Member Spotlight: Matt Beale and Cory Forsyth

This Member Spotlight post features the newest small team to join Makeshift Society. Say hello to Matt Beale and Cory Forsyth, the duo behind 201-Created.  Long time friends, Matt and Cory quit their full time jobs in 2012 and started their own company.

We caught up with them to find out what they’re working on, why they work from our space, and how they’re doing their part to contribute to the whole point of the internet: sharing cat pictures.

mattandcory

How did you two start working together?

Cory: We’ve been friends through the Ruby (programming language) and NYC technology community for many years. I think we first got to know each other when a company I had started (called outside.in, no longer around) hosted programmer happy hours in our offices in Dumbo. Over the years Matt and I collaborated on some small side projects and stayed in touch. In 2012 we started talking about wanting to work together in earnest as freelancers. It took about 6 months to find the right opportunity, when neither of us had a full-time job any longer, to join forces. We’ve been working together and slowly growing and formalizing our company ever since.  We hired our first full-time employee this June!

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Can you tell us about any interesting projects you’ve been working on lately?

Matt: Absolutely. This summer we’re working with Bustle’s great tech team here in Williamsburg. Most of the work will be on their content editing experience, using HTML5 and JavaScript to improve the collaboration between authors and editors. The code will be largely open source. We work hard to find clients ready to leverage community as much as code, and use our active roles in the JavaScript and OSS world as part of our pitch.

Some other recent work has been on the Nest store, and with our friends at Aptible. On the side, we’re constantly contributing to Ember.js and other projects. We try to balance technical contributions with community ones, and besides commits we also published a community survey and raised over a thousand dollars with our first Coding for Causes program.

Cory: In the spring we worked on a project with conservationists in east Africa to build an interface for them to upload photos of lions that then uses facial recognition software to help them track the lions as they move through different regions. It’s been said that the internet was built to enable sharing of cat pictures; we’re trying to do our part.

mattandcory

What do you enjoy about working from makeshift?

Cory: The pleasant atmosphere is great for working. It’s not quiet as a tomb, but not distractingly loud either. Makeshift has all the productivity benefits of a coffee shop without the drawbacks. Well, it doesn’t have coffee, but that’s actually a benefit too. There are plenty of great cafés around the space that are easy to walk to. One of my favorite things about Makeshift’s space is that it really encourages creativity by making it easy to get up and move around. The location is a big, airy, bright area right on street level, on a nice quiet street, which makes it very easy to get up and get out for a quick walk outside to clear one’s head. A quick afternoon walk around the block to pick up a coffee and maybe a cookie is a great way to reinvigorate my creativity in the afternoon. Other co-working spaces that I’ve worked at are on high floors and I have to pack up my computer in my backpack before I can get outside, which makes it subtly harder to get up and move around. At Makeshift I can just get up, walk around, and get right back to work.

Matt:For my afternoon americano a favorite spot is Parlor Coffee’s popup, inside the Person of Interest barber shop. Another favorite close by is Oslo Coffee Roasters on Roebling.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 3.53.58 PMSometimes we have coffee!

What’s a philosophy you live by?

Matt:We believe writing software is a creative practice, and strive to make the most of the few million lines each we will each write in a career. This means a continued investment in learning, constant collaboration with the open source community, and plenty of time off to recharge!

Cory:The best type of work also has an element of play in it. I’m happiest and feel most productive when I’m learning while I’m working.

Be sure to stop by on sunny mornings to say hi to Matt and Cory. And ask Matt for some awesome music recommendations!