Q&A with Mack Richardson

by Danielle Borges - Marketing & Sales Director

Mack has 20+ years of experience with both Claris FileMaker and Web Application development, and is joining Codence as Application Developer all the way from Rural Hall, North Carolina. When not experimenting with Claris FileMaker or some new web design do-dad, Mack loves to roam flea markets and yard sales to feed his lifelong obsession with Comic Books (and everything that’s Comic Book adjacent).

In our Q&A we explore a bit about his career in application development and his Comic books passion. Get to know Mack below.

– How did you get started with Claris FileMaker and web development?

In the 1990s I owned a comic book store called Rocket Comics. Most of the inventory systems for computers in those days were way out of my budget. A good friend recommended I check out FileMaker. I bought a copy at my local CompUSA and immediately fell in love with it. Not only did I build an Inventory Management Database but a rudimentary Point-Of-Sale System too. So my experience at Rocket Comics launched my FileMaker career (Dad Pun Intended with apologies).

– What brought you to a career in consulting?

Necessity. I was an in-house developer for 16 years before I became a consultant. The company I was working for in 2014 had hit hard times and the decision was made to sell the business. Unfortunately, the new owners only wanted the brand. Not the staff. Fortunately, my connections and skills made the transition from in-house to consultant very smooth and it’s been a great experience.

– What is your favorite thing about Claris FileMaker?

Flexibility. My friends and I lovingly refer to FileMaker as Workaround Pro because we can use FileMaker to work around any roadblocks.

– What do you do if you can’t work out a coding issue by yourself? 

I either reach out to my network of FileMaker friends (having a second set of eyes often solves the problem) or I use a resource like Matt Petrowsky’s FileMaker Magazine, Productive Computing or one of the great FileMaker channels on YouTube.

– If you could go back in time, what advice would you give to your younger self?

Buy Apple Stock and hold it. :slight_smile:

– What is the best thing you bought at a yard-sale/flea market?

That is a tough one. Based on how excited I was to find it, I’d have to say it was an original copy of the script for the Star Trek episode, “Mirror, Mirror” signed by Gene Roddenberry. Star Trek is a favorite of mine and this episode is in my top 5 favorite episodes of the show.

– In a comic book, what is more important to you, the story or the pictures?

The art and story have to both pull their weight to make a good comic book. That being said, I can at least superficially enjoy a comic with a bad story if the art is good. The story has to be AMAZING to get past bad art.

– When you read comics, who is more interesting the hero or the villain?

The Hero. The current Pop Culture landscape is obsessed with what makes a villain be bad. I’ve always found it more fascinating why a superhero, particularly one with Superman-like powers, decides to be good.

– If you could make your own super hero what would his or her name be? What would his/her superpower be?

I’ve had a superhero idea in the holster since the 8th grade. His name is Cypher. When I first came up with him, he was a teenage boy who had the ability to interface with any computer with his mind and could create a physical constructs (like armor, giant fists, etc.). I’d seen TRON alot and that definitely inspired this character. As a matter of fact, TRON is one of the reasons I became interested in computers.

– What are you looking forward to this year?

I am looking forward to expanding my development skills with some new tools (Astro SSG and React) and some of FileMaker’s new features (Transactions).

Thank you for reading our post about Mack. If you want to know more about our team, please visit our Q&A session here.

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