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Meet the Trulian: Joe Tuson

A series to connect you to the Trulians behind the magic

This “Meet the Trulian” features Joe Tuson, the lead engineer for Trulia’s property details pages (PDP). Joe fell for tech at a young age and today, gets to write code that many people see and engage with each day. Read on to learn more about it Joe.

What’s your role at Trulia?
I’m the lead engineer for Trulia’s PDPs. These property pages get a ton of traffic and there is so much information that needs to be displayed. My team’s job is producing clean, fast code, and displaying all the information in the best way for consumers.

What inspired you to get into your role?
I love programming and the challenges of working on a high-trafficked page. When you’re working under those circumstances, you have to think about performance and architecture on a much deeper level. You realize the importance of clean code and elegant solutions when you are dealing with 100+ engineers across the codebase, and I absolutely love it.

What was your dream job growing up and why?
I wanted to play cricket for South Africa until I was 13, and then be a rock musician until I was 23… but programming is honestly my dream job.

My dad was in IT, so I was always around computers from an early age. I can remember crawling through dusty roofs with network cables, installing Windows 95 on hundreds of computers, and swapping memory and hard-drives on computers at home. I loved every second of it. I can still remember the “whoa” moment when I first used the Internet… to get cheat codes for Age of Empires.

If you could have drinks with one tech luminary – dead or alive – whom would it be and why? And, what would your first question be?
Elon Musk. Or Tim Ferriss. I’d ask both of them, “What do you want to be remembered for?” I admire their energy and output, and I’d be interested to know how they think about things that really matter.

What’s the one gadget or personal tech item you cannot live without and why?
1Password. I cannot live without this app. It terrifies me when I hear of people still keeping track of passwords in a text file on their computer (you know who you are!). 1Password stores all of them and more – credit card details, passports, etc. It’s so useful having a centralized place for all that. I use it hundreds of times a day.

I love Google Photos as well. It solves the modern problem of photo overload by making everything searchable. Such a well-designed app!

What was the last movie you saw or book you read and what – if anything – would you change about the ending?
Last movie I watched was Zootopia with my son. It was so good! I’d change the theme song though, it got old after a while.

What’s your proudest accomplishment and why?
I’d say my children and marrying the most patient and gracious woman on Earth are two biggies for me.

Also, I memorized the first 60 elements of the periodic table on the bus…so there’s that, too.

If you could master one talent or skill that you don’t have now what would it be and why?
Skiing. I currently have a love/hate relationship with it. I went for the first time two years ago and fell approximately one million times. I experienced enough to know that it could be amazing though… if I could remain standing.

If you could have one superpower what would it be and why?
Teleportation. We have family all over the world and it would make living far away much easier.

If you could time travel, would you go into the future or past and why?
I’d love to have experienced some of the music scene of the 60’s and 70’s. The bellbottoms not so much, but it seemed like a cool time to be alive. I’d hate to not have the Internet though… so, maybe I’d want to go forward to a time when Google Fiber has come San Francisco.