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Author: Andrew Gelina

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Underserved is the podcast for the rest of the technology industry. No startup or gadget worship, just real stories, lessons, and interesting topics from real people in the technology industry. Special emphasis on software development culture and history.
96 Episodes
Ep. 088, Root of Trust

Ep. 088, Root of Trust


We cap off Season Seven with our guest Jason Oberg, Ph.D. Jason grew up in Hawaii surfing and enjoying the outdoors, but computer gaming brought him inside and online. After moving to California and earning three degrees, he left UCSB and UCSD to start a company in the hardware security space. We discuss American chip production, following the letter of the law on grant money, and the hardware root of trust.   Jason on LinkedIn:  Cycuity website: Cycuity solutions:   Blog article on the history of hardware security  Jason on Google Scholar 
Texas transplant Joe Forrester is featured in Episode #087 of Underserved. Joe wanted to be a pilot after watching the original "Top Gun", but colorblindness trumped his enthusiasm and determination. Instead, he cut his teeth in cellular billing software, which was followed by learning how to manage marketing data in the automotive industry.  This skill treated him well for several years across many verticals, ultimately leading to a gig bringing this marketing horsepower to small and medium-sized businesses. Also covered: turning recalls into a positive experience, conquest campaigns, and the Great Flood of '17.   Joe on LinkedIn: First Job: Second Job: Third Job: Current Job: Guitar Youtube sites mentioned: and
David Rose walks the road less traveled. A serial entrepreneur for over 30 years, David has envisioned and built more products than most people can imagine. In Episode #086, we talk about his "oscillation lifestyle" - moving back and forth from learning to teaching, teaching to implementing, investing to being invested in, and many more aspects of life. By staying humble and open to learning, David has founded many successful companies, authored two books, won awards and patents for his inventions, and has become a pioneer in the Augmented Reality industry, aka the real-world Metaverse.   David on Wikipedia: David's latest book, Super Sight: Clearwater AR: Home Outside: David's first book, Enchanted Objects:
Ben Hodson came in to record with us at Syrinx Studios in October. The first half of our conversation is Season Seven's Episode #085. We had a lot of ground to cover, and this bonus episode takes us from when we met one another at Monster up to the present day. Topics covered include the struggle to automate and version control relational databases, the jarring freedom of Prague, and how fast you can make a 1997 Supra go on Route 2.   Best speaker system in the world! Info on the new Ariel EV Active downforce EV sets record Video including the Supra we discuss.  It is the one with the plate &Uwish  
I have known Ben Hodson for over 20 years, and when he came in to record we went over most of those years and back a few more in Episode #085 of Underserved. The first part of our conversation is this regular episode entitled "Ancient History." We start with Ben's step-grandfather cultivating Ben's curiosity and love of experimentation/iteration to find solutions. This theme would follow Ben through his career, from hardware stores to online job boards to smart speakers. We continue the conversation (including our overlapping Monster years) in the bonus episode entitled, "Modern History."   Ben on LinkedIn: Link to a nice article on my Step grandfather. Article about a paper he wrote about the disappearance of Amelia Earhart Amazon book about my Step grandfather Some videos of drag racing the Firehawk. High school slasher film starring me as the psycho in the raincoat..
Our 84th episode features Madhu Rajagopalan, Head of Engineering at Wellframe. Madhu's eyes were opened early when he saw how much more malleable software was than hardware. He quickly moved from electrical engineering to software development. This career path led him to several interesting stints at Iron Mountain, HP, and DraftKings prior to his current job. Also discussed - distributed systems development, Boston's embarrassment of sports championship riches, and playing the mridangam. - My college in India My musical instrument - My charity - Cathode ray oscilloscope program - (not the one built by my friend) Flashdraft -
Rachel Cossar grew up a nationally ranked rhythmic gymnast in Canada. In Episode #083 of Underserved, we discover her journey from those early competitions to the Boston ballet to working with artificial intelligence to improve body language. It turns out that non-verbal body communication matters a lot (think of your last Zoom call!) and Rachel nurtured that idea through proof of concept into founding a company. We discuss making the tough transitions while remaining true to yourself, the Roux Institute Techstars Accelerator, and being a trapeze artist as a hobby. Rachel on LinkedIn Virtual Sapiens Presence Assessment Free Trial - Curious to see how people perceive you on video ?  Virtual Sapiens Sidekick Free Trial - Get your very own, secret in-call coach - give yourself the unfair advantage:) Rachel's TEDx talk
Ep. 082, Order Up

