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Back People of SGCI: Shawn Rice

Shawn Rice

Application Programs Manager, HUBzero
Purdue University

What is your role within SGCI and what do you do?

I work in the Extended Developer Support (EDS) area of SGCI and coordinate consultation and development efforts pertaining to the HUBzero platform. I also do development and offer consultation when the client’s needs match my particular domains of knowledge.

How did you come to be a part of SGCI, and why were you intrigued by the opportunity?

HUBzero became a part of the SGCI early on and, having been building science gateways for over a decade, the group’s collective knowledge could be invaluable to many starting or growing gateways. Being part of the team for over twelve years and working in the professional web development arena for close to twenty, I had a fair amount of insight into not only the inner mechanics of the HUBzero platform but also many of the decisions and technologies that led us to where we are today. As such, EDS work was a natural fit and excellent opportunity to share that accumulated knowledge.

What is the most challenging part of your work for SGCI?

For myself, I can say it can become increasingly difficult to determine when to declare work finished. There is a constant drive to keep iterating and improving on things. This can be especially challenging as I get to know the client, their projects, and goals because I invariably become invested in their success; I want them to succeed. I want their project to take off. But, at some point, I need to stop polishing and allow myself to move on (and give a new project a chance).

How else are you involved in the technology or gateway community?

I work for HUBzero, where we’ve been building science gateways for a decade.

What do you most like to do in your free time?

I have been a bookworm my entire life and enjoy reading just about any genre I can get my hands on from science to history to fantasy. I am always in the middle of at least two books. Aside from staring at tiny printed text, I also like to strain my eyes with video games.

If you were a superhero, what superpower would you have?

Having been a comic book collector for over 25 years, one would think I’d be prepared for this question. There are just so many interesting powers to choose from. I always thought teleportation would be nice. Lunch in Rome. Feel like sushi for dinner? Off to Japan in an instant. Your home could be in Australia and your day job in Seattle. Having some form of advanced healing power a la Wolverine (X-Men) could also be enticing, as you’d never get sick and potentially live a few centuries longer than normal.