Q: Where are you originally from? Do you still have family there? Do you have any siblings? If so, what do they do? Any significant/insignificant others? Pets?
Manny: I was born and raised in Brooklyn. My family came here originally from Haiti in the 1970s. I really enjoy living in New York and can’t see myself living anywhere else.
I come from a HUGE family consisting of eight boys and two girls. I’m both the second-to-last boy as well as the second-to-last child. Needless to say, while I was growing up our home was packed. We all choose different careers when we grew up. Some, like me, work in technology, some work in music, one works in psychology, and one is a teacher.
Q: Where did you go to school, and what did you study there?
Manny: I went to the New York Institute of Technology in Manhattan and studied computer science during my time there. I became interested in psychology during high school and considered doing a double majoring college, but I ultimately decided not to. In retrospect I doubt it would have worked out.
Q: How did you find out about Pixafy? What do you like best about working here?
Manny: I found out about Pixafy while job-hunting on Monster.com. I had spent about a year searching unsuccessfully for a job and honestly, I was not expecting a response due to my prior results. Needless to say, I was very happy when I was proven wrong!
What I enjoy most about working at Pixafy is the environment. Every day that I come to work I except to learn something new, and over a year and a half later I haven’t been disappointed yet. Not to mention all the awesome people I work with.
Sometimes I just sit in my office and think “man, this is pretty sweet”.
Q: Any mentors/other people who’ve been particularly instrumental in your career? In your life?
Manny: In terms of my career I would have to say my programming professor, Dr. Bill. He was the one that really guided me into the field of software engineering. In terms of my life that would definitely be my parents.
Q: How did you first get interested in being a software engineer?
Manny: When I was eight years old, my parents brought our first PC. After spending hours playing around with it, I decided that I wanted to work with computers as a career, though at the time I wasn’t sure exactly what I would be doing. It wasn’t until college that I decided to focus on software engineering.
Q: What did you do before you started working at Pixafy?
Manny: I did an internship which was supposed to be web development but ended up being data entry.
Q: What kind of music do you listen to?
Manny: I listen to all kinds of music, though I listen mainly to rock music.
Q: You like to watch political shows. Which ones? Do you have a favorite? Where do you fall on the FOX-MSNBC spectrum of political views?
Manny: Hardball with Chris Matthews, Morning Joe, The Rachel Maddow Show, The Last Word with Lawrence O’Donnell, and a little bit of The O’Reilly Factor. Yeah, I definitely fall on the MSNBC side of political views, but I like to see how the other side reacts to events that occur throughout the week as well.
Q: Why do you think so few people vote in the United States versus other democracies?
Manny: I’m not really sure. I think it’s a combination of apathy and people failing to see the direct or indirect impact an election can have on them.
Q: You’re a Knicks’ fan. Will they win a championship again in your lifetime? What move(s) would you like to see them make this summer? Who is your favorite Knick, and why?
Manny: Sure, but then again, I plan on living forever! But seriously, I sure hope so.
I was a real big fan of David Lee and Nate Robinson while they were here, and I still am. I really enjoyed watching the two of them play.
Next season I would like to see the team come back as they are currently constructed, with a few exceptions. So hopefully we more or less stand pat in the off-season.
Q: Will the Nets’ fortunes change at all when they move to Brooklyn next season? Since you live in Brooklyn, will you adopt them as “your team”?
Manny: Hopefully. I was an avid follower of the team while Jason Kidd and Kenyon Martin were there and they made it to the NBA finals. I doubt Deron Williams will be back next season, so they may have to go through another season (editor’s note: or five) of rebuilding.
Q: You play the electric guitar. What type(s) of music do you play? Do you play in a band or on your own? Have you ever performed live?
Manny: I mainly play songs from my favorite bands or from songs that I find interesting, which could range from metal to pop. Some nights I just turn on the distortion and play some power chords. Other nights I mess around with the effects on my amp to see what weird sounds I can create.
I’ve never performed live or in front of a crowd, but I’ve begun recording my jam sessions and am pretty happy with how they sound.
Q: If you won the proverbial lottery, what would you do with your windfall?
Manny: Keep about half for myself, and give the remaining part to my family. Then continue with my career.
Q: What advice do you have for people considering working in a software engineering role?
Manny: You have to want it. In this field you have to constantly be ahead of the curve in order to distinguish yourself from the competition. Not to mention that the hours are long, and it can get pretty stressful. I doubt I’d be here if deep down I didn’t enjoy writing software.
Q: What’s one thing that no one at Pixafy knows about you (until now)?
Manny: As a child, I wanted to be a taxi cab driver like my dad.