(BS, Engineering, ’07)
Q & A:
- What was your favorite class, who was your favorite professor, or what is your fondest memory of Hofstra?
Dr. Caputi and Professor Jensen were always very supportive of my tendencies to think outside the box. Many entrepreneurial ideas came to mind all those years ago during my tenure at Hofstra, some naive and unrealistic, some exciting and transformative. What was offered to me was a setting to explore my ideas, information to substantiate the viability and feasibility of the ideas, and encouragement to always pursue my ideas. I can’t say I was overwhelmingly fond of specific classes; I was always quite apt at absorbing blanket concepts and how they related to real-world applications. Personally, the most important result of my experience at Hofstra was that I was provided the tools to comprehend the real world from an analytical perspective.
- What was your first job after graduating from Hofstra, and what was the most valuable thing learned in that position?
I’ve had an interesting career path, with a humble start. After graduating, it was difficult for me to find work, likely due to my tendencies to dream and think big. I would see problems and always want to create an idealistic solution, and in the real world, idealism is always met with a healthy dose of push back. For two years I delivered pizza in Port Washington on Long Island, and then in 2009 an opportunity arose, as the age of the modern cellphone began; Apple released iOS and Google released Android.
- What is your field of specialty, and how did you come to work in the industry?
I’ve been an Android engineer for the past nine years. Starting with the release of Android 2.0 in 2009, I was involved with Android-related contracting for a company called Roundarch. It was an interesting transition from pizza delivery to full-time programmer, and the transition wasn’t just spontaneous. While working in pizza delivery, I was writing my own applications and deploying them on the Google Play Store. I wrote several applications on the Play Store, and for a while, some of them were on the top lists, gaining a lot of attention. In 2009, after writing my first couple of applications, I was able to adjust my resume and focus it in a portfolio fashion on the successes that I had achieved. While experience did not land me my first programming job, the fact that I was able to prove that I could deliver functional products in a timely fashion and as designed certainly did.
- What advice would you give Hofstra students?
There are many ways to be successful, and keep in mind that the definition of success is a very subjective concept. Two examples include: (1) finding a profession that requires institutional education and maxing it out, and (2) having the strength to finish a PhD. If you do this, you will have the credentials to pursue countless opportunities. Not all folks are capable, willing, or interested in such education, and I strongly emphasize that not pursuing these educational goals does not diminish or define a person’s intellectual capacity. There are countless ways to measure human capability, and retention of raw facts is not the sole measure. Dream big, ground your ideas in science and engineering to substantiate their viability, and pursue goals that are reasonable and realistic. The minor classes I attended in college allowed me to pivot into a closely related, but fundamentally different, career. Keep your mind open during college, and possibilities will present themselves.
- In one word, how would you describe Hofstra?
- What is your favorite part of being Universal Orlando Resort’s Android SME and special advisor?
I’ve been given the privilege of taking decisive action to improve Universal Studios’ Android mobile experience. Currently focusing on its “mobile food ordering” initiative, innovative concepts are being pursued using Android best practices. It’s quite satisfying to gain traction and enact change in a historically management-driven company.
- What inspired/inspires you to create Android application publications?
There’s great satisfaction that comes from programming. It is a combination of mathematics, art, and poetry. When code is crafted in well-structured architecture and platforms, best practices are followed, and a compelling, stable, and functional application is manifested.
- What is your favorite application that you have created thus far and why?
My favorite application is the current Huff Post app. While I heard it may be retired soon, before I left the company it was 99.98% crash free, complete with very innovative code implementations, and a very Android-centric user interface. It was very satisfying to be given the opportunity to follow my instinct and experience. While many companies build applications based on the dictation of management, Huff Post allowed for relationships among developers, UI designers, UX engineers, stakeholders, and management so that the best product possible at the time could be built.
- What is the hardest part of your job?
The hardest part of the job is by far the business aspect, rather than the technical. Traversing the business landscape requires strong interpersonal and communication skills, and one has to know people, and conversations with each individual need be tailored to accommodate their unique personality. To get things done you have to be able to accommodate, adapt, and be reasonable at most times. I would even argue that the hard truth is needed.
- How has your degree from Hofstra University helped you in your career?
My degree has proven most invaluable from a life experience perspective. My time with Theta Tau Fraternity, the various professors over the years, and fellow students have helped mold me into the person I am today. Remember, learning does not end after college! Always grow, take a moment to observe your surroundings, and process your experiences to hopefully extract meaningful observations. Never stop growing and learning, and always max out what you do to the best possibility.
Noah Seidman graduated from Hofstra University in 2007 with a BS in engineering. Kicking off his career at Roundarch Inc., a professional contracting agency offering services to countless household brands, Noah developed a great foundation of skills to pursue his future roles. After Roundarch, Noah moved on to Paltalk Corporation, a social network company dating back to the late 1990s. During his time at Paltalk, he gained exposure to the grassroots of social networking; the company currently caters to a very large international user base.
Moving forward, Noah took on a different approach to employment, as he targeted big brands, starting with American Express. His experience at American Express was Noah’s first time in a large, bureaucracy-driven environment. Complete with security requirements, working for American Express was an invaluable experience for Noah, requiring knowledge growth in countless areas. During his time with the company, he built a large portion of the American Express Serve Android application, a prepaid, reloadable debit card with interesting features. He enjoyed his time on this project, and the unique ways an Android application has to be built in order to process credit cards, debit cards, checks, and many other financial products. After American Express, Noah joined the Huff Post team, where he was exposed to an array of AOL brands and worked diligently to achieve brand goals.
In 2017, Noah and his family made the decision to move from New York to Orlando, Florida, so he could pursue the opportunity to work for Universal Studios, Orlando, a place that occupies many of his childhood memories. As such a pervasive brand in the minds of so many people around the world, the Universal Studios Android application offered Noah a leading role in the development of an entirely new feature of the product, which was one of the business’s biggest initiatives. Looking to the future, Noah plans to remain in the sunshine state!