Name: Cliff Rogers
Title: Biba Technical Team – Client
Location: San Francisco
Interviewed by: Vivian Chan, Senior Marketing Manager
How’d you learn to program?
I started in arts and science but switched over to computer science because I had an aptitude for it. Actually, I went into full contact fighting for a while so I took some time off school, and then I eventually had a decision to make whether to pursue that full time or not. At the time, this was before UFC and that craze, so there wasn’t much money in it, so I went back to school and did computer science.
What were you doing before Biba and why did you join?
I was at Microsoft for 8 years with their media room on the server side, if you’ve heard of AT&T U-verse, we made the plumbing for that. And then Shri, who I had worked with at Microsoft, approached me and asked if I wanted to join him and others at Biba and try some client work, I said sure.
How do you get to work?
When I first started at Biba I was still down on the Peninsula/South Bay. I lived in Santa Clara and I love it down there, but then changing jobs there was a transition period where the commute was killing me. I did the Caltrain and I’m not a public transportation person and couldn’t take it anymore. So I ride a motorcycle. When I was younger, I wouldn’t say I was a biker. But when I had an opportunity to buy a bike and I found out you can split lanes, that was it. There isn’t a day that’s gone by lately that I haven’t been on my bike.
Do you have coding primetime?
Definitely the afternoons. I spend my early mornings catching up on the last day looking over what I accomplished or didn’t accomplish–then I usually end up going to the gym. At this gym (near work), I really only do prehab/rehab stuff like blood flow and conditioning. I don’t do my heavy lifting until I go to the other gym (South Bay). By the time I’m finished with all that, I eat my lunch and dedicate the full afternoon from 1-7pm as my coding primetime.
If you had to say you were really good at something, what would it be?
I am very analytical. Tracking down the gnarly bugs, big picture bugs, finding solutions to that problem. Outside of work: lifting heavy things. I had an affinity for it, I used to do heavy lifting to supplement my fighting. And as I got older, it reversed. It seemed I had an aptitude for it and it was something I could do in later years so I transitioned. People approached me and said you really gotta compete, you’ve got some numbers that could get you nationally ranked. I wasn’t really competitive before, but as I kept going, I got the bug for competing as another way to motivate myself, it’s me against the weights.
What is your hobby/free time activity and why do you like it?
Same as my answer for the last question: weight lifting. It’s very very time consuming. I do heavy lifting four times a week, the prehab/rehab–it’s all about control: me versus the weights. I can plot out an algorithm that gets me to my goals, so that’s what I really enjoy. I can hold myself accountable. No excuses: the weight went up or went down, there’s nothing ambiguous about it. It’s exhilarating to set goals and smash them. Same goes for work. I like to set clear concrete goals and smash them.
Do you have pets?
I do, I have two dogs that I love. They’re my fur babies, Kilo and Cole. When I was a kid I couldn’t really have dogs, so the first thing I did when I moved to California, was get a bull mastiff. And I started showing them. I championed my first bull mastiff and I loved him to bits. Then I got a Frenchie, because I wanted two males. The first duo was Titan and Viking. I lost Titan at a young age, so I thought I’d get another companion for Viking, so I got another bull mastiff, but Viking didn’t like him at all. Then I lost Viking, and it was clear that Cole missed having another dog around him all the time, and I like frenchies, so i got Kilo. He’s about one and a half years old now. I’ve always had one big one and one little one. Cole is a big softie. He’s very chill. The little guy is like a little Napoleon, he’s fearless.
Do you have any pet peeves?
Do you have all day? I get worked up over a lot of stuff, but all really small stuff. The big things don’t really sweat me. I just wish more people had manners. That’s what it really boils down to. Simple things, like asking “Are you using this piece of equipment?” Those are the things that get me.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I like really bad TV, get addicted to silly shows like intervention or hoarders. Not sure what it is, maybe their obsessive behavior, I can relate to and laugh about it. I love to laugh, I will laugh at anything.
If you weren’t a programmer, what would you be?
Years ago it probably would have been teaching kung fu, since that’s where my path was leading. Today, I’d love to start a dog sanctuary, some kind of rescue foundation for canines.
What’s your favorite type of music?
As I’ve gotten older I’ve become more diverse. But I would have to say my heart still lies in 90’s rap. It’s whatever you grew up with that strikes a chord with you.
Do you have a drink of choice?
Yeah, I am addicted to Crystal Light Cherry-Pomegranate. It started because when you compete in power lifting–there’s this thing called the water load, I had to drink 3 gallons of water to load my system full of water so when it came time to do the cut and you dehydrate, your body is so saturated with water and lack of salt that it just flushes everything out. I couldn’t drink straight water, but when you add the Crystal Light to it, I can drink it all day long.