Episode 56

Dominic Tarr on Coding What You Want, Living On A Boat, and the Early Days of Node.js


October 2nd, 2020

28 mins 1 sec

Your Hosts
Special Guest

About this Episode


Allen "Gunner" Gunn | Eric Berry | Justin Dorfman | Richard Littauer


Dominic Tarr

Show Notes

Hello and welcome to Sustain! Our special guest today is Dominic Tarr, an open source sailor hacker person, calling from his boat in New Zealand. He’s been instrumental in the early JavaScript scene. Dominic tells us how he got into open source, coding, and how he got involved in JavaScript and Event Stream. We will also learn what Dominic is doing now and how does he envision open source going forward. How does Dominic fund his life living on a boat? Download this episode now to find out!

[00:01:35] Dominic tells us how he got into open source, how he got into coding, how he ended up where he is today, and how he got involved in JavaScript.

[00:06:45] Richard informs us that Dominic was in a group of influential people in Node JS who made a bunch of modules, one of them being Event Stream, which is Dominic’s. He also tells how many modules he’s written for NPM. Dominic also talks about how he initially dealt with the “fixing the bug” issues, since he was making these modules in his spare time and coding for fun.

[00:10:00] Justin wants to know how Dominic got 700 modules and how did he manage it for as long as he did.

[00:12:02] Richard wonders what Dominic is doing now and how does he envision open source or JavaScript going forward if it’s not fun to work on.

[00:14:07] Eric wants to know if Dominic has any reflections or thoughts around the shift in the overall view of NPM over the years.

[00:20:19] Richard wonders how Dominic’s funds his life because he lives on a boat.

[00:24:55] Where can you find Dominic on the internet? Find out here.


  • [00:25:16] Eric’s spotlight is called Mind Stream.
  • [00:25:47] Justin’s spotlight is EthGasStatio.info.
  • [00:26:15] Gunner’s spotlight is signal desktop.
  • [00:26:48] Richard’s spotlights are Scuttlebutt and Patchwork.
  • [00:27:11] Dominic’s spotlight is the Project Gemini.


[00:11:13] “We had this one SquatConf where we just had our own conference, and we kind of timed it with some other, like more boring conference that would fly people in and then we would be like, okay, now we’re all in this place and let’s just have our own thing.”

[00:14:17] “So, for a long time, I guess before it became a corporation, I believe incorporated, before that it was very much open to everybody contribute and then it became a business, which obviously there’s good reason for it to become a business.”

[00:23:13] “I’m not a terribly big fan of schemes to pay open source developers, especially the ones that are like based on some kind of charity thing. Either they’re like straight forward charity things like Gratipay, then you never got very much money or you have strings attached or something.”



Support Sustain