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Staff Profile: Brian Stinar

Brian Stinar, Software Engineer at Flow Science
Brian Stinar, Software Engineer and Bread & Beer afficiando
poses with ominous thunderclouds in the background.

Title: Software Engineer

Education: B.S. Computer Science, Minor in History from New Mexico Tech; MS in Computer Science from University of New Mexico.

How long have you worked for Flow Science? 

Our HR manager loves to remind me that my first day was 8/9/10, so one year, seven months and 18 days at the time of writing this. Thanks timeanddate.com.

What is the best part of your job? 

I really like working with smart and nice people.

Why did you choose to come and work for Flow Science?

Flow Science provides scientific software that customers voluntarily pay for. I was looking for a place where I could work that had both those qualities.

What is the most interesting project you are working on right now?

The addition of EnSight for post processing into our software has some interesting challenges associated with it. Right now I am mostly dealing with build system and integration issues for EnSight. Once those are resolved I look forward to getting more into Python scripting within their infrastructure.

You’re into artisanal breads and making your own beer. How and when did you develop such a special relationship with yeast?

My interest in breads partly comes from riding my bicycle past The Chocolate Maven bakery on the way to work. They have some really, really good bread that can be smelled from the street. I also used to bake bread as an undergraduate student. Baking bread is nice for studying – 30 minutes of bread work, study while it rises, 5 minutes of kneading it down, study while it rises, put it in the oven, study while it bakes, then enjoy bread. Other people would always stop in and get fresh bread on their way around campus. For beer, the home brew scene is really strong in New Mexico. Many of my friends brew, and there are brew supply shops everywhere. The Santa Fe Home Brew Supply store, and South West Grape and Grain (in Albuquerque) are my favorite two. Paying $0.30 per home brew beer with great ingredients beats $4.00 a beer at a bar, or a buck each for quality stuff at the grocery. Plus, home brewed beer makes the best present ever.

You seem to be into regular work-outs and riding your bike. What keeps you motivated (besides your love of bread and beer)?

Some of my earliest memories are of having fun at the gym with my father. Going to the gym, and staying in shape, has always been something my family does together. I’m also kind of a cheap skate, and gas is much more expensive than bicycle maintenance. Additionally, our Office Manager (Joyce Jensen) makes the best sweets ever. With my sedentary job, things would be much worse for me if I wasn’t active and kept drinking beer, eating bread and way too many of the sweets that Joyce brings in.

What is on your reading list? Do you have a recent favorite?

Recently I just finished Wastelands: Stories of the Apocalypse and the Steve Job’s biography. I’m reading a book about the founding of Facebook called The Accidental Billionaires that is pretty good. After reading the Steve Jobs book, I’ve read a couple other biographies and stories about the people and companies in Silicon Valley.

If you could choose anywhere in the world, where would you travel to and why?

I would like to check out Almaty in Kazakhstan. I have friends living in New Mexico from Almaty and would like to meet their families and go visit a former Soviet country.

Who has had the greatest influence on you and why?

My father had the greatest influence on me by teaching me good habits, emphasizing education and disciplining me when I was out of line. My parents are a great team, but being a wild little boy (and later teenager) definitely required a strong father figure. Both my parents have been very supportive and loving to me my entire life and I am grateful for them both.

What is one of your most important accomplishments?

Getting my Master’s degree was important to me.

How would you describe yourself?

I think (hope?) I’m a hardworking, fun guy, in OK shape who is nice to people the majority of the time.

What helps you get out of bed each morning?

Literally, a very loud alarm. I am convinced that programmers would naturally be nocturnal if not for managers.

Who has the best New Mexican food in New Mexico?

My absolute favorite hand held burritos are down in Socorro at a place called Burrito Tyme. They have a really good New Mexican restaurant right next door called Sophia's that has more than just burritos. I saw the former Governor of New Mexico, Bill Richardson, getting a breakfast burrito there early one morning.

Red or Green? Green.

Sometimes both (Christmas) but not usually, just not red.

Editor’s Note: For more interesting factoids about Brian, you can read his blog at: brian-stinar.blogspot.com.

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