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Todd B.

Todd started working at SoftSource Consulting in 2013.


Bachelor of Science in Computer Science
Portland State University
Portland, Oregon

Six Questions with Todd

When did you first start programming and with what language/computer and what did you like the most about this programming experience?

At a very young age, my parents bought an Atari 2600 which my siblings and I played games on non-stop, getting into fights, etc. Once that system became “outdated”, we moved on to the Atari 800 XL, which not only allowed us to use cartridges like the 2600, but also connect a disk drive! One cartridge I played with was called “Pilot”. This program allowed me to write Basic programs (i.e. “10 Print ‘Hello’ 20 GOTO 10”). I’d write MadLib games where, after users enter their nouns, verbs, adjectives, etc., the program would output a ridiculous story that kept us laughing for hours.

Describe a project you’ve been involved with which you consider to be your greatest success so far. What made it so successful?

I was tasked to architect, design and develop an application which allowed non-technical people to edit and publish metadata around learning content “objects”. One of its main purposes was to eliminate the bottleneck (and risk) of the organizations’ single developer scripting manual inserts/updates to the database. It was such an enriching project to be a part of because not only was it green-field development, allowing me to pick the technology I wanted to use, but it single-handedly removed that bottleneck and the potential “fat-fingering” of data updates, as well as providing a simple UI to do those data updates in a safe manner.

I’ve always gravitated toward web development and all the layers it entails – from coding the CSS styles all the way down to writing the stored procedures in the database. That said, the technology and software development landscape changes so rapidly that I’m always looking at and playing with the next new shiny thing. Some of those interests are native mobile development, the plethora of javascript frameworks, and cloud computing.

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned so far in your career?

The sad reality is that no code is perfect and there’s usually a bug still lurking in the weeds waiting to present itself at the worst possible time, no matter how solid the code has been written. Over time, I’ve learned that all code, even seemingly minor or innocuous code changes, require testing.

If computers and related technology didn’t exist, what do you think your career would be?

A helicopter pilot. Are helicopters a related technology?

When it’s time to turn off the computer, what do you do instead?

When the computer is turned off, you will find me with my family, playing with my kids. If not there, then I’ll be out on a run, presumably training for a race, or working on the never-ending list of house projects.

Anything else you think the world would like to know about you?

I’m a nerd who loves sports: football, basketball, golf. Occasionally I’ll break out the paints (watercolor/oils) and do a painting but that rarely happens now since having kids. I’ve also drunk from the Cupertino Kool-Aid and have become a helpless Apple fanboi.

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