Hi, I am Will de la Vega, a full stack developer from San Diego, CA. and my story is one of love and hate.

Important disclaimer:

Time is the most expensive asset in our days, the necessity to be concise and go straight to the point is vital for every successful person that now more than ever needs to carefully prioritize their time. This page is the long version of what you will find in my portfolio page, if you prefer the raw data, projects, resume and certifications, please visit my portfolio instead.

If you are brave and patient enough to read all the contents of this page, I promise that you will learn a lot of how I think, what my motivations for work and life are, what technologies I know and what team or company cultures I would adapt easier and better, however I must make an honest warning before to kindly invite you to continue: This post won’t be a politically correct one. It can’t be or it would not be honest. I will tell you my opinions and will remain respectful of yours. That is my promise to you, as it is for every person I may interact with.  Having said that…

I have been a Full Stack Developer for 15 years now. You may find this statement rather strange because 15 years ago there wasn’t isomorphic programming or Single Page Applications as we know them today, not even Rich Internet Apps.  But I dare to state that with confidence because we can certainly call “full stack development” to have an MS SQL Server and stored procedures in T-SQL as your database backend, then a Data Access Layer assembly, a Business Layer assembly and a WCF/SOAP assembly as services layer, then finally an HTML UI using plain Javascript and AJAX in the front end to simulate what we today call an MVC Approach (I know, now it sounds like masochism taken to the extreme, it tend to become like a snuff movie when you could see my head hitting the keyboard with frustration one or two times probably).  I hope the next image may explain a little better the concept of how it was.  I am telling you, this is ancient as MTS and COM+ components are today, but if you like archeology I believe you will understand the following graphic.

2003 started for me building a project with this architecture and I was so working on this kind of corporate websites for a while until Adobe Flex appeared in the market and offered a way better to build front ends and downloaded the first version of Adobe Flex Builder (a barely modified Eclipse Editor).  After having my romance with Adobe Flex, I met probably the best technology I have seen in my entire life to build front-end web applications, Microsoft Silverlight, It was you know, having the best possible IDE (VS 2008-2010), XAML which was way better than MXML and the best of everything C#. Add to that Microsoft Blend and I wanted to work 15 hours a day, it was awesome.

Some people say that no romance last forever, and in fact I felt like I became widowed after Microsoft announced that Silverlight was not “so cool” anymore, during the event so called “Silverlight Firestarter” (read correctly: ‘burn the darn thing’) which was a developer conference with Scott Guthrie that replaced the usual Mix convention in Vegas for the year 2010. That morning was like waking up in “The Walking Dead” alternate universe.

So I got the point at that precise moment. It’s like everyone around of a dark secret circle illuminated with candles and with the silverlight logo written in blood were the only ones to know the whole truth, but that would be the ceremony where they would be taking their oath to tell no one.  For the public it was the beginning of the future of Silverlight (or at least those were their textual words),  but for these hidden cultists inside MS dressing in black robes and beaked hoods, the truth was evident. They were all using a T-Shirt like this underneath their cultist robes.

Well, I admit that it sounded pretty dramatic, but imagine for a moment that you learn a technology and dedicate literally thousands of hours in developing a deep understanding of it, all with the purpose of doing web development which is your passion in life; Then the giant software company comes and tells you that you are now a mobile developer (WTF?), That if you want to keep developing software with their technology your only option is to adopt their “mobile experiment” (yes, quotes on purpose). 

Nice, no doubt, but better than iPhone? are you serious?

I believe it was appealing for many, but quite honestly I was upset. By 2011 it could seem like Windows Phone had an slim chance to become a decent competition to Apple and Google, after all Microsoft was acquiring Nokia that was famous for building the best (and more resistant) mobile phones for that time.  It was not appealing to me at all.  Why?  Simple, the web is about openness, diversity!   Yes, it’s also about standards but the best of it is that your work has the potential to be seen by thousands if not millions of people. Creating incredible experiences for the web could make you like a rock star of the software, while building mobile applications for Microsoft… well… it was not really looking like a thrilling experience…

So, for anything that wouldn’t be ASP.NET I would not take any other project involving Microsoft technologies for the years to come. It was an acid divorce not devoid of hard feelings to be honest.

