Interview with Robert Kern

I'm starting a series of interviews with developers and designers from all over the world. Whether they work for a corporation, freelance, or they make stuff as a hobby, I want to interview them! Originally I was going to release a new interview every Monday, however due how hectic and random my weeks are, I'll release a new interview each week.

Hi there, thank you for taking the time to chat with me :) Could you start by introducing yourself a little?

Hey - thanks for having me on your blog! My name is Robert Kern, I'm a web developer from Auckland, New Zealand. I recently got married and moved into our new little rural property on the outskirts of Auckland with my beautiful wife. We've got 9 sheep at the moment, and I should be out finishing building the chicken run today, but it's a little bit cold, wet and windy, and I'd rather be in here doing this.

I'm the developer behind Bugify, a PHP bug tracker. It's a project I work on in my spare time, and gives me a lot of satisfaction.

Robert Kern

How did you end up in your profession?

When I was nearing the end of high school, I thought I was going to be an Architect - I loved designing buildings and spaces. It wasn't until the last minute that I changed my mind and switched to computers - mostly because it came more naturally to me. I had already taught myself to program from a young age (started in QBasic), and learnt HTML like most kids do - by viewing the source. So I did a bachelors degree in computing systems, and eventually found my home in developing web apps.

What does your desk look like?

This is actually one of my kitchen benches. It's nicer to work here, being able to look outside. My real desk has a phone on it, an external monitor, and a bluetooth keyboard.

Could you give us a bit of information on any tools/services that you use?

Computer wise, I'm running a newer Macbook Air with Apple's bluetooth keyboard and Magic mouse. I also have a 22" HP monitor hooked up as a secondary (or really the main one) as well.

I work on a Mac - I like the 13" MacBook Pro because it's lighter and easier to carry around.

Computer wise, I’m running a newer Macbook Air with Apple’s bluetooth keyboard and Magic mouse. I also have a 22" HP monitor hooked up as a secondary (or really the main one) as well

The online services I usually use are:

  • Web Hosting - SiteHost, and Linode
  • Email - Google Apps (only because of push updates to iPhone, and the Gmail interface is kind-of-alright... I would rather host it myself but need a good webmail client)
  • Online storage - Dropbox (iDisk was all I needed, and this is the closest replacement I could find)

The apps I usually have open are:
- Code editor - Sublime Text 2 (I switched from Coda) - SVN - Cornerstone - Mercurial - SourceTree - Password storage - KeePassX (although I'd like something nicer) - RSS - Reeder - Browser - Chrome (usually have Canary open too, and Safari for debugging code on the iOS Simulator) - Virtualisation - VMWare Fusion (generally all code lives on a Debian VM, and I use sshfs to mount the VM filesystem) - Design - Adobe Illustrator - FTP - Transmit (although I rarely use FTP as scp works well)

What websites do you visit daily?

Do you have anything awesome happening in the future?

We're heading into Summer here in NZ so I'm really excited about being outside more and going on holiday to the lakes and beaches! Aside from that, there's a new version of Bugify due out soon with some exciting new features like integration with source control systems like git/SVN etc, and desktop notifications!

How and where can we find you?

My website is, and I'm on Twitter as @robertkern

Thanks Robert!

As you already know, I'm stupidly excited about Bugify and the plans you have for it!

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