Tech Talk: Nick Balsamo

By Globaledit
Jun 12, 2015

In this edition of Tech Talk we sat down with Nick Balsamo, one of our talented software developers who’s dedicated to making sure our platform runs smoothly. Read more below!

What is your role at globaledit?
I’m currently a software engineer with focuses on our backend development and on crafting our automation frameworks. What this means is that I work with our QA team to build the tools they use to write tests that check if globaledit is healthy and working optimally. These tests will  run each night and perform a variety of scenarios. This also means I work on building out our APIs and services for the iOS app and website.
In many ways, my position requires me to straddle between QA and development; I’m pretty much a “liaison” between the two. Whenever the QA team needs tools, I build them!

What is the most challenging part of your position?
When I was hired about a year ago, I actually didn’t have any experience building testing frameworks. As a result, I had to do a lot of research. We were just starting to automate our tests, so I looked extensively into QA tools—what would work for us and what was most cost effective. Since then I’ve worked with the QA team to build up our automation framework from scratch.

Nick Balsamo_globaledit3What’s your approach to solving a problem?
Start out by defining the problem and its variables. What can and can’t you control? From there, it’s all about taking incremental steps. You never want to just dive in and attempt to tackle a problem in its entirety. Modularize it: Divide it into digestible segments, start with the first part, and work your way on to the next one.

What do you enjoy most about globaledit?
I used to work for an investment bank in developing software that tracks the performance of a client’s investments. After a few years there, I decided it wasn’t for me. Now that I’ve joined globaledit, my work environment is much more uplifting. Everyone takes ownership of their work and we all take pride in building together a product that is constantly improving.Nick Balsamo_globaledit1
One of the most enjoyable aspects is the atmosphere and work vibe around the office. Having a relatively small team in comparison to a huge company means that you get to work one-on-one most of the time, and there’s an individual touch to everything. Everyone has their hands in the pot, whether it’s database work, API building, or front-end development. We’re not limited to just one role, which leaves a lot of room for growth.

What are your favorite apps?
I’m actually a big runner so I really enjoy Nike Plus. It tracks how fast you’re going and your mileage. I find it pretty interesting since I get to visibly see what affects my running. If I went out the night before, I’ll obviously be running slower than normal. If I ate something pretty energizing in the morning, I’ll see how effective it is.
As far as work apps go, I created a tool that captures the state of the website as the system runs through our automated tests. It’s incredibly useful because you get to see exactly what’s happening when something goes wrong. Not to mention, it feeds into a dashboard that summarizes the results and progress of a running test. Definitely a time-saver.

What do you enjoy to do outside work?Nick-Balsamo_globaledit 4
I really enjoy traveling around the country going to the “big games” and visiting different stadiums. In the last few years I’ve been to the Super Bowl, the College Football Championship, a few Stanley Cup Finals games, and 15 different MLB stadiums. The best part has to be the tailgating and how each city has their own culture and their own traditions. These trips aren’t the most traditional types of vacations, but they’re a great way to see the country!

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