Startup Life: Nik Petersen, ATV Huckleberry Hunter
Until I asked software developer Nik Petersen five questions about his life and times, I hadn’t seen the word “huckleberry” since my family enjoyed huckleberry pie in Hurricane, Utah, on a cross-country trip forty years ago. Six of us in a Volkswagen van for six weeks! It’s a miracle we survived.
And it’s a good thing we did, because otherwise I wouldn’t have been here to ask Nik these questions, and you wouldn’t know ...
What did you do for work before joining DailyUV?
Before I joined DailyUV, I had a small software development & IT consulting business. I found that it was consuming too much of my time away from my family and I needed a change so I could be a better dad and husband.
Before that, I’ve worked for various other companies building marketplace websites, business management applications, and real estate search engines.
And what is your role here?
My role title is “Full Stack Developer.” That means I write code that tells the web server how to store and retrieve information (the stuff you don’t see), and I also write code that controls how the site looks, and interacts with you as you push buttons. Yes, some of our testers push more buttons than others ... I’m looking at you, Olga. :-)
When we’re testing new code and I find a bug, my heart sinks. Bugs are bad! But you always say, “Thanks!” It’s like you’re excited. Why?
I’m always excited when someone at our company finds a bug because it means we’re using our own product, and making sure our users have a great experience. This gives me the opportunity to exercise my troubleshooting skills, which is one of my favorite things to do. I always want to thank people for reporting bugs, because I want them to feel comfortable telling me, and have confidence that I will take care of it. In some IT fields, people can get kind of cranky when you report issues, and that isn’t healthy.
When we do a video call, it looks like you’re working in a jail cell. Where are you exactly?
I’m in a bunker, deep underground where I can stay out of sight from UFOs ... not. We bought an old fixer house near Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, last September. The unfinished basement was the most practical place for me to set up my office. Being more about function than looks, it doesn’t bother me to leave my cinderblock walls uncovered until I have time to start that project. I did at least paint the cinderblocks a couple of months ago!
Word is you got an ATV. Fun! What’s your favorite ride?
ATV riding is one of my favorite things to do with my family. My wife has one too, so now we’re able to take the kids all together on a ride. My youngest (age two) tells everyone he meets about his “forweeorwee.”
Riding up in the mountains is what I like best. Last weekend we went riding up the mountain and found an area that had like a 10-acre huckleberry patch that was barely touched. The huckleberries were huge and ripe. We naturally stopped so we could load up. We live near a small lake, so we like to pile on the ATVs and head down for a swim!
It’s not all about fun though. Last year we had so much snow in our driveway, the neighbor had to come plow us out several times. So getting a plow for this thing is on my list of to-dos this year. I’ve also used it several times to yank logs out of the woods so I can stock up on firewood.
Nik, before you get back to work in your cinderblock cave, could you explain what a huckleberry is? Most of us have no idea.
Yeah, I forgot huckleberries are a local thing. The ones around here have tiny seeds like blueberries, but much tastier. They are like if you condensed a whole box of blueberries into one berry and added a bit of tart.