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BONUS Episode - A Monster Bonus
Episode #075’s guest Jeff Taylor was generous with his time, spending over two hours with me in the studio. We captured so much good material that we needed a bonus episode to squeeze it all in. In this bonus episode we talk about life after Monster, why you should run the meetings you attend, and setting the world record for water skiing behind a blimp.
Burning Man: https://burningman.org/
Root Society at Burning Man https://www.instagram.com/rootsociety2019/?utm_source=ig_embed&hl=en
|Jun 24, 2022|
Ep. 075, A Monster Idea
Our guest for Episode #075 is Jeff Taylor, founder of Monster.com and 14 other companies including most recently RoverTrophy.com. Jeff has always been ahead of his time, with boundless amounts of energy. This led him to create the world’s first job board in Monster, a revolutionary idea that spawned an entire industry. We discuss the resolve needed to champion your ideas, being the first URL on the radio, and when you know it is the right time to sell.
Jeff on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jeff-taylor-5212115a
A snapshot of the Monster Board in 1996 https://web.archive.org/web/19961111103115/http://www.monster.com/
When I Grow Up commercial: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fY1WoHkNGy4
|Jun 24, 2022|
Ep. 074, Make Your Luck
Neal Cao started out feeling the pressure common in many families - “You need to become a doctor or an engineer!” After his internship, he knew the medical field was not for him, and saw his brother killing it in software development. After many burst bubbles and industry changes, Neal found himself a principal in a financial services firm. We discuss putting med students in the party dorm, sports car perk programs, and sitting on both sides of the table for an audit.
|Jun 20, 2022|
Ep. 073, You're damned right I did it
Our first former sheriff’s deputy, Shadd Schutte brings a unique perspective to Underserved #073. Being a police officer in Wyoming turned out to be good training for managing projects and customers in IT. Shadd talks about his memorable experiences, transitioning between industries, and becoming Agile, as well as motorcycle cruises and spoiling dogs.
Shadd on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/shaddschutte/
Wyoming Department of Education: Home - Wyoming Department of Education
Laramie County Sheriff’s Department: Laramie County (laramiecountywy.gov)
Laramie County Animal Shelter: Cheyenne Animal Shelter | Dogs, Cats, Critters & Care
|Jun 13, 2022|
Ep. 072, Metaphysical Kitchen
Episode 072 of Underserved features Brian Durkin, Sr. Group Manager & Head of User Experience, Data & Analytics at BNY Mellon. Brian leveraged his art degree into some web design work but found his true passion was in information architecture. He came to this realization in the middle of an interview, which he politely asked to terminate. Instead, he was offered a new IA job the next day! Also covered: World IA Day, getting fintech to understand IA, and the fun parts of working for Nickelodeon.
Charles Zicari, Brian's first real IA mentor: https://www.linkedin.com/in/charles-zicari-90798/
UXPA Boston: http://uxpaboston.org/
World IA Day, Brian started the one for Boston: https://worldiaday.org/
Some of the past speakers of World IA Day Boston:
|Jun 06, 2022|
Ep. 071, Shoot for the Stars
Dr. Colleen Tartow was convinced investigating the heavens was her calling, studying astronomy all the way to a PhD. Once she realized the job market there was tiny and slow to advance, she moved to consulting in data and analytics. Colleen quickly found that data and software suited her and made a career of it. We talk about finding mentors, calligraphy, and the relative merits of a billionaire space race.
The Sequel: https://thesequel.substack.com/
|May 30, 2022|
Ep. 070, People First
Why does John Blythe, our guest for Episode #070, believe in people first at technology companies? It could be his experience building teams, or influencing surgeons to help lower their delivery costs one hip at a time. We discuss making passion learning a business, what it means to be the Director of GIFs and comedic timing, and getting 10x throughput at 10% of the cost.
140db.com - built john mayer's website that inspired John
bit.cloud - for versioned component development
|May 23, 2022|
Ep. 069, Last Mile Healthcare
Eli Goldberg received a life-changing diagnosis from a sweat test - he found out he had cystic fibrosis. Rather than shy away from it, Eli leaned into sharpening his focus, leaving consulting, and starting a company to help people with similar afflictions drive better medical outcomes. Listen to Episode #069 to hear how that drove Eli to help define the “last mile” of healthcare delivery by a tech giant.
|May 16, 2022|
Ep. 068, Façade Pattern
Kevin Jarnot, CIO of Uptime Institute, is our guest for episode #068. Kevin proves there is no set path to becoming a CIO. He was interrogated by the Secret Service in college, his band opened for Run DMC, and he ran a financial services company off the cable modem in his basement. Nowadays Kevin is a thought leader for some of the largest data centers in existence. Hear Kevin's story and transformation in our latest Underserved episode!
