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

I’ve known Lou Vega a really long time and he’s a terrific guy. He’s the leader of the Charleston, SC .NET User Group (GC.NUG) and uber geek extraordinaire. I’ve been bugging Lou for a while to do a 9Q interview, and when he finally got back to me I ended up shelving it for a couple months. (Sorry about that man… travel gigs are a bear.) So without further ado, here’s Lou:

smLouNew 1. Where are you from? (if it's different than where you are now, please feel free to elaborate.)
Hmmm – I was an “army brat” so I grew up all over the place – mostly overseas. Then I was in the U.S. Air Force and travelled some more.  I suppose if I’m “from” somewhere it’s New Jersey since that’s where my parents are from. By the time I got out of the Air Force when I was 25, I had spent close to 18 years living overseas. I currently call Charleston, SC home. I’ve been here since ’98.

2. Who do you work for? Give me the 10 second pitch on them. Why would I want to buy their product?
I work for CSSI, Inc. – we are an engineering, IT, and applied research company. We develop solutions for a number of government customers including the FAA, NASA and Department of Defense. If you’re a government customer you’d want to buy our services because we’ve got a group of really bright people with a lot of experience in these government industries and we end up saving taxpayer dollars with our solutions! J

3. What brought you to your current employer?
I used to work in IT as a sysadmin/network/security guy. I did some small development of custom Active Directory tools to help me manage a rather large and distributed military network I was responsible for. One of those tools caught the attention of my current employer and they asked if I would like to do some development on a new up and coming project which was pretty neat. I jumped at the chance and haven’t looked back since. That project was a huge success and lead to spin-off’s and other projects.

4. You're a big time mobile devices geek, what's cool and new?
Though it’s starting to show it’s age (for a tech product), I still love my Tilt. If money were no object I’d love to have an HTC Advantage X7510! Oh and I really want a Redfly for my phone!

5. I follow a lot of folks on Twitter. What's your take on Twitter?
Initially I resisted the invitation by friends to join Twitter because I “didn’t get it”. I think my turning point was when I received my MVP award notification. Just before I got the official e-mail from Microsoft, I got a congratulatory e-mail from Serge Baranovsky (@sergeb) who had heard on Twitter from you (and you had heard it from Brian Hitney). Well since then I kinda jumped in and have grown to like it.

6. Do you think we're hitting any kind of critical mass with all the Conferences, Day of This, Codefoo, User Groups, Camps etc...?
I think so – this year especially was a huge year for geek gatherings, especially charitable ones. I’m looking forward to seeing 2009 become even better in that regards.

7. You're really into the dev community, but that's just part of Lou Vega. What's something the world doesn't know about you?
I used to be in law enforcement in the U.S. Air Force. I even did physical protection for some VIP’s during my time. That was kind of a unique experience. I’m still a pretty handy shot – if anyone’s up for a trip to the range, I’m game. Beyond that I’ve been skateboarding for over 20 years. It’s fun. I don’t skate as much now as I used to but I still have a board and head out every now and again.

8. Any non-technical hobbies? What are they and why?
Besides skateboarding I like wood working and the two have crossed paths before. I’ve built skateboards and I’ve built plenty of ramps (half pipes, quarter pipes, jump ramps, combo boxes, etc.) in my time.

9. Last of all, any tattoos?
No tattoos – never got bitten by that bug.

Posted on Monday, March 9, 2009 2:32 PM NINE Questions | Back to top


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