Since then I was looking for a framework capable enough to reproduce the quality experiences that I could create before with Silverlight and Microsoft Blend.  At the beginning I found myself trying to build the Sistine Chapel  with jenga sticks and river stones, it felt like programming macros with Lotus 1-2-3 after having a quantum computer in my hands (VS 2010 vs. Notepad++),  then realizing that my best choices at that time were Sublime Text with jQuery/jQuery mobile was kind of discouraging.

I started trying some alternatives like Sencha Architect and other incipient pure HTML/CSS3/JS frameworks, but nothing seemed to make sense… code used to break, there was no a full round WYSIWYG round trip in the tools, you could only make changes in visual and write what “looked like” event handlers in code. Usually when you used to save the code for your event handlers the app crashed and it was like losing 20 to 100 lines of code at a time. Simply put, it was bad.

I know it is bad ethics to talk negatively about anything or anyone, I am just describing my own experience here, and believe me, for more than a year it wasn’t a nice one.

Can’t blame them, it was really good for their time. A time when the web technologies were adapting to build what before was only possible with plugin technologies.

Then finally in 2014 I found Angular, but not the fantastic, strong typed, easy to componentize, modularize, and full featured Angular we know today, all the good there was out there was Angular.JS and it was still… messy.

Good as Neanderthal looked to evolution 40,000 years ago.

I started building projects with Angular, quickly moved from the callback hell to the new shinny promises that you had to load from a library if I remember well, as there were no support for promises in ES5. However making mistakes was easy, I was so used to strong typed code that even with a year writing ES5 it was still a pain in the neck, an acute one.

It was 2014 by then and by mere accident a google search took me to my greatest discovery in years, it was love at a first sight… yes its logo looks to me very adequate,

straight from the Schrödinger box…

In quantum mechanics you don’t really know where is an electron, it’s not like a planet’s orbit around the sun, instead it is more like a cloud of probabilities, the electron is everywhere at the same time, it’s more than a duality.  I saw React pretty much the same way, with the help of babel you could write classes, you could do OOP or be more on the functional programming side, you could do imperative or declarative and it all magically worked, there was a world of possibilities by using additional (compatible) libraries, no doubt, React would be everywhere in the web, in different shapes and flavors, but everywhere in every way at the same time. The only principle of uncertainty that remained tickling my head was this, Was it really healthy not to have a clear methodology and project structure (call it if you will an official one-solution-fits-almost -all project scaffold) that you could see in most examples in the web, in blogs, tutorials, videos, books, etc. By the time it was still some confusing to find the ‘best’ way of doing something, if it is true, for the first time in a long while there were many different alternatives to reach the same goal and using the same framework!

I only developed three projects with React and I was starting to feel like the old times doing AS3 for Flex (very happy) when Google announced it’s new shiny all-powerful, all-in-one framework that looked by -literally- every angle as the next evolutionary step towards a clean, componentized, type safe, standarized and coherent way of building amazing web experiences again.  I stop right there and dedicated three months to learn it, every aspect of it. It was Angular 2 and it seemed to have borrowed many concepts from C# and Silverlight. It was just Awesome.

Having started working with Internet and the web as early as 1997 gave me the opportunity to be a product manager at some important projects for some latin american companies (dot coms) like laenciclopedia.com, also to have positions as IT manager in some firms in foreign countries (Grupo Xacur in México), where I implemented Agile programming techniques for my teams.

After some time I had the opportunity to participate creating software for political marketing for the candidate for governor of the state of Tabasco in Mexico and then for some other politicians and candidates from the same country, then for the democratic party in California.

I currently provide my consultancy services as independent developer specialized in Web and Mobile (Hybrid) apps using Ionic 4, Angular, React, ASP.NET/ASP.NET Core, Apollo, GraphQL, Node, Express, Firebase, MongoDB, MySQL and SQL Server.

Please take a look at my resume here,

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I am also a Microsoft Certified Applications Developer and take 2 months out of every year to study 8 hours a day to stay on top of my game, which is to create rich, engaging and amazing interactive experiences from helping my customers with their Sketch prototyping, passing through the front end (developing using the “View first” approach) and the best possible backend that be highly performant, scalable and secure.

If you’d like to talk just drop me a line (or two? 🙂  ) from my contact form and let’s start finding the best way to have your product ready to shipping with the best quality in the market as soon as possible.