This week’s dev profile from BigDoor introduces Paul Robbins, the Dev-Tester from Florida who enjoys gaming, basketball and contemplating the future of bionic arms.
What do you do for BigDoor?
I break things. My job as a dev-tester is to take the best code that the other developers have written and poke all the holes I can in it. I do manual UAT (User Acceptance Testing), write automated UAT tests with Selenium and write some of the unit tests. Nothing goes out the door without me looking at it first.
What do you like most about BigDoor?
My absolute favorite part about BigDoor is that it’s full of wicked smart people who are working way more than is healthy, but still take the time to answer questions. In college I spent two years coding by myself as an intern with the government. I’ve learned more in three months here than I did in those two years because there are people who are willing to teach me, even when they’re in the middle of something else.
I also love how open everyone is. I can’t imagine many places where I can email the CEO with an idea and have a response within a half hour not only taking me seriously, but asking how I suggest we fix the problem.
Everyone’s ego is checked at the door here because everyone’s goal is to make the company a smashing success and make each other better.
It also doesn’t hurt that we have an arcade machine and a fridge stocked with beer.
Technology you couldn’t live without?
Besides Penicillin? I’m a huge nerd so it’s hard to imagine living without my XBox 360. I play video games, stream Netflix and watch ESPN3 on it.
Technology that needs to be invented?
Bionic limbs. My girlfriend and I always argue about whether we would want to live with our brain in a robot body. I can’t think of anything cooler. Her? Not so much.
iPhone or Android?
iPhone hands down. I had an iPhone, switched to a Droid and now I can’t wait to switch back. A lot of people moan about how controlled Apple’s product is but honestly, when I buy a product, I’m shopping for a polished, well-oiled machine. Having one, single product to focus on means so much more on the quality side. Droid’s battery life sucks, it’s touch screen buttons get “stuck” and apps crash ALL THE TIME!
Star Trek or Star Wars?
Star Trek: The Next Generation is one of my favorite shows of all time. But nothing holds a candle to the recent Battlestar Galactica. It has great writing, great acting, and the creators knew the story they wanted to tell from the very beginning. After it was over, they didn’t keep dragging it on just to make money.
Favorite Jimmy Johns sandwich?
Gargantuan with no cheese or mayo.
Dog, Cat or Monkey?
A few months ago I would have said dog without hesitation. But my girlfriend and I just got a cat and she is frickin’ adorable.
The Wrestler with Mickey Rourke. A fantastic piece of film making and IMO, has the single greatest shot ever filmed.
What was the earliest game you played?
I can’t remember if it was Mario/Duckhunt on my cousin’s NES or Mathblaster on our home PC.
Game you’re currently playing?
None at the moment because I’m spending time with my girlfriend before the Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim comes out. I’ve put down the $150 for the Special edition and probably won’t be leaving the couch for about a month. I’m a sucker for long, story driven RPGs. I sunk 120 hours into my main save file in Elder Scrolls IV so if I disappear, well….now you know where I’ll be.
Favorite music to work to?
Depends on what I’m doing. If I’m trying to concentrate on coding I’ll listen to something relaxing like Norah Jones or The Weepies. If I’m doing something less brain intensive I’ll rock out to Nightwish or Jedi Mind Tricks.
Other fun facts:
I was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, home of Budweiser. I’m a die hard NBA fan, and the lockout is killing me, especially since Seattle doesn’t seem to have much of a basketball scene (Seriously, if you know of any place to play, let me know. I will fly there) They just had one of the most exciting seasons of all time and they’re following it up with…nothing. A good portion of my free time is spent reading books about basketball. Read Bill Simmons’ “The Book of Basketball.” He’s a jerk but you’ll find some of the greatest insights into the game you’ve ever heard.