The incredible Franklin Ace 1000 computer - http://oldcomputers.net/ace1000.html
Buffalo BBS scene - https://www.reddit.com/r/Buffalo/comments/gwas9/who_remembers_the_wny_bbs_scene/
WWIV BBS software: https://www.wwivbbs.org/
Some band photos:
Mentions of Nest Egg:
|May 09, 2022|
Ep. 067. Leaving the comfort zone
Our guest from Episode #067, Parag Shah, foresaw the death of penmanship - something he happily announced at age 8. That didn’t save him from having to write a page of QBasic code each day before he could go out to play! Topics discussed include how serious you get about studying when you are paying your own tuition, decoupling storage and compute, and handling turnover at the top.
|May 02, 2022|
Ep. 066, Across The Pond IT
Episode #066’s guest is Matthew Wood, Deputy CTO, Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Transportation. Before ruling the IT end of Massachusetts roadways, Matthew grew up with technology in the United Kingdom. Some things were the same (the quest to build and play games), others very different (PC makers like the Alan Michael Sugar Trading company, aka Amstrad). We discuss differences managing when your workforce is unionized and in the public sector, and searching for the balance between being a team player and calling out bad ideas.
Broomstones (curling location) - http://www.broomstones.com/ - you can rent them out for fun corporate events
Coventry (where Matt grew up) - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coventry
Sinclair ZX81 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ZX81
Amstrad 6128 - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amstrad_CPC
Acorn Electron - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Acorn_Electron
|Apr 25, 2022|
Ep. 065, Whitebox Hunting
Episode #065 features Pete Langois. Pete’s first buffer overflow exploit in 8th grade earned him a trip to the vice principal's office, but starting his own BBS out of his bedroom earned him a job. We talk about trade shows including MacWorld, Star Wars including action figures, and the ROI of investing in yourself.
|Apr 18, 2022|
Ep. 064, Killing the Monolith
Episode #064 features Ahmer Khan of athenahealth. After watching four friends fail their first Computer Science course, Ahmer figured he had to try it. Following a stint in rain-soaked Seattle, he came back to put down roots at Raytheon. He opened people's eyes there to new technologies, embracing other cultures, and appreciating diversity. The one constant theme in his career has been seeking out and destroying monoliths - a unique calling that he carries on today!
Ahmer's LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/ahmer1781/
Patriot Missiles https://www.raytheonmissilesanddefense.com/what-we-do/counter-uas/sensors/global-patriot-solutions
The most famous monolith https://2001.fandom.com/wiki/Monolith
|Apr 11, 2022|
Ep. 063, Mentor Me to IT
Season 6 of Underserved kicks off with Daniel Goldenberg. While many kids in high school were biding their time, Daniel was finishing a CCNA curriculum and working for a local MSP. User empathy and customer focus he learned there served him well later in his career as a Director of IT and Security. We also talk about the best brisket in Texas and the sports scene at Syracuse.
Dan's LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/dsgoldenberg/
Dan's Texas BBQ Favorites:
|Apr 04, 2022|
Ep. 062, Hop On The Startup Train
We finish off Season 5 with Doug Morgan, Senior Director of Development at Alteryx. Doug took his CS chops from high school and Georgia Tech out to the west coast. After learning on the company dime, he took his own company through an acquisition and has run several engineering organizations since. We discuss the upside of a Division I sports school, the pain of the pivot, and rising early for rare beer.
|Dec 27, 2021|
Ep. 061, One Hand Up, One Hand Down
Lifelong Texan Lance Sleeper joins us for Episode #061. Lance studied journalism in school but always tinkered with computers growing up. After a motorsports PR gig evaporated, Lance found himself the most tech-savvy person at a mortgage company. His career focused on security from that point forward, exposing him to several different industries. We talk about airline IT, the importance of diversity and inclusiveness in security, Texas BBQ, and what it's like to wear the zebra stripes in football games.
|Dec 20, 2021|
Ep. 060, Online Whiskey Blinds
Episode #060 of Underserved features Conrad Morgan. Conrad started out building PCs when they were still a luxury item. His first foray into the technology industry was working with process control hardware, but a decision to work in an Amazon warehouse around the holidays led him to a career in large-scale e-commerce. We talk about labor management systems, automating your way out of a job, and live streaming whiskey blinds.
|Dec 13, 2021|
Ep. 059, Step Down to Step Up
In Episode #059 we talk with Chris Sullivan. A former Navy submariner, Chris leveraged the GI bill and his curiosity about software development into a career tying together power and programming. We talk about what it's like being on a nuclear sub, doing Homer Simpson's job and then trying to improve it, and the business of sanctions compliance.
|Dec 06, 2021|
Ep. 058, VP of Electricity
John Arsneault started full-time in the IT industry while still in high school. Wellington Management was rapidly becoming more dependent on computers and John defaulted into desktop support for hundreds of people. After seeing the potential of software companies at a VC firm, John dreamed of equity and opportunity at a startup. It took a couple of tries to get that right and to balance the demands of work and life, but now John is both a law firm CIO and a successful venture investor himself. Hear about John's journey in episode #058 of Underserved, out now!
|Nov 29, 2021|
Ep. 057, An Engineer's Engineering Manager
Erik Dasque is our guest on Episode #057. We talk about the winding road from "the West Virginia of France" to becoming a software VP in the United States. By always staying hands-on-keyboard and coding a bit in his free time, Erik has earned himself the moniker of "an engineer's engineering manager." We cover the role of a "Repair CTO", what to do when layoffs are in the investment thesis, and having to play code cop as an open-source project manager.
