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Dec 22 2015

Meet Tim!

Tim joins us from The Providence Journal where he worked as a staff photographer, technology columnist, energy and utilities writer, and most recently as a developer on the Journal's website.

Tim Barmann

He built one of the first online calendar applications for fun and turned the endeavor into a commercial product. Tim enjoys learning to sail his small boat in Narragansett Bay, taking pictures with a camera attached to a kite, and keeping an 18-year-old Camry running with the help of Youtube videos. He and his wife live in Rhode Island with their two awesome sons.

1. Where’d you get educated and/or what jobs led you to your new job at MojoTech?

I have a degree in Photojournalism from Kent State University in Ohio. I moved to Rhode Island just after college to take a job at The Providence Journal, where I worked as a staff photographer, business writer, tech columnist and newsroom web developer.

2. Before your life at MojoTech, what was the most interesting project you ever worked on?

One of the first significant apps I did at The Providence Journal was an attendance tracker for Rhode Island General Assembly members. The assembly itself did not keep overall attendance records, and I thought our readers would be interested in knowing whether their legislators were showing up for work. The app downloaded PDFs of the journals published each day the House and Senate are in session; Those documents were converted to text and parsed over the attendance roll call for that session. The results were stored in a database and were displayed as a searchable list, with a detail page for each legislator that held office over a 10 year period. It was a great learning experience since the project required pulled together several technologies and techniques I had learned up to the point, included scraping, data visualizations, communicating with a database, parent-detail views, and lots more.

Here it is: http://timothybarmann.com/legislator-attendance/attendance.htm

3. What do you enjoy most/least about engineering?

I love to build things. What’s cool about making software is that you can see the results immediately.

4. What personal characteristics do you feel are necessary to be a successful engineer?

Curiosity, love of learning, patience and persistence when you don’t “get it” right away.

5. What do you get out of engineering that you couldn’t get from any other kind of work?

The challenge of solving problems and the satisfaction of coming up with seemingly simple solutions.

6. Describe a time when you confronted a problem that really tested your engineering know-how.

Trying to figure out how to insert JavaScript into a web page using a CMS that was configured to exclude JavaScript.

7. Now that you’re at MojoTech, what are you most excited about?

Working with smart people, working on different projects; the focus on building quality software.

8. Which professionals do you turn to or what blogs do you read for inspiration?

Stack Overflow, Lynda.com, edX, Udemy, Youtube, and Google.

9. You’ve been banished to a deserted island with—gasp—no wifi, but lots of power outlets. What one piece of technology would you bring?

Is a satellite phone with a data plan allowed?

10. What technology is going to take over the world next?

Tiny computers like Raspberry Pi and the Internet of Things.

11. If you weren’t an engineer, what occupation would you choose?


12. What is your idea of happiness?

Date night with my wife.

13. The red pill or the blue pill?

Gotta experience both. Red during the day and blue when it’s time to sleep.

Courtney Fanning