I’ve been a software developer for a decade or so, having previously worked on satellite communication systems and emergency notification systems. On the concept team, I have been making use of new ‘real-time’ web technologies that make it possible to have near-instant, bi-directional communications between a web browser and a QNX-based device, over the Internet.
What do you like best about being on the concept team?
It’s a refreshing change from developing production software. The pressure and deadlines are still there, but it’s much easier to focus on coming up with the right ideas and executing on them than it sometimes is under a production-oriented process. I like how much control I have over the design of the solutions I contribute to the team’s projects. There are no mandates beyond getting things done, getting them done well, and getting them done quickly. Well, and have fun doing it!
Has there been a standout moment for you while working on the team?
On my first day at QNX I discovered that a developer had ported Node.js, a real-time web technology, to the QNX OS. I knew I could do some interesting things with Node.js, and within the next two weeks, I was able to create a demo that got everyone excited. I remember Mark Rigley telling me, “Wow, you don’t know what you’ve done!” That was pretty cool — eased the ‘new guy’ jitters for sure.
What is your biggest challenge right now? What keeps you up at night?
I’m usually thinking about how to solve the next problem — right now, it’s a feature for the technology concept car at CES. Creating scalable architectures is part of it, which is an interesting challenge when you’re leveraging a lot of very new technologies. Things don’t always work like it says on the back of the box.
What is your dream car?
Growing up, I always wanted a mini-van like my father. Now, with two kids, I’m afraid that wish might actually come true. I’ve driven the Porsche concept car – I’d like one of those. Please.
Anything particular you’re excited about right now?
The new concept car, of course! It’s beautiful, and it will be cool to see when it’s finished. Generally, though, I like the idea of a car pushing data to the cloud and the user being able to see that data in a meaningful way. For instance, by getting data gathered from other cars, the driver could see if there was a faster way to commute to work, and how long it would take. I think that’s not too far off.
Who would you like to see seated in a QNX technology concept car or reference vehicle?
I’d like to see my 15 month old in the passenger seat, but I don’t know what he’d do — play with the windows, maybe!