Strange Loop

A Theory of Everything

In physics, a "Theory of Everything" unifies the rules that govern the quantum (tiny) universe and the classical (big) universe. Just as such a theory has eluded physicists, software developers, too, lack a similar unifying view of the world. Backend development is seen as "hardcore" software engineering while front-end development is (erroneously) perceived as "easier" or somehow less of a discipline. We need a theory of everything that ties together the traditional computational approach of back-end development along with the user-facing interaction approach of front-end development. Database design meets UX design in a way that matters. Learn how to draw close connections between seemingly unrelated system components, thereby allowing you to better grasp the bigger picture for any project regardless of your role.

Johnny Ray Austin

Johnny Ray Austin


Johnny is an experienced engineering leader with interest in everything from UX design to distributed systems. He is an active member of the open source community - contributing to projects such as Node.js as well as authoring an array of NPM modules. His specialty is in full stack JavaScript but has experience with Python and Go. Johnny serves as a member of the IT Advisory Board for the National Academy Foundation where he helps to ensure students receive the resources necessary to prepare them for industry or higher education. He is the former Curriculum Development Lead for the DC chapter of Black Girls Code - an organization dedicated to teaching young women of color how to program. Johnny now serves as a technology advisor for Black Girls Code. He is also an educator - having taught Front End Web Development as well as JavaScript courses through General Assembly. During his time as Director of Technology at iStrategyLabs, Johnny led the development of projects and campaigns for clients such as Facebook, NBC Universal, Kroger, Volkswagen more. As a member of the Tech Fellows program, Johnny helped drive the engineering culture at Capital One through high impact technology contributions and thought leadership. He also helped launch Capital One's Eno product - a Machine Learning enabled intelligent assistant that helps customers manage their money. Johnny currently leads a team of engineers, designers, data scientists, and strategists as Head of Navigation Data at Mapbox in Washington, DC.