|Nov 22, 2021|
Ep. 056, A Solid Foundation
Episode #056 features Josh West, founder of Foundation.io. Josh is passionate about the foundation of software development - how do we make it easy and productive and FUN to be a software developer at a given company? How do we get developers writing code quickly instead of burning weeks on ramp-up and development environment setup tasks? (hint: Kubernetes!) A company where it is hard to "get up to speed" is at a disadvantage in a hot job market for developers. Also discussed - developer conferences ranging from HOPE to Bose to KuCon, and Scotch/bourbon budget picks (are there any left?)
|Nov 15, 2021|
Ep. 055, Classroom Relationship Management
Chris Hull is the Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer of Otus, a Chicago-based edtech company. After 13 years as an educator, Chris wanted to minimize the chaos of disconnected edtech tools for K-12 administrators, educators, students, and their families. We talk about his humble beginnings gaming, how hating education until college made him want to teach, and how his new company helps educators bridge the gap between subjects and years at schools (think SalesForce Accounts, Contact, and Activities for the classroom).
|Nov 08, 2021|
Ep 054, Expect Success
Episode #054 features Steve Picciano, VP of Engineering at FineTune. What if you interviewed for a job, didn't love it, but the interviewer says, "One of the reasons you don't want to come here is one of the reasons we want you here." Do you take the job and the challenge? Steve did. Hear that unusual tale, as well as taking the Smalltalk language to the big time, witnessing post-acquisition speeches that eviscerated engineering org charts, and Steve's secret to managing distributed teams (hint: it is not more Zoom meetings).
Finetune product page https://www.finetunelearning.com/
When Teradata closed the Boston Office, they also jettisoned the Presto product. However we had a few customers paying for support and they no longer had engineers to support these customers. So they transitioned the Support money to a spin off that became known as Starburst. This was founded by some of the Hadapt founders and several of the Teradata engineers who were working on Presto. Today the distribution is named "Trino".
Some great articles on changing a culture
Some history about Smalltalk
Atari 800 Game System
Great Sports article about adapting, modernizing and expecting success
|Nov 01, 2021|
Ep. 053, Send Michael Right Over
Episode #053 features Mike Sheldon, CTO of RedRover. Mike has made some unconventional moves, starting full-time work before graduating college, missing graduation to get married, and choosing to support an older product line instead of the hot, new greenfield project. It has all worked out for him though, still happily married, still working with friends he met at that first job, and heading up engineering at a new company that leverages his years of domain experience. Also covered: a most unusual bachelor party invitation, and the best cheesesteak in Philly (a moving target).
|Oct 25, 2021|
Ep 052, Minimize the Entropy
Morgan Creighton grew up watching Carl Sagan explain the wonders of our universe on PBS, inspiring Morgan to study physics. During his first job after college, a Nobel Physics Laureate famously opined that Computer Science would someday be declared a sub-discipline of physics. Morgan feels this is exactly the opposite of the truth - physics may eventually be declared a sub-discipline of CS! We cover the management of entropy in software, the Technicolor Dreamcoat that is functional programming, how your soft skills let you exercise your tech skills, and Morgan's Law for problem isolation.
|Oct 18, 2021|
Ep 051, Hampshire Andrologist's Road to IT
We kick off Season 5 speaking to Bob Hammond, CTO of Choreograph. Bob has survived the dotcom boom and bust, several acquisitions and divestitures, and scaling several companies to provide ad delivery to large audiences. When you make things big enough and fast enough, the LAN speed often becomes your throttle, and expansion efforts are like changing the tires on a speeding car. We talk about backbone bottlenecks, boats Bob wishes he had been on, and building a rig to fly virtual planes when there is no time to fly real ones.
|Oct 11, 2021|
Ep 050, End Zone Militiaman
Episode 050 of Underserved features Gene Grella, a renaissance IT executive who also teaches, flies RC planes/drones, and fires a musket after every Patriots home game touchdown. We discuss the merits of a big, boring, process-driven company for your first job out of college. We also talk about CEOs who put their personality stamp on their companies, FPV flight, and how the best professors correlate the classroom lessons to the real world.
|Jul 12, 2021|
Ep 049, Ace of Bass
Our guest Sean Mack spent many sunny surf days at UCSC in the basement computer lab, but it paid off. Sean was at the dawn of the streaming age, helping bring online everything from submarine trips to game shows. Later in his career, he moved to education technology as the mission was more in line with his interests. We talk about enterprise DevOps, balancing security and capability delivery, and playing the upright bass for rent.
|Jul 05, 2021|
Ep 048, From Cowboys to Courses
Noah Pryor realized early on that building GUIs in C was a losing battle, as was fielding support calls at 3 a.m. from drunken phone battery kiosk users. Noah pivoted into Ed Tech and we talk about how he enjoys the journey and the mission. Also discussed: Modern-day web scraping tools, dealing with DMCA requests, and what happens when you Rickroll yourself.
|Jun 28, 2021|
Ep 047, Build Your Own Role
Our guest Jen McComas started out intercepting calls for help from customers and building herself a tech support position. This "build your own" theme continued in her career as Jen invented roles in subsequent technology companies, culminating with becoming a division CTO at IBM. We talk about the changing definition of work and productivity, the importance of curiosity, and how staying in your swim lane may shrink your pool.
