Meet Members

Oct 26, 2015 by The . Topics include , , , , , ,

This article was originally published at The

Mike McDargh joined up with during the summer. He has moved into a private office to work on his myriad of projects. Mike is good natured and pretty chill. Meet Mike!

1: How did you come to be a member of

First you have to understand a few things:

A. Eric Parker ( co-founder) lives pretty close to me.

B. Eric doesn’t have a truck.

C. Eric has need from time to time to get things from home to

D. I have a truck.

That’s about it!  Okay, the real reason is that I’ve worked at home for almost eight years now and have noticed my productivity declining.  When I looked into why, I found that – I work at home; home has a fridge; home has a comfy recliner in front of a TV/Xbox in my office…  So… I decided the hour round-trip to the clubhouse would be less time wasted than what I was wasting at home being lazy.

Ironically, my office at the clubhouse had a couch in it when I moved in. Fortunately, the couch is old enough it could have been a gift from George Washington when he was in the area and is not comfortable to modern bodies.  It’s now in the hallway outside my office, so I’m back to being productive.

2: Describe the moment you decided what you wanted to do when you grew up?

When I hit that I’ll let you know.  In the meantime, I know that I love law enforcement and I love computers and software. So I’m always bouncing between one and the other and find ways frequently to bring them together.

3: What do you do in your current work?

A relatively accurate way of describing it is that I work for TaxSlayer as a “Consulting Enterprise Architect” from time to time. I designed the “application” and other systems for TaxSlayer as well. I also help with performance and other issues as needed.

I also spend a lot of time doing research into various application development areas to come up with good ways of developing enterprise systems.

From time to time I get to help friends with some fun challenges. One of my recent ones was helping a friend working on a DHS R&D project using CUDA cards (NVIDIA GPUs) to analyze network traffic in real-time using lots of mathematical based methods. Basically we take the network data and map it to frequency/time domains and into self-organizing maps which then feeds an AI system which decides if the traffic is normal or anomalous. The system in testing performed quite well on real-time network attacks.

4: What is an expertise you have that you would like to share with others?

I basically like solving problems. I try to keep abreast of many technologies so I can make informed decisions regarding a range of application development and security areas. If you’re trying to figure out how to do something, I may be able to offer suggestions.

5: What are you tinkering with at the moment?

At the moment I’m trying to get Chase to stop “chasing” me to get this questionnaire done.  When I’m done with that I’m going to go back to playing with Docker, Vagrant and similar technologies.  My project using these is described something like this:

I have a windows laptop.  I want to keep the laptop very simple with just Windows and maybe one or two pieces of software installed on it (for performance – the more software I install, the slower it gets).  How can I do development for Linux, Android, Windows, etc. on this laptop?  And, how can I move that work to other laptops (My MacBook) or a desktop?  So I’m working with various technologies to get to where I can install Visual Studio, XCode, the Android SDK, etc. in various virtual environments which I can then move from machine to machine so I have the same tools and experience in all of them.

This can be done with virtual machines… but… I only have 500GB on my windows laptop.  How can I do all this while avoiding creating full virtual machine images which can take over 100GB each?

It’s a good challenge!

6: What are you interested in learning?

I want to learn more about DevOps and planning.  I read a good book recently (The Phoenix Project) and it got me interested in learning about Kanban and techniques used by manufacturing to schedule work and deal with planning and outages.

7: What is your favorite sci-fi movie?

I’m not playing this game!  I don’t have one favorite!  I have a number of them depending on my mood, the weather, the time of year, and what I’m working on at the time.

That being said, a few I choose from: Star Wars, Star Trek, The Fifth Element, Starship Troopers, Blade Runner.

8: If you have not lived all of your life in Augusta, where else have you lived?

I grew up in Germany (outside Nuremburg), Spain (Madrid and Malaga), and California (San Jose, Fullerton, San Bernardino). I spent time in college in Colorado Springs. I also lived in Atlanta for a number of years working as a consultant before I moved to Augusta.

9: If you could see one thing happen in Augusta in the next 5 – 10 years, what would it  be?

I see more companies moving their Cyber missions to the area. This is because of the growing community here due to the NSA and Fort Gordon missions. As those people retire or separate, many want to stay in the area due to the weather, etc. So to hire them, more companies will set up shop here.

10: Core Values are: Risk Boldly, Honor Your Commitments, Be Worthy of Trust, Give More Than You Take, and Share Solutions. Which core value do you best exemplify and why?

I don’t have a personal mission statement nor values, but I’ve been told I’m pathologically honest by a close friend.  So I would say Trust and Honesty are big values. Also, I’ve been in the military and law enforcement for a couple of decades so I’m a big believer in service to others. Finally, I believe in leaving things better than you found them.

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Located in a historic 1802 Schoolhouse, our space is divided into two wings. One for learning and prototyping, and one for coworking and business incubation. Our membership comes from a wide variety of backgrounds that all consider themselves some measure of hacker, maker, and doer. I am an architect. We have entrepreneurs, business people, teachers, engineers, designers, artists, and Jacks and Jill’s of all trades, and of course many software and hardware developers.

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