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Chris G. Williams Beware: I mix tech and personal interests here.

Theo and I have been good friends for years, and he's one of the more interesting (techie or otherwise) people I know, so it was a no-brainer to ask him to do this interview. He responded quickly and of course, I tucked it away and promptly forgot all about it... until now. So without any further delay, I give you this NINE Questions (the lost episodes) interview with Theo Moore:

paintedHottie_DC 1. Where are you from?
Boy, that's a hard one to answer. I was raised in Florida, but I suppose the closest I've had to a home is Charleston, SC. Currently I live in Fort Mill, SC and work in Charlotte, NC.

2. Who do you work for / What do you do? / What is your "product?"
I work for EquiFirst, LLC...one of the few mortgage lenders still in business. I am currently the Software Test Automation Lead (by default; I am the only one). I mostly build internal testing apps in .Net, QuickTest Pro or whatever discipline required. It is particularly interesting work since I am not constrained by things like schedules, legacy code, project management, etc. I am basically free to approach any problem space and apply whatever technology is most expedient with the greatest chances of success.

3. How did you end up where you are now?
I got out of the Navy and decided I didn't like working on Nuclear Reactors (seriously), so entered the IT world. I'd been doing "shade tree programming" while I was in the Navy (dBase III and IV apps mostly), so the leap was not a great one. I started working for Blackbaud, LLC in Support (ye gods, I hated that) whilst I established sufficient credibility to get on the Consulting arm as a developer, specializing in database conversions and software customizations. I've moved in and out of the development and qa disciplines throughout my career a a few different employers.

4. You've had a pretty good mix of Dev and QA in your career. Which do you prefer and why?
You know, I don't know that I prefer one or the other, but if I had to pick one, I'd choose QA and for a very odd reason. I approach QA automation as a development project; you'll never be as successful as you'd like to be in automation until you do. So long as you treat it as an extension of manual testing, you'll never get the bang out of it you want. I mean, it's code. Sure, it's VBScript, Java, TSL, or whatever scripting/testing language you use, but it's still code. It has the same challenges and requires the same disciplines (coding standards, reviews, source control, etc.) that any project does. So from a certain perspective, they are very similar....or they are in my approach. I prefer QA automation, however, because I've gone to several locations as "the" automation guy; I get to build the automation presence from the ground up and mold it in my own image. I build the testing framework from the ground up. One of my former employers is still using my framework (with some mods) that I wrote years ago. That's pretty cool, and when hired into a development position, there is often too much legacy code around to make your mark like that.

5. What are some of your other technical interests / areas of expertise? 
I don't really have any specific area of expertise as most of my career has been spent across disciplines. I suppose you could say I am very skilled at automation framework design and implementation, though. I am more of the "jack of all trades" developer who learns disciplines as needed. I do love game design and NETCF development, though.

6. What are some of your nontechnical interests? 
I am an avid hockey player/fan, would-be guitarist/singer and exercise nut (a recent change). I am a big ol' geek at heart, also. I attended DragonCon this month and have plans to book my room and tickets this week for next year. I play WoW, read books, act as a "half-a**ed philosopher (I am your typical over-analytical thinker), and I am also a gardener (vegetables mostly). And in my spare time....

7. Any thoughts on the recent social networking boom? 
You know, a year ago I scoffed at the social networking thing. I originally thought that Twitter, for example, was silly. Now, I am very busy Twitter user. I still don't go to my MySpace or Facebook page very often, but I am on my blog a good bit (http://www.diesmia.com).

I think actually you explained it best once when we were discussing text messaging (which is now my preferred method of communication). People want to know what you're doing, but they don't want to talk about it. The asynchronous conversation is direct and to the point. You can communicate in nice, tidy bites (bytes?) without fully disengaging from whatever else you're doing. I feel connected without feeling tied into a conversation.

8. What's something the world at large probably doesn't know about you? 
I am a closet Patsy Cline fan. Seriously, I love her voice and music. 'Course, I can only listen to her for about 15 minutes before I need Paxil to combat the depression.

9. Any tattoos?
I have nine at last count. Got my last one (http://tinyurl.com/675tdl) on my honeymoon. :-) I am sure I am not done. Once you get one, you always refer to your "next tattoo" rather than say "if I get another one".

Posted on Saturday, November 1, 2008 2:49 PM NINE Questions | Back to top


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