|Jun 21, 2021|
Ep. 046, Butchering Bytes Brilliantly
Out of the mosh pits of Worcester, Jeff Gnatek found his way to a graphic design internship and coding by creating tattoo artist websites. Custom Made (think Etsy on-demand) led him to become the Head of Engineering at Butcher Box, the monthly meat-by-mail company. We talk about ribeyes as a perk, hardcore history, and empathy for fellow managers when you become one.
|Jun 14, 2021|
Ep. 045, Our Passive House
This week's guest Matt Hillery started his career translating between business users and the engineering ivory tower. This skill would come in handy again and again throughout his career as he honed in on content management as a vocation and basis for a company he later sold. We cover lessons learned from start to exit, energy-efficient housing as a hobby, and what to do when a job leaves you.
|Jun 07, 2021|
Ep. 044, Metadata Maven
This week's guest Doug Poirier started out programming on a VIC 20 but found during his career that he liked putting tools in users' hands and driving adoption better than slinging code. What good is technology anyway if you can't get people to embrace it? We talk about the ILOVEYOU virus's siren song, the virtualization of databases, and the hidden value of SharePoint in Office 365.
|May 31, 2021|
Ep. 043, Owning your Career
This week's guest Nausheen Moulana grew up fascinated by the potential of the humble electron. Her parents were wary to send her to the US after hearing some scary stories, but Nausheen made it here in time for grad school. As a MATLAB power-user, Nausheen was thrilled to work at The Mathworks for decades. We talk about when it's time to move on, the importance of financial literacy for software professionals, and the delicate balance of "finding your voice" as a female in engineering.
|May 24, 2021|
Ep. 042, Realtor Genius
Our guest Lisa Maxwell was encouraged to "go into computers" but initially resisted this advice. She enjoyed playing music so much she ended up with a degree in it, but found that it's hard to make a living that way. Lisa's aptitude for math led her to program for a living, as well as qualifying for MENSA. We talk about instrument petting zoos, the tryout similarities between orchestras and sports teams, and what goes on at those MENSA meetings.
|May 17, 2021|
Ep. 041, In careers, timing is everything
JP Beaudry grew up in rural Quebec hacking together cars and studying engineering. After an eye-opening internship in Japan, he came to the US as the DotCom bubble was booming, discovering in the process that timing is everything in careers. We discuss his love/hate relationship with automobiles, changing development velocity, and his experience bringing online learning to the masses at edX.
|May 10, 2021|
Ep. 040, Finnish Strong
This week's guest Vesa Tormanen grew up in Finland, first amazed by the computers running at the government pension fund where his parents worked. He hit university at the perfect time, as fellow Finn Linus Torvalds was creating Linux, a classmate was inventing ssh, and the web browser came of age. We talk about Nokia's history and Apple's future, as well as how his current company Neurala is using AI to accelerate and improve product and materials inspection.
|May 03, 2021|
Ep. 039, You want chili powder with that?
Matt Phair did not expect to be a data scientist when he was a butcher in his younger days. But after some school and getting some experience he found technology to be a great vehicle for social mobility. Matt talks to us about Peapod Digital Labs using data science to make the shopping experience better. He also shares some suggestions for folks who aspire to become great data scientists or developers.
Matt's show notes:
|Apr 26, 2021|
Ep. 038, I can't defend what I don't know exists
This week's guest Brian Haugli is a "recovering CISO" - a veteran manager of big-company Information Security who is re-packaging that skillset for the SMB market. Brian is also the host of CISOlife, a YouTube channel about struggles, tools, and solutions for CISOs. We talk about Brian's early days as a physical security tester, realistic vendor assessment, and the origin of his company SideChannel.
|Apr 19, 2021|
Ep. 037, Zooming in the nineties
Season Four kicks off with our guest Jeff Krampf. Jeff started on an Apple II back in the day and worked on CU-SeeMe, the Internet's first video conference software - the great grandfather of Zoom. We talk about commercializing open-source, overcoming acquisition indigestion, and how Bose is adding real-time services to their famous speakers.
|Apr 12, 2021|
Season 3 Bonus Episode: ANIME! Part 2 - The Collector
In our second Bonus Episode of Season 3, we cover toy collecting with Mason Fitch. Mason's collection features over 450 toys, mostly rare die-cast Shogun warriors, and other Japanese classics. We talk about how a single action figure purchase led to trips to both the West Coast and Japan in pursuit of these childhood mementoes. We also talk about how to truly appreciate the Citizen Kane of anime, Akira.
|Jan 04, 2021|
Season 3 Bonus Episode: ANIME! Part 1
I was among many folks in Massachusetts who grew up watching Force 5, Star Blazers, and other animated shows from Japan (aka anime). In this bonus episode of Underserved, I talk with Art Sousa, a lifelong friend with a shared nostalgia for these giant fighting robot serials. I then speak with Robert "Swifty" Swift aka Nixon, who takes us much further down the anime rabbit hole to show us how the genre is "as big as all outdoors" and is rapidly going mainstream on Netflix and Hulu.
