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Nathan Ockerman Spotlights Himself

Nathan Ockerman Spotlights Himself

The Wildland team didn’t realize that we needed both a Developer AND a robot when we hired Nathan, but he’s yet to let us down on either accounts.
Take your time and enjoy getting to know Nathan Ockerman.

A (Not So) Quick Look At Nathan

Favorite Food: The less I need to think about food on a daily basis the better. Though to pick one food in particular… seafood?
Favorite Moving Pictures:
– Show: Currently, “Mozart in the Jungle”
– Anime: Hands down “Full Metal Alchemist”
– Play: “Hamilton” – This one has become proof of how lame we in the Ockerman clan are; never seen the show, but most days around the house you can hear one or more of the three of us obnoxiously belting out lyrics that triggers an entire act’s worth of a house/car-wide sing-along.
Favorite Color: Green
Favorite Drink: Coffee’s good, if not required at this point, though I also enjoy whiskey. Oh and water.
Favorite Emoji: The dead-eyed straight mouthed one. I respect an emoji who can express indifference. 😐
Places You’ve Called Home:
– Toledo, OH
– Oregon, OH
– Kennewick, WA
– the other side of Kennewick, WA
– Idaho Falls, ID
– Richland, WA
– Oakland / Alameda, CA
– and back to Richland, WA

What programming languages/frameworks are you proficient in?

– Ruby
– Javascript

– Ember
– Rails

Though saying I’m proficient seems a bit big headed, and when the need arises I have been known to navigate my way through SQL or Python, whatever’s needed.

What made you decide to become a developer?

After some time spent as a stay at home dad and barista in the Bay Area I had the grand idea to start my own business, turned out to be a terrible idea. I didn’t want to have to care about money, not for me, I just wanted to build something. In looking to go back to school I kept that in mind and finally fell on programming. Wasn’t accepted my first time around, so it was back to a coffee shop while I practiced on my own. Round two of admissions I made it in, and immediately felt like I was drowning.

Might have walked away if not for one of my teachers, Justin Castilla, he was one of those people that for some reason I was able to click with instantly and he really helped me grow into having a programming mindset instead of just learning syntax. I think that’s where it was solidified for me. And I’ve been doing it ever since.

What do you like about your current work environment?

The team. These people are hands down the best I’ve ever worked with, which sounds cliché I know, but I was never great at being on teams, it was always easier to just do things myself. That’s different now, I enjoy the communal focus or trying to solve issues and work towards shared project goals. It’s icing on the cake that they are also genuinely good people, with skills and knowledge (sometimes daunting amounts) that they’re willing to share. The goal of this team feels very much like everyone is working to increase the skills of everyone else instead of looking to out perform one another, and that’s really refreshing.

What are some professional goals you have for yourself within the next 5 years?

To still be employed, with a firm grip on my sanity. Does that count? Admittedly it is a bit bleak.

No. In five years I would like to have accumulated a respectable portfolio and still be in a position where I can challenge myself to get better. I’d like to publish a book in that time as well… that would be a large goal fulfilled.

What are your hobbies?

– Writing, fiction mostly, but sometimes I’ll jot down realworld thoughts.
– Reading, at what I can only assume are unhealthy levels at this point.
– Astrophysics and Astronomy. Can that be a ‘hobby’? I enjoy learning what I can about them anyway.
– Keeping the various animals in my house happy.
– Music, which I only throw on the list because a few years back I used to play a number of instruments, though that has dwindled to only the guitar recently. I did pick the violin back up though, so there’s that.

What are a handful of books you would recommend?

Oh man, that’s a dangerous question. I’ll rein myself in and keep it short; and what better way to do that with a list. Right?

– “The Expanse” by James S.A. Corey (my current all-encompassing obsession)
– “Psalms of Isaak” by Ken Scholes
– “The Stormlight Archives” by Brandon Sanderson
– “Gentleman Bastard” by Scott Lynch
– “Epic Failure” by Joe Zieja (hilarious)

– “The Windup Girl” by Paolo Bacigalupi
– “Children of Time” by Adrian Tchaikovsky
– “The City & The City” by China Mieville
– “The Midwich Cuckoos” by John Wyndham

I certainly have been on a science fiction kick lately, with some fantasy mixed in.

Though not to be too excessive, I’d advise everyone to simply read SOMETHING.

What video games are you engaged in right now?

Recently got my hands-on Civilization VI so that’s been taking up some of my attention. But when I’ve had a controller in my hand lately I’ve been terrorizing Egypt in Assassin’s Creed: Origin.

Would you recommend any businesses in the Tri-Cities? If so, what would they be?

– Adventures Underground (book/game retailer)
– The Octopus’ Garden (novelty/oddities shop)
– Finatics (fish/aquatics shop)

Basically, go local whenever possible.

Oh, and PNNL, they do some fairly neat stuff.

If you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?

It’s okay to be weird, embrace it, don’t try to change it, you’ll avoid years of self-battle that way. Now go home, kids shouldn’t be playing in the time nexus.

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