Ep. 082, Order Up


Episode #082 of Underserved is our first one recorded 9.5 time zones apart. Naresh Pillai joined us from India, where he has returned to bootstrap a startup called OpineWorks. Prior to this, Naresh spent time developing software both in India and the United States. We worked together when he was in Texas, developing telematics software to power connected vehicles. We talk about being the trusted "proof of concept" engineer, technology disrupting the restaurant industry, motorcycling up mountains, and underrated Indian cuisine.   Naresh on LinkedIn: One of the motorcycle rides
Ep. 081, Fear the Tree

Ep. 081, Fear the Tree


Amanda Richardson grew up and started her career on the East Coast, but it took just one trip to California to fall in love with the state. In Episode 081, we talk about the siren song of Stanford, being the janitor on strategy presentations, and the gamification of coding interviews. Also covered are being the acquirer vs. the acquired, the trauma of winding up a company, and Phase RAIL. Now the CEO of, Amanda shares how her stints in product management prepared her for the role, and how a nudge from a recruiter steeled her resolve to become a leader.    Further reading from the topics discussed:
Andrew Bauer is our guest for Underserved episode #080. Andrew is another guest who is a product of the Syracuse I-School. Combining business and technology skills, the I-School produces graduates with the rare skill set of being able to talk to both technical people and business folks (and living to tell about it!) Andrew has made a career of this, translating requirements into implementations with technologies ranging from IoT to SFDC. We talk about being an EMT on an ambulance (the second guest this season!) and the personalization of advertising as well.   Andrew on LinkedIn: NEXIS - SUA -  PMC -
Episode 079 of Underserved features Shani Gentry Cincotti. Our first Alabama native on the show (Roll Tide!), Shani shares about growing up pursuing journalism but realizing that the tech industry might be more welcoming/pay better. A stint in electronic photo asset management bridged the two fields, and a love of relational databases cemented the transition into tech. We discuss when adding hardware actually slows things down, how the cleaning crew may forecast company closures, and mentoring women in the healthcare technology space.   Shani on LinkedIn: Former boss David on LinkedIn: MerlinOne, a digital asset management software company: Plan your visit to the George W Bush Presidential Library research room: Together Rising’s fundraising page for women in Iran:
Adam Firestone is our featured guest for Episode 78 of Underserved. A recovering attorney and platoon leader, Adam believes as Robert Heinlein does: Humans are not meant for specialization. We should be capable in many realms. In Adam's professional life, this means understanding security holistically, architecture natively, and cryptography as a tool, not an end in and of itself. We discuss first aid as a hobby, foiling the magic cookie thieves, and the BFJT.   Adam on LinkedIn: CyLogic: Benzi Box: Tanks and Searchlights: Culinary Happiness: ISO Standard for Systems Engineering:
Michael Gallagher is featured in Episode #077 of Underserved. Michael spent his youth painting cars, running a collision business, and even getting his Massachusetts appraiser's license. A friend suggested he check out Putnam Investments and so began a career in financial services technology. Mastery of the NSCC led to several opportunities, but the 2008 financial crisis led to some soul searching that put Michael in an ambulance as an EMT. This would foreshadow moving back and forth between technology and service to others during COVID. An avid listener of Underserved, Michael also has some great callbacks to our episodes with Nausheen Moulana and Chris Sullivan! Listen now with your favorite podcast client or on our website. Nausheen Moulana: Chris Sullivan:
SEASON 7 of Underserved kicks off with our guest Paul Belt. In our 76th episode, we cover Paul graduating from running a BBS and the warez scene into software development. Paul realized quickly that many companies and hiring managers in the software industry insist that you have that "piece of paper", an undergraduate degree, before they will consider you. We also discuss the importance of the mission and the market, measuring software development productivity as well as drag, and how to recognize and mesh with different personality types.   Additional reading links from Paul: Paul's first professional mentor: An insightful boss from DataXu Best Boss Ever! Marcia Goetsch Marcia's the one that recognized "old school computing" and the value it brings to today's market... a mastery of the basics (her mastery is far superior to my own)... and helped formalize design patterns and domain-specific terminologies in a way that Northeastern failed to. She gave me autonomy and taught me the difference between managers and leaders. She is a leader. Personal Repositories: and How does the internet work? (in a nutshell):
Episode #075’s guest Jeff Taylor was generous with his time, spending over two hours with me in the studio. We captured so much good material that we needed a bonus episode to squeeze it all in. In this bonus episode we talk about life after Monster, why you should run the meetings you attend, and setting the world record for water skiing behind a blimp.   Links:  Blimp record:   RoverTrophy:   Burning Man:    Root Society at Burning Man  
Our guest for Episode #075 is Jeff Taylor, founder of and 14 other companies including most recently Jeff has always been ahead of his time, with boundless amounts of energy. This led him to create the world’s first job board in Monster, a revolutionary idea that spawned an entire industry. We discuss the resolve needed to champion your ideas, being the first URL on the radio, and when you know it is the right time to sell.    Links:   Jeff on LinkedIn:   A snapshot of the Monster Board in 1996   When I Grow Up commercial:  
Neal Cao started out feeling the pressure common in many families - “You need to become a doctor or an engineer!” After his internship, he knew the medical field was not for him, and saw his brother killing it in software development. After many burst bubbles and industry changes, Neal found himself a principal in a financial services firm. We discuss putting med students in the party dorm, sports car perk programs, and sitting on both sides of the table for an audit. 
Our first former sheriff’s deputy, Shadd Schutte brings a unique perspective to Underserved #073. Being a police officer in Wyoming turned out to be good training for managing projects and customers in IT. Shadd talks about his memorable experiences, transitioning between industries, and becoming Agile, as well as motorcycle cruises and spoiling dogs.   Shadd on LinkedIn:   Wyoming Department of Education: Home - Wyoming Department of Education  Laramie County Sheriff’s Department: Laramie County (  Laramie County Animal Shelter: Cheyenne Animal Shelter | Dogs, Cats, Critters & Care 
Episode 072 of Underserved features Brian Durkin, Sr. Group Manager & Head of User Experience, Data & Analytics at BNY Mellon. Brian leveraged his art degree into some web design work but found his true passion was in information architecture. He came to this realization in the middle of an interview, which he politely asked to terminate. Instead, he was offered a new IA job the next day! Also covered: World IA Day, getting fintech to understand IA, and the fun parts of working for Nickelodeon.     Charles Zicari, Brian's first real IA mentor:   IxDA:   UXPA Boston:    World IA Day, Brian started the one for Boston:    Some of the past speakers of World IA Day Boston:  Peter Morville -    Steve Portigal -  Josh Seiden -  Abby Covert -  Aaron Irizarry -  Todd Zaki-Warfel -  Dana Chisnell -  Christina Wodtke - 
Dr. Colleen Tartow was convinced investigating the heavens was her calling, studying astronomy all the way to a PhD. Once she realized the job market there was tiny and slow to advance, she moved to consulting in data and analytics. Colleen quickly found that data and software suited her and made a career of it. We talk about finding mentors, calligraphy, and the relative merits of a billionaire space race.   LinkedIn: Twitter:  Starburst:  The Sequel: 
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