|Dec 28, 2020|
Ep. 036, Know thy user for he is not thee
Our guest for the Season Three finale is a legend in the User Experience community. Dave Platt started developing because of a love of mainframe games. He graduated to becoming an author of books on various Microsoft programming tools before concentrating his efforts on UX. We talk UX process, evangelism, and Dave's mission to help senior citizens better leverage technology to stay connected.
|Dec 21, 2020|
Ep. 035, Don't drink the Java
Bill Scott toured the trades and the military before discovering software consulting as a career. Rather than being yet another Commodore 64 disciple, Bill's introduction to programming is a unique story, one you'll have to hear to believe. We also talk about iOT development/hardware hacking, Extreme Programming, and the push for digital transformation.
|Dec 14, 2020|
Ep. 034, From Mixology to Management
Jeremy Halperin chased a dream of being in a band, bartending to make ends meet. The progression of life led him to computer science. During his ascension from individual contributor to manager to CTO, he realized that his helpdesk and bartending experience were unexpectedly useful. We talk about the drama formula, watching people hose production servers, and the coolest thing Jeremy has ever done in a job.
|Dec 07, 2020|
Ep. 033, A journey is time suspended
Our guest Brian King is a veteran of many travels, trials, and tribulations. He has seen the technology industry progress through decades, often seeing the same situations reappear repeatedly. We talk about the difficulty of traveling and job hunting during a pandemic, some underrated European travel spots, and how the Hamilton musical is infecting the minds of parents and kids alike.
|Nov 30, 2020|
Ep. 032, Don't shoot your insurance agent
Unlike most PoliSci majors, Jesse McSweeney started out his professional career chasing down rogue insurance agents who were ripping off clients. We talk about how to avoid being scammed, being a Scrum master without previously being a developer, and why it just might be worth it to fly halfway around the world to Bora Bora.
|Nov 23, 2020|
Ep. 031, Death of the sticky note
Damien Scott is a recovering hardware guy living in a software world. Similar to previous Underserved guest Ben Szekely, Damien was recruited out of college to work for IBM. We talk about consulting company truths and myths, how to get a bank to sign off on using open source, and how to spot optimization opportunities at your company.
|Nov 16, 2020|
Ep. 030, What's next for US?
Our guest Paul Krasinski mentored some kids while attending Brown University, and their experience changed his perspective. We talk about playing professional basketball in Europe, the science of tracking audience engagement, and the struggle for companies to engage consumers without being creepy. Paul also discusses his plans to move online relationships into the real world, developing a collaboration and connection space in Plymouth, MA.
|Nov 09, 2020|
Ep. 029, Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
Brandon Kindred's dad redirected his excess energy and curiosity to learning programming with a teach yourself in 24 hours book. The same thing happened in school, where a chance encounter (getting caught programming) led to a spot on the robotics team. We talk about lessons learned from robotics competitions, using AI and ML to improve software testing, and where the soft powder is in Colorado.
|Nov 02, 2020|
Ep. 028, Paint me a picture of tech
Our guest Jed Maczuba grew up reading 2600 - The Hacker Quarterly (as did your humble narrator). His curiosity about phone systems and computer systems led him to become a Mac user and an IBM employee. We talk about the most underrated skill in management, steering management to best leverage technology, the struggle to exceed the industry average for successful projects (as low as 10%!), and how oil painting is a surprisingly technical hobby.
|Oct 26, 2020|
Ep. 027, People are not good at search
Adria Kyne was in Seattle pursuing a Ph.D. in Chinese Archaeology when the Dot Com boom pulled her into the software industry. Search engines were at war and Microsoft was determined to win the battle with a combination of human curation and machine classification. This led to a 20-year career bringing rigor and truth to search technology and search marketing - an industry often rife with snake oil salesmen and pseudoscience. We also talk about larping and how that hobby led to Adria appearing on a reality TV show.
|Oct 19, 2020|
Ep. 026, Insurance as a career
Meredith Barnes-Cook started running agile development teams before agile was even "a thing". Her no-nonsense, results-oriented approach to insurance software development led to a successful career at Liberty Mutual and other insurers. We talk about moving from career management to career ownership, getting work done through people not in spite of them, and folding in teams from formerly hostile competitors.
|Oct 12, 2020|
Ep. 025, Architecture Discussion
Season Three kicks off with our guest Jim Martin, CTO of Shepley Bulfinch. Famed architect H.H. Richardson gave birth to the company way back in the 1800s with the design of Trinity Church in Boston, and they have remained in practice ever since. Jim's job is to make sure technology is an enabler for architects, helping them better design, draw, and deliver solutions to their clients. We talk about growing up with LOGO, the intricacies of CAD software and its IT care and feeding, and Jim's involvement as the president of SIM Boston (the Society for Information Management).
|Oct 05, 2020|
Underserved 2020 BBQ Special Episode Part 2 Just the BBQ Tips
We are back with Part 2 of our BBQ Bonus edition of Underserved! This episode features the tips and tricks that our pitmasters have learned during years of time spent over the smoker. Learn secrets including brining, rub and sauce selection, resting, wrapping, and more.
