Online, he’s better known as El Bruno, the author of the Innovation Craftsman blog. He is a Spanish developer working as an Innovation Lead in Ontario, Canada for Avenade. Besides his great posts on the HoloLens, he’s also been writing about Kinect development for many years, hosts a Spanish language technology podcast, and is a Microsoft MVP. But what I’ve always admired most about Bruno is his infectious love for coding and making. He is a well I return to when I feel down and need inspiration. Here are his answers to the 10 Questions:
What movie has left the most lasting impression on you?
My all-time favorite movie is The Matrix. I still remember the day I went to the cinema to watch this movie and how it basically made me choose to do something related to technology. Before this, I wasn’t even close to a computer.
What is the earliest video game you remember playing?
I’m not a big “gamer”, I’ve got several consoles but just for casual and social fun mostly. However, when I was a kid, I spent a lot of time playing Double Dragon 2. And with “time”, I may say “coins”, I didn’t have access to a console or a computer, and Double Dragon was the only video game available in my zone. I still remember when we passed the “final boss” with a friend, how happy we were, until we saw … there was still one more to kill! It was an amazing winter for me.
Who is the person who has most influenced the way you think?
I’m 40, and I can probably pick a different one every couple of years. Some of my professors, my colleagues, my bosses, very influential people, tech gurus, and so on. Living in 3 different countries also made me switch environments a lot and meet a lot of people. If I must pick one, at the end, I’ll go for my father and mother. They both share with me a set of values, which I believe are the ones guiding me right now.
When was the last time you changed your mind about something?
Yesterday, I was almost going to quit a very hard trail race, and one runner had a T-shirt with the sentence: Any idiot can run. But it takes a special kind of idiot to run 42K.
You can guess the rest of the story.
What’s a programming skill people assume you have but that you are terrible at?
Maybe “Solution Architect from scratch”. I mean, I can pick up a system and do amazing things to improve the complete SA. However, starting this work from zero it’s very complicated for me. I’ve met amazing developers who can easily create a solid base foundation that can be used to create an amazing solution or App. This is a place where I need to improve my skills a lot today.
What inspires you to learn?
I get bored very easily, so I find that learning something new is an effective way to keep me focused. In the last 20 years, I’ve never spent more than 3 years focused on the same technology / platform. This is not an easy task; I need to unlearn tons of concepts and start again. But in the end, it’s very rewarding to learn something new and go from a simple “Hello World” prototype to a full inference reliability model in AI.
What do you need to believe in order to get through the day?
I don’t have a fixed schedule. I mean, yes kids need to go school, I need to prepare their lunch, they got extra activities, there are always some home improvement activities to perform, and I also need to work. My additional activities include running marathons, podcast recording / editing, writing my blog, collaborating with User Groups, and more.
So, since I don’t have a fixed schedule, I usually try to focus on what’s more important to me right now, and I focus all my efforts in that direction. Of course, the balance is always “family first” driven, so I find myself coaching soccer matches, or playing guitar at my kids’ school. These types of activities help me to think in new scenarios, in example: Hololens and kids are always an innovative idea; or to think on more business focused scenarios, in example: should we talk with a Soccer team to discover how Mixed Reality could help them into their daily basis?
At the end, I’m always looking to learn something new and to find some real scenario to apply these innovative technologies / ideas to.
What’s a view that you hold but can’t defend?
This one is easy: “Kinect was (and it’s still) an excellent product”. Most people always talk bad about kinect, and how poorly it was received in the gaming community. I still believe that Kinect was kind of the “starting point” of some of the cool AR / MR experiences we are using today. To have a 3D sensor with body tracking capabilities under $150 was a great experience, and it was the chance for plenty of people to start the “path to 3D apps”. But in the end, unfortunately, the prevailing idea is that Kinect was a failed product.
What will the future killer Mixed Reality app do?
When we have a very smooth and light device, very easy to use, and with a very massive group of people using it, every app will be a killer MR App. I mean, when everyone has a MR device, and people use these Apps without the word “Mixed Reality”, that will mean that people finally are used to the MR concept, so we will see a lot of data augmentation apps, a lot of collaboration or communications apps, and … games. The next big change here will be at the gaming level.
What book have you recommended the most?
Technically I probably need to go for Clean Code, or something similar. But I don’t recommend technical books often. What I really recommend to the people is to read the complete Geralt of Rivia series of books by polish writer Andrzej Sapkowski. It’s an amazing journey of short stories and novels about the Witcher. (This is also the source story for the “The Witcher” games.)