RDA Expert: Nick Berardi
As a Senior Consultant with RDA, Nick specializes in software architecture, usability engineering, mobility, and cloud-based computing initiatives with a strong focus on the web, mobile devices, and bringing those technologies to people in a useful and constructive way. He has co-authored a book titled ASP.NET MVC 1.0 Website Programming: Problem – Design – Solution published by Wrox. Nick is a Microsoft MVP for ASP.NET/IIS and frequently presents on Microsoft technology, specifically regarding ASP.NET MVC. He also writes on his blog, Coder Journal, about topics such as ASP.NET MVC, cloud computing, social networking, scalable computing, software usability, and iOS programming. You can follow Nick at @nberardi on Twitter or subscribe to his blog at http://coderjournal.com/feed/.
Q: Describe your favorite project.
I have only been with RDA for a short time now, but in that short time I have had the chance to work on some really great projects. It was hard for me to pick just one, but if I had to be pushed I would say it was working on an iOS and Android ticker app that was used by industry insiders and Wall Street to track the prices of crude oil. The most rewarding part of the project by far, was how passionate the entire company was about the mobile experience. Before the app went public every iPhone and Android phone in the company was running the software and that was a great feeling, because it is not a typical experience of a mobile app developer to get instant scale and feedback from a group of passionate users.
Q: What are your hobbies/personal interests?
My hobbies and personal interests often intersect. My hobbies include spending as much time with mother nature as possible, walking, camping, white water rafting, fishing, you name it. My personal interests currently lie in the web and mobile computing. And I am often trying to find ways to get them to intersect. A couple years back, I wrote an application that took the NMEA commands produced by GPS devices that you could connect to your computer with a serial interface, and had the application produce latitude, longitude, direction, speed, and some other cool data for while I was wondering around on a trip. Of course it has been done before, but I have always been interested in getting to the core of how something works, and in this case the best way for me to understand how GPS works, was to write an application. If you would like to see the application, I have open sourced it here: http://gps.codeplex.com/
Which brings me to my other personal interest, which is getting students involved in open source software. Every person on earth has been touched in some way by software that has been developed in the open whether they know it or not. Often I find that students don’t know how or need a push to get involved, so as an incentive to them I provide $2500 each year to a deserving undergraduate of The College of Information Sciences and Technology (or IST) at The Pennsylvania State University (or Penn State) for being involved in open source software development.
Q: What is your family profile?
I have been married for six years. We have a daughter (2) and a baby girl who was born in October.
Q: What is your favorite vacation spot?
This question has always seemed odd to me, it would imply that I would like to go back to it time and time again. My family likes to go out to do new and different things each vacation, so I would say our favorite vacation spot is whatever is next.
Q: Where did you grow up?
I was born in Boston, MA, but grew up in a small suburb of Rochester, NY.
Personally I find it a waste of time to sit in front of the TV for 3-4 hours watching sports, especially when I can just catch the highlights after the fact. But I do love to go to games, mostly because of the feeling you get from the energy of the crowd in the stadium, which usually cannot be matched. This and many other reasons is why I love to stick to the collegiate level sports, especially my Nittany Lions.
Q: What words do you live by?
“You don’t choose history, history chooses you.” What this means to me is always be ready to try new things, because you never know when you will be chosen by history to do something remarkable.