Meet Our Team: Chasen, Client Application Developer

Meet Chasen Stark, a Client Application Developer whose work has upgraded our user experience by making it easy to switch to Fastmail.

Name: Chasen Stark

Role: Client Application Developer

What do you work on?

I’m a Client Application Developer, so I get to work on the web application for Fastmail and Topicbox.

How long have you been working at Fastmail? How did you get involved?

I’ve been at Fastmail for a little over a year now! I discovered Fastmail because they sponsored the bug bounty for an HTML sanitizer that I was using in one of my own projects. I signed up for an account and loved the feature-rich interface. A few months later, I saw a job opening for a Client Developer and found out they had an office in Philly, just a few subway stops away from my apartment. I sent an email and started about a month later.

What’s a project that you’ve worked on that you’re proud of?

The MBOX importer project allows people to import MBOX files into Fastmail directly through their browser. All the reading and parsing of the messages is done client-side. It was technically interesting, and I learned a ton about the quirks of email. It makes me very happy to see people using it to bring their email into Fastmail!

We’ve recently done a lot of work around how we’re presenting one of our most powerful features: multiple email addresses. It’s been a huge undertaking, and we’ve had to consider so many edge cases of the technology that underlies our company. I think we’ve figured out a way that makes it clear without being overwhelming. You don’t have to be an expert to understand how all your email addresses work together, leave that part to us 🙂

What are your favorite Fastmail features?

So many! I use Masked Email for nearly every service I sign up for…I have around 130 Masked Emails right now.

Scheduled Send and Snooze let me handle my email when I want to, and both have been indispensable as I’ve worked more and more with people in other time zones.

Mail rules are probably my most used feature, but I never think about them because I set a rule once and that mail just does what I want it to…magic!

What’s your favorite or most used piece of technology?

Most used: Other than my phone, probably my e-reader. It took me a while to cave and pick one up, but it’s great. I love being able to read in bed without turning on a light…it has done wonders for my sleep.

Favorite: This is kind of silly, but I recently put a bunch of lights on timers, and it has been incredible. The light in the living room turns off at 10 pm, and I know it’s time to get ready for bed. The light in my bedroom turns on ~15 minutes before my alarm, and it has made waking up so much easier.

What are you listening to these days?

I’ve been listening to a lot of audiobooks recently! I just finished Sea of Tranquility and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, both of which were excellent, and I’m about halfway through the heartrending Demon Copperhead.

Additionally, I’ve been really enjoying listening to music from Young Fathers, Yves Tumor, Car Seat Headrest, Surf Curse, Stereolab, and Tallest Man on Earth. I’m also loving TV on the Radio after talking about them with Joe Woods, our Senior Client Application Development Lead.

What are you watching these days?

I’ve been rewatching Ted Lasso before I jump into the newly released third season!

What do you like to do outside of work?

I love to read, play chess, and attempt to keep all 70-something of my houseplants alive. I moved to Philly in the early days of the pandemic (signed a lease in late February 2020), and all my partner and I really did for entertainment was walk around the city. Most places were closed, but we got to know where all these cool shops, restaurants, and coffee shops were, and most of them made it through quarantine! That habit has definitely stuck around, and most Saturdays I’ll go on a multi-hour walk around South Philly. But now that places are open, I get to grab treats. I love treats!

What’s your favorite animal?

I’m a dog person, for sure. Somehow, I don’t own one myself, but that’s almost certainly changing soon.

Other than dogs, I’m fascinated by whales. I recently read a book about the evolutionary history of whales, Spying on Whales, and now I’ll never look at them the same.

Any Fastmail staffers you want to brag on?

All of them? The best part of working here is that the staff is so great. To single a few out:

Anna and Lacey are always super positive and upbeat. They are a total pleasure to work with. Joe has been an endless resource of knowledge and taught me so much about JavaScript and programming in general.

Our entire support staff is so good, it’s wild. I wish they worked at every company that I’ve had to contact for support.

What do you like the best about your work at Fastmail?

I love that we’re so outspoken about our values at Fastmail. Every decision we make has the user’s best interest in mind, whether we’re building something that clearly protects a user’s privacy, like Masked Email, or working to build a better internet through open standards like JMAP. Everyone from the execs, to the engineers, to our amazing support team, is so serious about protecting the user’s privacy and data at every turn. I’m very proud to be a part of this team!

Are you involved in any other groups or projects?

I’m one of the organizers of the Philadelphia JavaScript Club! We host monthly meetups for Philadelphia-based developers of all backgrounds and skill levels. Our next meetup is on April 20, come on out!

At Fastmail, we work on making email better for everyone. Building an incredible team is an important part of our company and our values. Check out our job listings for opportunities to join our team!

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