the most lasting impression on you?
Can we mix Spartacus with The Godfather, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and It’s a Wonderful Life?

What is the earliest video game you remember playing?
I can remember playing Star Trek on the TRS 80 if you can really classify that as a video game 🙂

Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think?
My wife. She’s undeniably, consistently, calmly, infuriatingly right 🙂

When was the last time you changed your mind about something?
Every few minutes. I’ve usually got things wrong and I’m easily persuaded that I’ve got things wrong.

What’s a programming skill people assume you have but that you are terrible at?
Unit testing. I don’t work on production code these days so I don’t often write tests. You don’t want me on your dev team but I’m quite handy with a debugger.

What inspires you to learn?
Natural curiosity mixed with the fear of being left behind.

What do you need to believe in order to get through the day?
That everything can easily be finished before bedtime.

What’s a view that you hold but can’t defend?
The technology industry and the fashion industry are closer than anyone would dare to admit.

What will the future killer Mixed Reality app do?
I wish I knew – I’d be out there trying to build it! My view is that whatever it is has to lean towards the part of the spectrum where the real world is truly mixed with the digital world providing an “additive” experience rather than an “alternative” experience. It’s the “mixed” that for me is the key part of this.

What book have you recommended the most?
I’m a big fan of Raymond Chandler, I read them all every year or two. Recommended!

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