April 21, 2023

A coder at heart with Robert Cooke

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A coder at heart with Robert Cooke
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Show Notes

In this episode, our guest is Robert Cooke, founder of 3forge, a provider of data virtualization and visualization technology solutions. In this conversation, Robert shares 

  • His origin story of starting with computers when he was a kid in the 80s
  • His liking to build things – in wood or lego
  • Discovering that he could build a lot more without needing a lot more money, with computers
  • Developing Video games, accounting software – helping manage things in college with software solutions
  • His experience with writing code in 128k memory
  • Working in silicon valley in 2000s, getting a job in an insurance company
  • 4Vs of data: volume, velocity, variety and validity of data
  • Last 15 years has been about solving problems with the 4Vs
  • Being a self proclaimed software addict, sometimes upto 10-12 hours per day
  • His early experience with writing software for his club, in his teens – when hardcoding was more natural
  • Learning later that parameterization, lookup tables etc were more elegant and generic
  • Starting his company in 2012
  • Same software for all customers, with a single branch of code
  • Anyone who takes the art form of writing code seriously, will get better with time
  • His transition from being in individual contributor to delivering as a team
  • The advantage of getting different insights from team members
  • Naming, logical architecture decisions become important when working in teams
  • The need for consistency across team members..but what is right or wrong
  • Learning from the NEC – National Electrical Code – that  codifies the minimum requirements for safe electrical installations in a single, standardized source
  • We do not have anything similar in software
  • Very hard to get rid of code, but it can be a therapeutic process
  • Insert or create is easy; update or modify is somewhat difficult and deleting is extremely hard
  • About the urge to do Ctrl-A and delete.. And rewrite code from the scratch
  • How he balances his engineering thinking and artist’s thinking [developing software as a work of art, as there are so many ways to solve a problem]
  • Balancing maintainability, the efforts needed and how well the software performs
  • He looks for people with strong math and logic background and problem solving, not necessarily experience in coding
  • Hardest part on software development is debugging somebody else’s code

More on his entrepreneurial experience, tips on defensive coding and a whole lot more in the next episode

Robert Cooke is the Founder and Principal Architect at 3Forge, a New York-based provider of data virtualization and visualization technology. 3Forge has achieved significant growth over the years as a result of increasing demand for its award-winning, web-based browser AMI platform.

Robert’s accomplishments have spanned across electronic trading, middle and back office, regulatory reporting, compliance and risk management.

His LinkedIn profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/robert-cooke-a7835b69/

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