Welcome to our continuing series of Code Project interviews in which we talk to developers about their backgrounds, projects, interests and pet peeves. In this installment we talk to Chris Pardo, a Senior Product Manager at Dun and Bradstreet.
Who are you?
My name is Chris Pardo and I am a Senior Product Manager for Platform at Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), where I focus on enterprise application/data integration, strategic partnerships and alliances, and developer community engagement.
Before D&B, I worked at IBM for 8 years as a software engineer. Prior to that I worked for both Pervasive Software and National Instruments as a consultant and sales engineer.
At National Instruments, I was a customer of D&B and was involved with integrating D&B in their CRM and MDM.
I live in Austin, Texas, and double majored in Computer Science and Business at the University of Texas in Austin.
What do you do?
One interesting project I work on is the enterprise developer registration program of a major maker of mobile phones, tablets and computers (unfortunately, I can’t name the customer). This company uses D&B for due diligence on potential enterprise developers who want to join their developer program. Considering all of the fraud out there on the ’net, many companies with membership programs want to make sure they’re sharing their resources with members who are qualified to enjoy them.
We also exposed D&B’s API to the Windows Azure platform, specifically the Microsoft Azure Marketplace and the Windows Azure Store. This allows users to pull D&B data into applications they are building, or just into Excel.
Another interesting project is D&B Direct MicroApps. I work with our rapid prototype team to provide feedback from customers to develop microapps using D&B Direct. All the source code is available and customers can easily download the code and take them into production. The majority of the apps are based off the LAMPP stack.
What is your development environment?
LAMPP is my favorite technology stack. I love having a lightweight technology stack to deploy and run applications.
I LOVE my Macbook Air! By far the best laptop I’ve ever owned in terms of portability and aesthetics.
At home, I have an old desktop with Ubuntu installed. I’ve been a huge fan of Ubuntu because it’s so easy in terms of installation, maintaining software patches, and ease of use.
My favorite tool to explore new APIs is Soapui. SoapUI is a lifesaver when it comes to integration — it allows you to quickly explore APIs before you actually have to write any code. Also, you can create a datasource (either CSV or DB via ODBC) to process a sample size of data — pretty awesome.
I’m exploring Meteor and Bootstrap because several of my friends use them for their web sites. Bootstrap is awesome for commonly used UI elements and, overall, great for a simple and clean design for your web site.
What is your coding pet peeve?
I really don’t enjoy spaghetti code. (Does anyone?)
I also don’t like when code has been written with too much of an Agile influence. For example, development to meet the requirements is great, but future-proofing your code with good design will save a lot of time with future iterations. Finding the balance between Agile and design is paramount.
Code where cutting and pasting is obvious is really annoying, and naming conventions that don’t make sense are also pretty annoying.
I like to use camelCase and name variables and classes with descriptive, but not too verbose, names.
How did you get started programming?
My first computer was a 386 Intel clone that was 200MHZ and had 64 MB of ram and a 5 GB hard disk. My parent’s intent was for me to use the computer for school; however, I quickly found other purposes: video games! I installed StarCraft II and spent many hours playing with other gamers.
In addition to the gaming experience, the ability to share music through applications like Napster was awesome. Having the computer really opened my eyes to gaming, file sharing and early aspects of social. All of my friends thought I had moved away since I spent all of my time with my new-found obsession and eventual career choice.
I use Twitter to follow smart people in the industry.
I frequent GitHub to take a look at code samples.
And of course, LinkedIn is great for networking with developers and architects, and sometimes to follow what customers are talking about.
What advice would you offer to an up-and-coming programmer?
The best way to learn is to dive right in and get your hands dirty. Of course, reading tons of manuals is great and gives you context, but nothing is better than first-hand experience.