|Jul 02, 2020|
Underserved 2020 BBQ Special Episode Part 1
Just in time for summer - A special 2-part BBQ bonus edition of Underserved! Years back I decided to get good at cooking barbecue and formed a competitive team called Tasty Bytes BBQ. Along the way, we won some contests, cooked some good food, met some great people, and learned a ton. This episode features three friends I have made in the BBQ world. We talk about how they got into BBQ and what they enjoy most about it. Next episode we will feature tips and tricks from all three of them. Featured are:
Dave White - Director of Software Engineering at Iron Mountain, weekend BBQ warrior
Carlo Crocetti - Owner of Crocetti's and South Shore Meats, the thrill of the grill
Bill Gillespie - Distribution Designer for National Grid and pitmaster of world-champion team Smokin Hoggz BBQ
|Jun 18, 2020|
Ep. 024, The best WiFi is in the jungle
Capping off Season Two, Bharathi Balasubramanyam (B, for short) tells us about finding computer science when biology class went awry, serverless frameworks, imposter syndrome, and becoming the queen of working remotely. You won't want to miss B's around-the-world experience with Remote Year, where she traveled to 23 different countries in one year all while keeping the same job!
|May 28, 2020|
Ep. 023, Scratching the itch to code
Our guest PK Shiu was building remote development teams long before it was fashionable (or the only way!) to do so. We cover the organizational and people challenges of making remote work, talk a bit about audio production, and about getting kids interested in coding using the Scratch programming language from MIT.
|May 12, 2020|
Ep. 022, Catching the coding bug
Our guest Sara Morgan explains how a sick day led to a love of coding and how questions like, "Would you rather plan a party or take a doorknob apart?" can help point you towards a career. Sara also talks about how your network enables more industry portability than your expertise can, and how important attitude and perspective can be in shaping your future. We also talk about applying technology toward kids' sports and fishing.
|May 04, 2020|
Ep. 021, Ed Tech REACTions
Matt Hodges (fellow member of the Commodore Army) applied lots of grit and determination to graduate with a CS degree at a time when 93% were quitting the major. Like our previous guest John Newman, Matt got to view development from a lot of different angles before becoming part of the organization (QA, DBA, Ops, etc). We talk about how being thankful and humble can be a really important part of your career, and how being the Excel stat geek can endear you to your softball team.
|Apr 22, 2020|
Ep. 020, Social-emotional learning
Khan Klatt has been involved in education technology for the last 7 years, on both the for-profit and non-profit sides of the industry. Khan talks about how some things change and some stay the same between those two worlds, how he got his start in software, the front-end focus in ed tech, and how he applies "otaku" to his hobby of building light displays.
|Apr 13, 2020|
Ep. 019, Better Business Travel
Chris Stasonis, VP of Engineering at Lola.com talks about the trajectory of an engineering career, and how to decide at critical junctures - "Stay or leave a company? Stay technical or consider management? How do I become a good (not average) manager?" Chris also (drum roll) keeps chickens and has automated some of the coop life. We talk a bit about the prosumer-ization of flying private airplanes as well.
|Apr 02, 2020|
Ep. 018, Get in the ring
If your team grows 4x in a year it can be hard to keep up! Ken Pickering talks about bracing for the influx, living with a Scala architecture, and working in consumer-facing companies. Hear how boxing competitively provides the necessary stress relief for the software industry (link below to sponsor Ken in this year's Haymakers for Hope charity tournament!)
|Mar 22, 2020|
Ep. 017, Go fly a kiteboard
Our guest Ben Szekely talks about pioneering semantic technologies at CSI for over a decade. As an SVP and Head of Field Operations, Ben has been applying graph technology to the human data model and other tough problems. In his spare time, he is also an avid skier (think jumping out of a perfectly good helicopter onto a mountain in Alaska) and kiteboarder. Hear about how the highest kiteboard jump in the world happened in Massachusetts Bay!
|Mar 12, 2020|
Ep. 016, The Continuous Compliance Conundrum
Vikas Singhvi went from the ultimate for-profit industry (financial services software) to a running IT for a non-profit. Hear his lessons learned, along with how to level up using online resources, and what DevSecOps is. We talk about continuous compliance and how to reconcile Agile methodologies with regulated industries. We also cover trying to retain culture and traditions from the old country when living in a new country.
|Mar 02, 2020|
Ep. 015, The siren song of the modem
Our guest in Episode 015 is John Newman, Senior Software Engineer (Java/Spring/Oracle). After growing up on a steady diet of BBSes, John went from the physical therapy program to the programming program. After his start in Ops he moved to Dev and has been coding ever since. John talks about developing for the fun of it, his early days on the dial-up bulletin board systems in Boston, and how coaching youth sports helps him with his job.
|Feb 20, 2020|
Ep. 014, Competing against free is really hard
In Episode 014 I talk to Tim Callaghan, VP of Technology at Crunchtime. Tim has some great stories from a previous job where they embraced open source, extended it, and competed with it on occasion. His story about attending a presentation that (surprise!) ended up being about his benchmarking code at a worldwide MongoDB conference is a must-listen! We also talk about inspiring the next generation of coders and cloud provider merits.
