20 Questions with Airrick Dunfield

Tell me your name:
Airrick Dunfield, pleased to meet you.

Where are you from!
Salmon Arm, a small lakeside town in the interior of BC.

What is your development specialty?
I love to build methodologies and standards that keep all our developers on the same page. We work on so many different and exciting projects everyday that it’s essential that we can move between them easily. I love seeing the team work together.

Where did you… develop your skills? School, first job, the internet?
Does Myspace and Geocities count? I’ve always been enamoured by the Internet. It has this amazing potential to create communities people may not otherwise have access too, so I’ve been tinkering with it since high school.
After that I spend a few years working with social media which exposed me to more code. I loved the challenge of it. So I took the New Media and Web Development certficate at BCIT and here we are years later.

What is your favourite coding environment and why?
This is an interesting question. I mean there are platforms I like to build with such as WordPress, but I think the environment I like the most is one of support and teamwork. One everyone wants to see everyone succeed, learn, and celebrate growth together.

What’s your favourite kind of website to develop?
I love a website that challenges my skills, whether that be a website with advanced animations, a complex hierarchy, or a new platform.
I also love the opportunity to work on websites that make our community a better place. We work [with] lots of nonprofits and it’s a great feeling knowing my work is making my community more accessible and healthy.

What’s the last place you travelled to? How was that?
I went back to my hometown for a Christmas holiday, it was really beautiful, a picturesque Canadian small town covered in snow.
It was lovely trip, it’s nice to spend time with family friends.

We’re going out for lunch today, where are you taking me in Vancouver?
Oh my. The options. I might be selfish and take you to a vegetarian restaurant. The city has so many, and they are really top tier.
I might suggest Meet on Main. It’s some of city’s best vegetarian comfort food, so come hungry. Also the staff is super friendly.

Vancouver is an amazing city to live and work in, but let’s say it’s a long weekend and you’re on a mission to relax, what are you getting up to?
If I’m looking to clear my head and come back refreshed you’ll find me scooting around the city [on] my bike visiting cafes, taking photos in the mountains or sneaking off to Scandinave in Whistler for a soak in their hot pools.

Do you follow any sports? What’s your favourite squad/team/athlete?
I respect sports, but they’ve never been my thing. I’m always happy to root for an underdog though.

What’s the most challenging project you’ve worked on with SplitMango?
I’ve been worked on some backend development with one of backend developers for the Pacific Blue Cross Health Challenge, which was a new world for me. I specialize in frontend development, but am always looking to expand my skills. It was a lot to wrap my head around, but Jeremy was a great teacher.

You’re stressed out, what’s your secret to figure it out?
So much yoga. Also a little meditation. I’ve dealt with stress all my life and have found that moving my body and clearing my mind is the best way destress.
I’m really privileged to have a great team that helps out, so getting stressed out doesn’t happen much around the shop.

What do you think of standing desks and concrete floors (what’s your favourite part of SplitMango’s new reno’s)?
They are really great. I think my favourite part is the standing desks. I’m a bit of a nut about taking the best care of my body as I can.

What’s the most obscure music you listen to? How did you get into that genre/band/subculture?
Oh god, I’m all over the map. I’m a bit of a hip-hop head (both modern and classic). At the same time I play in a punk band and have been listening to heavy music my whole life.
Obscure genre though? I usually like to code to lofi hip-hop. It’s a subgenre of hip-hop production that usually lacks vocals and emulates being recorded or played on older ‘warmer’ hardware. It’s a whole genre based around achieving a particular mood or energy.
On one tape, Port Nostalgia by drkmnd, the artist that attempts to replicate the feeling of peaceful childhood nostalgia by integrating elements like a crackling fire, moving water underneath the music. It’s a real trip.

What’s your favourite coffee shop in town? Are you there for the love of the bean? or to get some work done?
I feel like these are two different questions, I usually end up at different shops depending on what I am looking. Am I there to be a coffee snob and judge their espresso, or am I looking to work on my Dungeons & Dragons campaign and drink cappuccinos until I can’t stop shaking?
If I am looking for the best coffee Vancouver has to offer, I think I have to [go] with Pallet. I used to bike around the city and taste espresso and they took the cake.
If I am looking to get some work done, Narcissus is a great spot. They have great second floor/indoor balcony, very good coffee, and if you hit them up during happy hour they have $5 beer from 33 Arces.

You’re making coffee: What’s your favourite brewing method?
I want to say Chemex, because if feels like the coolest way to make coffee at home, but I am simple man. I love a good French press. Nothing is better than a good thick and full bodied cup in the morning. Plus it is really hard to mess up a French Press.

You’ve got a one day window for adventure, what local-ish gem are you going to?
Single day?

I feel like I’m betraying my country by saying this, but Seattle isn’t too far away. I’ve done the trip for hiking plenty of times. If you leave Vancouver around 6 a.m. you have a few good hours in the mountains and stop at world’s best pizza spot, Delancy’s, on the way back.
If you were to chain me to the Vancouver area, I would probably take the day to hike the Lions-Binkert trail. I’ve heard so many great things about it.

Do you have opinions on the great Apple vs PC debate?
I used to go to bat for Apple, they make great premium product that fits really well into a developer’s workflow, but the price-tag and diminishing lifespan has me looking for other options.

Okay, what’s your hobby outside of the internet and computers?
I fully admit I have too many hobbies. Dungeons & Dragons, cycling, playing music, photography and yoga to name a few. I pack my life pretty full.

What’s your favourite website for that hobby?
I spend most of my free time online looking for new music. https://djbooth.net/ is a great resource for find new artists, reading articles, and keeping update with the releases are worth my time.

Do you do the YouTube? What’s your favourite channel?
I like the platform well enough, although I can’t condone a lot of the content on platform. I don’t blame service for that.
I use it all the time for how-to videos and keeping updated with world news. I watch Philip Defranco pretty much everyday to stay informed about world events. I find his reporting to fairly unbiased and I don’t have time for a full newshour, so his shorter 15-20 minute format fits well into my life.

Would you buy a ticket to colonize Mars?
Not a chance, Earth rules and Mars drools.

Bonus Question: What Vancouver landmarks do you find most inspiring?
The East Van cross is pretty iconic. Blew my mind the first time I saw it.


story written by Airrick Dunfield