Developer’s Toolkit: Dan Chan

This post is part of a series where Behance developers talk about the various tools they use to get things done and make ideas happen.

1. Who are you, and what do you do at Behance?

Hey there, Dan Chan here. I am the lead QA engineer at Behance. Last summer, I started off as an intern developing features for our web applications. After graduating from Binghamton University, I became a fulltime employee and am currently spearheading the automated testing effort (with the help of Bryan and the rest of the dev crew.) Did I mention that I’m also the youngest person on the dev team? I’m also the youngest person at Behance, but don’t count me out.

I’ve been working 24 hours a day to create a reliable testing framework for the massive codebase that Behance is run on. To put this into perspective, I’m the guy who makes sure that no bugs get introduced to Behance or any of our other products. There are many steps and checks before a piece of code that is written by a developer even reaches the website, in which millions of people view every day. I create the code that gets run on our own in-house CI (Continuous Integration) server, which builds the site, runs our tests, and sends a report out to my email. The CI server does this every night, without fail, and informs us what new changes aren’t working, if any.

Outside of Behance and web development, I like to make short films, shoot photography, and play guitar/bass/drums. You can check my ProSite at brokenthumbs.org for the short films and photography, and bug me on Twitter about when I’m going to record/release samples of my music.

2. What hardware do you use?
At work, I run Windows 7 on an HP tower, with an Intel Core i7 CPU clocked at 3.07 GHz and 9 GB of RAM. I also use two Dell U2410 monitors. I like to keep one monitor vertical to code on and the other monitor horizontal to see my work in the browser. Can’t forget about my Sennheiser HD280 Pro Headphones, which I use often to zone out the distractions and noise of the office.

In addition to my work station, I also utilize another office computer that is solely used for running tests during development. When I am writing my tests, I issue commands to an Ubuntu box, which in turn manipulate Firefox in a Linux environment. It makes life easier when you can write tests and see what’s going on at the same time.

At home, I have a Lenovo Thinkpad T420, running on an Intel Core i7 CPU clocked at 2.2 GHz and 8 GB of RAM. I edit film with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5 and record music with Ableton Live, driven by a Line 6 TonePort UX1 and M-Audio AV40s.

3. What software do you use?
I code strictly on Notepad++ (and nano if I have to.) Most of my day is spent within the code, so I try to use a color scheme that’s easier on the eyes, Ruby Blue. I use PuTTY for SSHing, FileZilla for FTPing, Digsby for instant messaging, and Pandora One for music listening. It’s a pretty simple setup. I also have several flavors of PHPUnit and Selenium running throughout the day.

I’m also constantly connected to Twitter with my Droid Incredible. It’s cool to see people tweet about Behance, as well as what my coworkers are tweeting about throughout the day. Twitter keeps me in the loop.

4. What do you listen to while working?
My current Pandora stations include (+44) and Blink-182. I listen to upbeat 90s pop punk, mostly to keep me alert and awake. When I’m not feeling so upbeat, I usually switch over to something completely different (which right now consists of Skrillex or Avenged Sevenfold.) My favorite song as of this current office would have to be Deny It – Useless ID

5. Out of all the equipment used, what piece of software/hardware do you feel is the most useful of all?
My Sennheiser HD280 Pros. Sure, if I didn’t have the server, I couldn’t run any of my code. But without my headphones, I wouldn’t be able to live. I’m just a music junkie.

Follow my progression through life on Twitter: @brokenthumbs

Posted on October 17th, 2011 by Dan