Tim on LinkedIn https://www.linkedin.com/in/timcallaghan/
|Feb 10, 2020|
Ep. 013, A trip you'll want to hear about
We kick off Season Two with Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor, Inc. Steve made the long trek across the highway in Needham to talk to me about what initially excited him about computers, what he learned at each stage in TripAdvisor's growth, and what he would go back and tell himself if he had a time machine. We also talk about fencing, the TripAdvisor Charitable Foundation, and the anti-bureaucracy challenge. How does your outlook on acquisitions change from being a $50M company to being a $4B company? You won't want to miss the lessons learned and how to use the "mirror test" to determine what price to charge when you have no clue how to value something.
TripAdvisor Refugee relief : https://www.tripadvisor.com/vpages/refugee_relief.html
Sabre fencing in MA: http://zetafencing.com/
Boston fencing club: https://www.bostonfencingclub.org/
The Pan-Mass Challenge: https://www.pmc.org/
Other ways to price services (besides the Mirror Test): https://www.inc.com/guides/price-your-services.html
|Jan 30, 2020|
Underserved 2019 Holiday Bonus Episode
It's almost time for the business world to hibernate for a couple of weeks, and Underserved is shipping some yuletide bits to enjoy during the break! We have taken some cuts we did not have room for in our regular episodes and packaged them here. This bonus episode is the end of Season One of Underserved. Season two is coming in early 2020, see you then!
|Dec 13, 2019|
Ep. 012, Rise of the machines
How many people started their data science career at 16 years old? Then took a sabbatical to play with famous jazz musicians? And subsequently bootstrapped the US presence for a Norwegian data science firm? I know one! His name is Russ Wilcox. On this week's Underserved Russel explains how a Tesla sees the world (and how it can be fooled), how to teach an old AI new tricks, and we discuss the ethical implications of artificial intelligence. If you ever wondered how machine learning worked, or if the rise of SKYNET is imminent, this is the podcast for you.
|Nov 20, 2019|
Ep. 011, Addicted to learning
Arvind Singh https://www.linkedin.com/in/aaroh/ is a software developer that specializes in security and identity management. He has been a proponent of open source software for over two decades, particularly BSD derivatives of Unix. We talk about how open source is the unsung hero of the Internet, the proliferation of open source licensing models, coming up from the west coast of India to the East coast of the US, and where the best Indian food in Boston is (hint: JP). We also talk restoring bicycles and bike trails in the Boston area.
|Nov 11, 2019|
Ep. 010, QA is a marathon, not a sprint
Brian Adams got into QA by way of customer service, and has developed his testing skills, user empathy, and teamwork to become a top professional. We talk about best practices for performing quality assurance, QA in an agile lifecycle, and making the most out of distributed teams. Brian is also a veteran of multiple marathons (the running kind) so we talk about his rituals and routines.
|Nov 01, 2019|
Ep. 009, The higher you are on the pyramid...
I have known Mark Carbrey for over 20 years, from my first job in the software development industry. One fateful day I asked to audit a class he was teaching and our paths have been intertwined ever since. We have worked together, helped one another with projects, and both learned a lot along the way. Mark has worked leading software development teams and organizations up to the CTO/CIO level, has helped companies improve quality, figuring out how to pass audits, and facilitate acquisitions. Topics include "What is it like having hundreds of people trying to sell to you?" and "Why are security audits becoming harder and more commonplace?"
|Oct 21, 2019|
Ep. 008 of Underserved, The geek shall inherit the earth
Robert "Swifty" Swift (LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-swift-2094774/ ) A.K.A "Nixon" has been a fixture of the Boston geek community for decades. An engineer turned recruiter by day, in his free time Robert has been to most cons, gaming gatherings, LARPs, and D&D sessions in the 617. Robert serves up his top phone, Skype, and in-person interview tips and then shares his off-the-clock experiences, providing an exclusive look into the social underbelly of the Boston tech scene.
|Oct 10, 2019|
EPS NEWS FLASH - Twitch Stream Poker Cheating Scandal - Mike Postle
Special News Episode - There is a scandal in the Twitch Streaming/Poker world this week. Our guest to help us break down and analyze the news is Mike Breault. You might remember Mike from Episode 007 of Underserved. We go into deep technical detail on the live-streaming poker cheating scandal at the Stones Gambling Hall involving a man named Mike Postle. We talk about how the story broke, the Internet sleuthing that followed, and how programming and various technologies may be involved.
|Oct 09, 2019|
Ep. 007 of Underserved, Destined to be a developer
This week's guest is my friend of nearly 20 years, Mike Breault. Mike on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelkbreault/ Mike and I became fast friends back at Monster.com and have worked together, traveled together, and had a lot of fun times ever since. Mike always knew he wanted to be a software developer, starting in 1976 sending emails from his kitchen with his dad. Yes, 1976. We talk about development history, current events, and a bit about sports gambling and one-day fantasy sports.
|Sep 30, 2019|
Episode 006, What about the children?
This week I talk to my wife Tricia and daughter Caroline to get two different perspectives on kids using social media. If you are a parent and don't know what a Finsta is, or what TikTok/VSCO are, or how monitoring SnapChat / social media works, this is the podcast for you! Social media with kids is a catch 22 - if they are not on it they miss out on a lot of their peer socialization, if they are on it there are at least as many risks and downsides as upsides. We talk about the platforms, usage, abuse, and how to try to get a handle on it as parents (including tools to do so).
