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GatsbyConf Q&A: Arisa Fukuzaki

Michelle Gienow
February 10th, 2021

How did you come to start using Gatsby?  Is there anything you especially love about it?

When I heard about Gatsby for the first time, it was from my friend who was developing a small scale corporate website.At that time, I remember it was around 2018, there were very few people talking about Gatsby in the Japanese dev community. I was using React most of the time and I love trying out new modern libraries and frameworks so I was excited to explore this.

Gatsby’s documentation looked already detailed and solid to try it out. The biggest reason I wanted to try Gatsby was the site performance speed. In fact, a lot of my clients asked me how I built this blazing fast website. The other thing I really love is that Gatsby has a high-security structure by default.

I started my developer career in 2017 and started to use Gatsby in 2018. Huge thanks to Gatsby, I never had malicious requests, DDoS attacks, or accidental exposure because most of all my projects are powered by Gatsby.

What inspired you to begin teaching front end web development, and then to start Lilac?

Right after I graduated from college I went to work as cabin crew for Emirates Airline. If you work longer than 6 months, you’re expected to know everything to keep in control of the entire economy cabin. The environment and the pressure are really exhausting. The cabin crew job is not a job you can work for long and quite a lot of my coworkers were, like me, already looking for a new career. 

When I started to study programming, I had a very good teacher. It was 2017 and my teacher was already working as a freelance developer at that time when almost no one in Japan was talking about freelance. He was the role model I wanted to be and he taught me the ways to find solutions in the right sources instead of just random search results.

At the same time, I was thinking in my mind, “One day, I’ll be a teacher like him to educate every high potential programming learner to be developers.” In my educational background, I hold a child education associate degree and liberal arts bachelor’s degree. Also, my parents are both English teachers in Japan. WIth these role models, becoming a teacher feels like a natural path.

Although I knew I couldn’t start being a teacher right after finishing my programming study, I always had in my mind, One day, I’ll teach programming to help people get started in tech, too.

Once I launched my career as a developer, I started hearing from other people who wanted to do what I had done and switch their careers to be developers. I wanted to be their help in the same way others, like my teacher, had helped me find my way through programming. So, I found a chance to work in an online programming school and build my experience to teach programming.

Unfortunately, this school closed down, but the experience inspired me to start Lilac, a programming learning service with hands-on courses and tutoring support. So far I have taught over 40 students one-on-one and about ten of them have found jobs as UX developers, Frontend Developers, and QA developers in companies in Japan and Germany, or became freelance Frontend Developers. Currently, I’m tutoring about students in Lilac.

What are your thoughts on the future of Jstack? Where do you think static site development is going?

In my opinion, what will be still improved more in web development and Jamstack, it could be the security in the frontend.

Jamstack doesn’t have direct requests in the database from the backend. So any potential security breach lies in your choice of the frontend. (Of course, only worrying about frontend security is a huge step forward compared with when we had to be concerned about vulnerabilities in both frontend and backend).

So, making the best frontend choice with built-in high-security features is important. What I really like about Gatsby is the security already has XSS(cross-site scripting) protection from attackers, access control through CORS to prevent DDoS attacks, and environment variables to deploy configurations to hosting services without exposing them.

What I’m looking forward to seeing next is improved user authentication. I assume if Gatsby could take a lead on working with user authentication providers to access sensitive areas in our applications, the rest of the security concerns are going to be solved on both sides, from frontend and backend. I feel confident that Gatsby can handle filling the rest of the gaps in Jamstack security, because I have watched Gatsby releasing so many new features based on DX(developer experiences) and client sides, and this is another thing that will make Gatsby even better and stronger.

Ready to hear more? Register for GatsbyConf — two days of speakers, workshops, and some really cool launches and announcements. And don’t miss special event Gamer vs. Gatsby. Watch live as David Livingston, a.k.a. Kosmic, tries to beat his world record Super Mario Bros speed run time of 4:55 while Gatsby engineer Kyle Gill races to spin up and deploy a live site! Thrills! Chills! Free and virtual, March 2-3, see you there!

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Writes things @ GatsbyJS. Chaotic good frontend dev, caffeine addict, backyard chicken wrangler 🐓.

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