Twitter Takeover: Justin MacNeil


Our brand isn’t defined by a single person – it’s in the hands of each bv02 employee, every day.  So today, we’re taking it literally, and we’re handing over the keys to the bv02 Twitter account.  The Twitter Takeovers will continue as a regular series on Fridays, to help you get to know the different voices of bv02.  Let the games begin.

Meet Justin MacNeil, one of bv02’s senior developers.  He has an awesome nickname (Tang) and an extensive knowledge about pretty much everything. When we think “Who in the office would know the answer to this?” the answer, more often than not, involves Tang.

Your nickname around the office, for those who don’t know, is Tang. What’s up with that?

Essentially it just happened.  Justin turned into Just-tang, and then it became Tang.  No exciting story. [Smiles] I should just make up a different story every time someone asks.

How long have you worked at bv02?

About five years now. I started out focusing on design, and then moved to doing front end development  and now I focus on web development.

So you went from design to web development? Tell us about that.

Well, right now I do a bit of everything, from front-end development with HTML and CSS, to setting up servers, integrating CMSes like WordPress and Expression Engine, working with APIs, and all that good stuff. I took graphic design in school and we touched a bit on development, one or two HTML classes, and I was always more interested in digital design over print because of the interaction and versatility. That made it a natural transition when I started working more on the development side. Having an eye for detail, which is key in design, really helps with front-end development. I’m glad I made the transition from design to development early on. I like solving problems. Almost every new project has some new technical challenge and I enjoy using new tools and technologies to solve them. I also get to work on a lot of interesting projects for great clients.

What has been your most interesting project at bv02?

So far, I’d have to say my most interesting project has been working on OC Transpo’s website. It’s an important site that gets over 10,000 visitors a day, and the visitors rely on the site for information to help them plan their day. It’s been fun to work on such an important site. I started on the project doing front-end design, but over the years we’ve worked with OC Transpo, I’ve transitioned to handling more and more of the core development. It’s been great getting to explore all aspects of developing such an intricate site.

What do you do when you aren’t ‘devving’?

I read a lot. Some of my favourite books include… Wow, I’m going to need to give you a list. Here we go.

  • The Drunkard’s Walk – Leonard Mlodinow
  • Superfreakonomics – Steven Levitt, Stephen Dubner
  • Food Inc. – Peter Pringle
  • Don’t Make Me Think – Steve Krug

If you could pick one situation, and a theme song for that situation, what would it be?

Probably working during that crunch time to deliver a project for a client, and “Don’t Stop Me Now” by Queen.

And ok, I have to ask. Favourite GIF right now?

Dog on an escalator. (

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One response to “Twitter Takeover: Justin MacNeil”

  1. Derek says:

    What a great profile. What a great man.

    The origin of Tang’s nickname was more than just something that “happened”.

    If you sing the song “Roxanne” by “The Police”, it sounds like: “Rox-aaaaaaaaaaane!”

    Many years ago, Tang, living a very similar lifestyle to that of the girl found in the song, was in dire need of his own theme song around the bv02 offices.

    One afternoon, while Sting was belting out the chorus throughout the office speakers, the staff switched “Roxanne” for “Justin”. True, they sound almost nothing alike. But when you spice up the chorus with Justin, it tastes a lot like TANG.


    And “Tang” was born.