OurPact - the tool we use ($8/month) for controlling access to apps and screen time. There's a locator app too but Google Maps with location sharing is pretty much the same IMO.
Bark - for monitoring social media, we have not tried it but have heard about it ($9/month). One caveat - SnapChat private messages and private stories are not monitored. The only way to get at those is with jailbreaking or rooting your kids devices, as far as I can tell.
What is a Finsta (Fake-Instagram) https://www.dictionary.com/e/slang/finsta/
What is a VSCO girl? https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=VSCO%20GIRL
What is TikTok? https://www.tiktok.com/en/
How can kids secretly screenshot SnapChat? https://www.spyzie.com/snapchat/how-to-secretly-screenshot-snapchat.html
|Sep 20, 2019|
No CS degree? No problem!
Current favorite editor - Panic Coda 2 https://panic.com/coda/
Spiffy new 5K displays - https://www.amazon.com/LG-Ultrafine-Monitor-5120-Resolution/
Using Sidecar as second display for Mac - https://www.macstories.net/stories/sidecar-in-ios-13-and-macos-catalina-working-seamlessly-between-an-ipad-and-mac/
Using Elixir on the Erlang vm https://elixir-lang.org/
The Nerves Framwork https://nerves-project.org/
The movie pi: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0138704/
Disney Insider tips
The new Star Wars park at Disney - https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/hollywood-studios/star-wars-galaxys-edge/
Chef Art Smith's Homecomin' restaurant - http://www.homecominkitchen.com/
Trader Sam's Grog Grotto Tiki Bar at The Polynesian - https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/dining/polynesian-resort/trader-sams-grog-grotto/
One of the few appreciating cars you'll ever see - The Ford GT 40 from 2004-2005 on Ebay - https://www.ebay.com/b/Ford-Ford-GT/116478/bn_7115875849
Ford vs. Ferrari https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1950186/
|Sep 10, 2019|
Ep. 004 of Underserved, Drafting the varsity team
This week's guest is Colin Reposa, VP of Resource Management from Syrinx Consulting. Colin's job is to match up technologists with the needs clients have for building teams. It sounds simple on paper but there is a lot to doing it right! Colin talks about the evolution of job boards (and why he rarely uses them nowadays), getting an employer to allow you to work remote, and how contract-to-hire has become more popular and more possible than before.
Some tools and topics Colin mentions:
LinkedIn Recruiter https://business.linkedin.com/talent-solutions/recruiter
Changes to H1B visas in 2019 https://www.forbes.com/sites/andyjsemotiuk/2019/01/02/recent-changes-to-the-h1b-visa-program-and-what-is-coming-in-2019
What is an RFE? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Request_For_Evidence
|Aug 29, 2019|
Ep. 003 of Underserved, How Agile are you?
In Episode 003, Glyn Morgan (Practice Director, AgileNX) talks about modern software development processes. Specifically, what's it like to implement Agile across several companies, where do many organizations stumble, and what are his tips for success? Glyn also talks about early computers in the UK, his unusual status as a Mac user with an Android phone, and immigrating to the US.
Glyn on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/glynm/
Jira Kanban view https://www.atlassian.com/agile/kanban/boards
Making QA a part of your agile process http://www.wirfs-brock.com/PDFs/QA2AQ.pdf
|Aug 22, 2019|
Episode 002 of Underserved, You have to sell to survive
In the first few companies where I worked there was little fraternization between the sales, product, and development groups. Monster changed that for me, and I found it very interesting to see how sales-centric organizations were run and what made salespeople tick. My guest Matt Berg is one of the top salespeople in the software consulting industry. Matt talks about how he got interested in technology, working with developers and customers, and finding common ground. Matt on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-berg-0b875a20
Which one is the Sega TMNT game that Matt lost? https://www.amazon.com/s?k=tmnt+for+sega+genesis&ref=nb_sb_noss_2
The scoop on keeping a coop: https://thepoultrysite.com/articles/fundamental-rules-to-keeping-backyard-chickens
If you are in the tech industry and keep chickens or other livestock, tell us about it! Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or hit me up on Twitter @AndrewGelina https://twitter.com/andrewgelina
Matt's most important online sales tool, ZoomInfo: https://www.zoominfo.com/
The scariest distracted driving - People shooting videos while driving: https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/alarming-trend-taking-videos-driving-everybody-224451939.html
|Aug 13, 2019|
Episode 001 of Underserved, the podcast for the rest of the technology industry
In this inaugural episode of Underserved, Andrew explains the motivation for the podcast. He also talks about how he got into programming and answers some frequently asked questions about developer preferences. This show is sponsored by Syrinx, the developer-founded, developer-run software consulting company www.syrinx.com
Code.org's hour of code: https://hourofcode.com/us
Learning JS: https://www.learn-js.org/
VS Code: https://code.visualstudio.com/
Android Studio: https://developer.android.com/studio
Sublime Text: https://www.sublimetext.com/
We want to engage with our listeners! Please feel free to email us at email@example.com or tweet to @AndrewGelina with show feedback, ideas, rants, or praise.
|Jul 17, 2019|