Hello, Bose Devs!
Today, I'm really excited to announce a new addition to the Bose team - Chuck Freedman has joined us as our Developer Relations Lead. Since you'll be seeing a lot of him in the coming weeks and months, both on the forums here and out at events like workshops and hackathons, I sat down with Chuck for a little Q&A to help introduce him to all of you.
Q: Tell us a bit about you! Where are you from? Have any fun facts about yourself that you want to share?
A: I'm from Boston, Massachusetts. I was actually born, graduated college and married in the city. My wife and I have two amazing sons that are super close despite being born nearly 3000 miles apart. For as long as I can remember, I've been into sound and the experience surrounding others with great sound. I've always loved movies and music, especially music from movies. Movies with great, soundtracks like Back to the Future are among my favorite.
Q: What first got you into developer relations? And what have some of your favorite developer community moments been since then?
A: My wife and I relocated out to the Bay Area so I could take a developer lead role at Yahoo! Maps. The main site was thriving then, serving tens of millions of users and we were adding great features. My team started being approached by many other properties at Yahoo! with requests to access our server and build their own version of Maps for their users.
In talking with their developers and understanding their needs, I realized the code we wrote to serve our own users could also enable other developers to deliver unique and valuable experiences to their own users. Over the next few months I changed our approach and I was able to help carve a strategy there recognizing more value in an enabling platform over just focusing on our own app.
This was also an incredible time to begin learning how to engage and enable external developers. The first "hack days" at Yahoo! were happening then and to spread the word of all the capabilities of Yahoo! Maps, other platforms and available APIs to developers, I wrote a book and started speaking at conferences. That book (Yahoo! Maps Mashups, somehow still available on Amazon.com – although 99% deprecated at this point) hit shelves the same week as our first son, Chase, was born. It was an amazing time.
Q: What brought you to Bose?
A: I've been lucky enough to spend 10+ years in a career enabling developers and working on API strategies with a variety of incredible platforms. At one time a best-kept-secret, I love how most companies now are figuring out the need and ways to make their technology available to fuel innovation outside their walls.
I found the opportunity at Bose to be most compelling and the perfect time and place to build on my passion for enabling developers. Bose is a premium brand unlike any other, built on 50+ years of innovation that touches everyone. I've been fortunate to have Bose products literally surrounding me almost my entire life. My dad runs a store just north of Boston where he, my grandfather, aunt, and uncles had championed the Bose brand to customers for decades.
There's something special to do here. Recent waves of products are giving 3rd parties the chance to deliver rich experiences to millions of Bose users like never before. There's also this emerging Bose AR (audio augmented reality) platform, a wearable SDK, and promise of awesome new devices, all of which I've been following since it was previewed in March. As I've gotten to know the team behind this, all those contributing, and having tried some of the amazing things in the works, I'm pretty sure this could be the most exciting, engaging prospect for developer innovation I've ever seen (or heard)!
Q: What are some of your favorite things you've built with platforms?
A: One of the very first 'mashups' I built was an early mobile maps app. It was early 2007 and I used mobile map tiles and services from our Yahoo! maps and local APIs. It won top prize at our hack day and got the company talking seriously about mobile maps. Of course, the iPhone came out later that year and mapping with a mobile device became something we all use every day. Back then, it was a cool concept and I used searching for nearby pizza places in my demo!
Years later I was working with telephony, messaging, and voice services at s startup called Ribbit. To engage our global community, I did a lot of speaking over a several month span late in 2009. I wanted to present something that really pushed the limits of what we had. With the help of a few friends, I built this demo that featured a stereo USB microphone. The sound was fed through this C app that fed the signal as +/- channels into a UI. With this, I was able to capture stereo, process it through our API and a control a 3D image by moving around the microphone. It was cool! I used the song 'Pinball Wizard' by The Who to demo the control with music. One conference was in Brighton, UK, and I actually got to play "from Soho down to Brighton" right there.
Lately, stuff I build with my kids is most fulfilling. My younger son loves doing stuff with Minecraft and Scratch, and together we had fun putting together the BoseBuild speaker cube. My older son and I have done some more advanced stuff from prototyping motion-activated sound effects with Legos to working with pressure sensors, Arduino, and Raspberry Pi. He's constantly inventing and I love the challenge of keeping up with him!
Q: Anything else you want to share with the Bose Devs community?
A: I'm beyond excited to join an incredible team here. Company-wide, everyone seems aware and eager to help support and engage our growing community. From the latest products to the amazing devices in development, there's an eye towards enabling developers going forward. This will help us bring to developers everywhere new opportunities and technology. As we start getting the team out to conferences, hold workshops and events, I look forward to meeting all those who will help us deliver new, exciting experiences to our users.
Thanks for all those great insights, Chuck! We're really excited to have you join the community and the Bose team.