#280 Aral Balkan tackling the big world with the Small Web image
S6 E49 · Software Developer's Journey
#280 Aral Balkan tackling the big world with the Small Web
2 Plays
5 months ago

From the moment his father handed him an IBM PC with the simplest of instructions - "Play with it, don't be afraid" - Aral Balkan's worldview was forever changed. Our chat with this developer, professional speaker, consultant, and serial entrepreneur takes us on an enlightening journey through his life, shaped by his early immersion in technology's limitless potential. Aral's deep-seated passion for programming, his dedicated commitment to simplicity, and his advocacy for the internet as a tool for personal empowerment and democratized communication are nothing less than inspiring.

Aral reflects on the evolution of the internet, once perceived as a decentralized entity, now understood as a client-server system molded partly by venture capitalists who recognized its potential. He emphasizes the need for coding education, applauding initiatives like Code Club and the involvement of Google, Raspberry Pi, and Coder Dojo in promoting coding. But our conversation doesn't stop there. Aral urges us to confront the systemic inequality in the digital space and the pressing need for simple articulation of the problem to spur action. He introduces us to the concept of small web and the empowering idea of owning and controlling one's own means of communication.

Our dialogue extends to the importance of alternative funding methods for initiatives that serve society. Aral shares his views on the limitations of relying on political institutions for funding and the absolute necessity for communication tools to be accessible to all. We tackle the issue of arrogance in the open source community and its impact on software usability, and discuss 'kitten', a framework and server for building small websites, with its innovative security measures and potential as a learning tool. Join us for this essential conversation for anyone interested in the intersection of technology, empowerment, and democracy. This episode promises to enlighten, challenge, and inspire.

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