Our Behind the Data series aims to give you deeper insight into the minds and personalities of the developers, marketers, and technical support engineers who make up this eclectic, close-knit group. At work, we craft everything from Microsoft reporting APIs to mobile email applications, race against the machine during hackathons, build architecturally sound beer towers during retros, and paddle down the Charles during the warmer months. And outside work? Outside work, things get all shook up. Proof: one Nicholas Martin, (b | t) a "zen-lazy" programmer with intergalatic dreams, a fondness for tea-time manners, and a serious weakness for puns. 1. What do you do? I’m a software engineer at Riparian Data. I work on the full stack here, from setting up a new production server to rejiggering a Java application to become a library we can use for something else. Sometimes I make pretty web pages. We work in whatever language suits the task.
2. What are you listening to right now? Ratatat – Spanish Armada
3. If you could build any app, what would it be and why? I’ve been meaning to build the same app for like five years. It’s a site to house all the terrible puns I am subjected to on a near daily basis. I’d call it The Punisher *queue booing*.
4. When you were 5 what did you want to be and why? Astronaut, you get to go to SPAAAAAAACCCCEEEEE!
5. If you were a beer what would you be and why? I’d be an imperial stout. It’s kind of dark, but drink two and everything is funny.
6. What is your favorite tech blog and why? I’m a big fan of Hacker News, mostly for the delicious blend of tech and business news.
7. Fill in the blank. Contrary to popular belief I ________. I don’t really speak English. Perhaps that’s not contrary to popular opinion.
8. Describe your perfect Saturday afternoon in 10 words or less. Hammock, beach, shade, table service.
9. When did you last laugh? I last laughed less than an hour ago.
10. Describe your personal style in one word. Zen-lazy.
11. What is your worst nightmare? My worst nightmare is that recurring one with the giant spiders and mandatory extra high school.
12. If you were a superhero, what would be your superhero name/power? I would be Grokules, a barbarian berserker from the cold north with English tea-time manners! His special power is, uh, making sweet tea. If you tell him his tea is bad though, beware, for he shall become terribly upset, and the pouting will not end for hours. You will never hear the end.
13. What 3 things would you bring to a deserted island? I’d bring a Ka-bar, a safari hat, and sadly, a satphone, with internet. Hopefully I could find food and water.
14. Who would play you in a movie of your life? If lucky, I’d get the most interesting man in the world. It would be an art film, with random action scenes with motorcycles and explosions. Also, there would be much saving of puppies.
15. What is the last thing you bought? I bought a badger brush for my steel razor.
17. Name something that makes you smile. Doggies!
18. If you could teach a college course what would it be? I’m going to have to agree with Sean, software engineering in the real world should definitely be a class everyone takes. Writing code that merely works is a small part of the job. It’s all the processes around that writing that makes said code good. Sadly, many CS and even SE departments are teaching old methods, or not teaching it at all.