Hello and welcome to our Meet the Team series, in which we aim to give you deeper insight into the minds and personalities of those who make up this eclectic, close-knit group. We are developers, marketers, and technical support engineers, and at work we craft everything from Microsoft reporting APIs to mobile email applications. And outside of work? Let’s just say racing against the machine during hackathons, building architecturally sound beer towers during retros, and paddling down the Charles during the warmer months are simply the beginning.
Meet Nick. Our systems admin and skilled crew champ and cook. While he claims he doesn’t know what’s wrong with your wi-fi (see below), we’re pretty sure he can fix just about anything.
1. What do you do?
I get paid to play with computers? In all seriousness, I’m the systems admin for SoftArtisans, which means I maintain our server infrastructure, build system images, troubleshoot printers, reset passwords, and ensure that our websites stay up.
2. What are you listening to right now?
Lately, I’ve been listening to Spotify quite a bit, but usually I just have the Hype Machine’s popular channel on. It’s a great place to discover artists, and really changed how I listen and think about music over the past few years.
3. If you could build any app, what would it be and why?
Something that lets me execute remote commands from my phone – simple stuff like resetting a password, rebooting a server, restarting a service – that sort of thing. It’d be a huge security hole in any network, but it’d be nice to have when I’m out to lunch and just need to do something quick.
4. When you were 5 what did you want to be and why?
I wanted to be a Marine Biologist because I was fascinated with Robert Ballard (the guy who found the Titanic, the Bismark, and a number of other ships). Sadly, I soon realized that most of them don’t spend all their time hunting for shipwrecks.
5. If you were a beer what would you be and why?
Beer where the mash got diverted to Kentucky and was turned into Bourbon.
6. What is your favorite tech blog and why?
I’m partial to Ben Armstrong’s Virtual PC Guy. He’s a Program Manager for Hyper-V, and it’s always nice to keep on top of the latest in our virtualization stack. And XKCD, of course.
7. Fill in the blank. Contrary to popular belief I ________.
Do not know why your wi-fi isn’t working.
8. Describe your perfect Saturday afternoon in 10 words or less.
On the water.
9. When did you last laugh?
Reading this question. I’ll laugh at anything.
10. What is your worst nightmare?
Bees. I used to keep bees when I was a kid, but I was attacked by a wild hive once, and ever since I have become deathly afraid.
11. What 3 things would you bring to a deserted island?
A large, clear plastic tarp, an axe and couple hundred feet of rope. I’m practical, what can I say?
12. What is the last thing you bought?
2 servers. I personally like to stay on top of the latest in the IT infrastructure space which means maintaining my own lab environment. Next big project is going to be building/buying an iSCSI SAN….
13. What are your biggest pet peeves?
Being Late. I can’t stand not being on time. That, and backup failures.
14. Name something that makes you smile.
Good Pasta. I’m a sucker for food of all kinds, but I pretty much grew up on pasta, so it’s got a special place in my heart.
15. If you could teach a college course what would it be?
Formal Logic. There’s something about having a language fully dedicated to reasoning and proofs that I find intriguing. Plus, set theory has always been interesting to me.