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I am Brian Terlson. Ask me anything.

Brian Terlson works at Microsoft on the things that he loves most: JavaScript, open source, and standards. Brian helps design the ECMAScript language and represents Microsoft at Ecma's TC39 meetings and has been the editor of the ECMAScript standard since ES2016. Brian also works on TypeScript and helps build the open-source JavaScript engine ChakraCore.

Ask Brian Terlson about:

  • ECMAScript
  • TypeScript
  • JavaScript
  • Chakra
  • Working at Microsoft

Thanks everyone for the great questions! This was a lot of fun! Please feel free to reach out to me on twitter (@bterlson) or email (brian dot terlson at microsoft dot com) or IRC (bterlson on freenode) if you would like to chat further. See you out on GitHub!

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45 discussions

How would you explain TypeScript to a novice programmer?

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Thanks for the response. :) Appreciate it.

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What do you think about recent Facebook ReactJS License controversy? Do you think it's a blow to the OSS world?

How would businesses and startups believe in OSS projects built by big companies like Microsoft, Facebook, Google, etc. in future?

Speaking for myself only... (this applies to all my answers)

I am not a lawyer, and am not really an expert on licenses (I know enough to know that, at least). I've read opinions from experts saying that the BSD+Patents license is risky for adopters, and I've read opinions saying it's just fine. I'm not sure where the truth lies.

While I think in practice for most projects the license is unlikely to be a big issue, it is a blow to the extent that we've devoted a bunch of cycles to debating this issue and there are some people who are worried. Thankfully there are a variety of great alternatives to pick from in our ecosystem!

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Do you think TypeScript will be the standard for writing types in ES7/ ES8/ ES9 or whatever in near future?

Speaking as someone who proposed types for JavaScript in 2014: I do not believe types are in the cards for the near future. This is an extremely complex problem to get right from a standards perspective. Just adopting TypeScript as the standard would of course be great for TypeScript users, but there are other typed JS supersets with pretty significant usage including closure compiler and flow. These tools all behave differently and it's not even clear that there's a common subset to work from (I don't think there is in any appreciable sense). I'm not entirely sure what a standard for types looks like, and I and others will continue to investigate this as it could be very beneficial, but don't expect anything near term.

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Thanks for doing the AMA Brian, I would like to know what inspired you to become a developer

This is hard to say. It's something I've almost always done! I've been very blessed to have had so many opportunities to become a developer, hone my skills, and apply them in the real world. My parents and a few excellent teachers probably inspired me the most. To call out some specific milestones that probably influenced my path:

  • The Apple ][c my family purchased in the late 80s, upon which I learned basic and the joys of Lode Runner.
  • My fifth grade teacher Mr. G who encouraged me to stay after school to work on the school's website, which I had a lot of fun doing
  • Selling little calculator programs for 5 bucks a pop in middle school
  • Building random web applications in classic ASP for my group of friends in high school

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Hi Brian, It's awesome to see you!

What are the few dev tools (software and hardware) you cannot live without and carry with you always? :)

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Oh, I also forgot about IRCCloud! Standards are built on IRC, so a good client is indispensable!

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