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Myron Bradshaw - The Spiderman of Web Applications
04.23.13
 
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Supervisory Computer Engineer Myron Bradshaw spends his days untangling web applications for organizations.


Name: Myron Bradshaw
Title: Associate Branch Head
Formal Job Classification: Supervisory Computer Engineer
Organization: Code 585, Computing Environments and Collaborative Technologies Branch, Software Engineering Division, Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate

What do you do and what is most interesting about your role here at Goddard? How do you help support Goddard’s mission?


Our organization develops custom web applications for various customers on Center, primarily for the Applied Engineering and Technology Directorate. Some of our applications include the Goddard Opportunities Bulletin Board System, the Action Item System and the Lab Quality Management System. We also make improvements and enhancements to existing systems.

Often our customers do not exactly know what they want in a web application. We try to help them by drafting requirements and creating mock-ups of what their application might look like in production. They then provide us with feedback and we work together to come up with a viable product. We may change a mock-up 50 to 75 times before arriving at that product. We and our customers both want the same thing and I always keep that in mind as we go through the process–even when we are at the 100th mock-up.
Photo of Myron Bradshaw› Larger image
Photo of Myron Bradshaw in his office. Credit: NASA/W. Hrybyk

Sometimes our customers are actually larger teams of individuals, each of whom has a completely different idea of how the application should look and function. The funny thing is that these customers are not really debating with us–they are really discussing among themselves as we guide the process. We hear some very interesting debates while trying to help them to reach a consensus to move forward.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever done as part of your job at Goddard?


A few years ago, I attended a training class down at Kennedy and saw a Shuttle launch. It’s far more spectacular–and louder–in person than it is on TV. It was just an awesome experience! At one point in my career, I did a lot of travelling to other NASA Centers. My goal is to visit all ten before I retire and I’ve only been to half of them so far.

What lessons or words of wisdom would you pass along to somebody just starting their career at Goddard?


I have worked at Goddard for 23 years, my first 14 as a contractor. I’ve learned that you develop and grow much more when you step outside of your comfort zone. I try to take jobs that I’m a bit uncomfortable with so that I can learn and develop new skills. By so doing, I am never bored because I am always learning and challenging myself. I also would tell new employees not to become typecast in one particular position or area. Be open to seeking out new opportunities. It is your responsibility to try to get the job or experience that you want. The great thing about Goddard is that you can do almost anything here.

If you weren’t in your current profession, what would you be doing?


I always thought that my mechanical engineering degree would lead me to designing sports cars. My favorite sports car is an Aston Martin–they’re very sleek and unique.

Do you have a favorite way or place to kick back, relax or have fun?


I love being outdoors. I do a lot of yard work and also like to run and bike. Exercise is a great way to relieve stress.

If you could meet and talk to anybody, living or dead, who would it be and what’s the first thing you’d ask them?


I would want to speak with my late maternal grandfather, who was a farmer in North Carolina. Growing up, I heard so many interesting stories about him from my mother and my grandmother, but he passed away long before I was born. I’d ask him about his life and experiences living in the South during the Jim Crow era. I’ve spoken with my grandmother about this too, but would love to get another perspective from the family patriarch.

Is there someplace in the world that you want to visit, or someplace you have been and want to go back?


I would love to go to Hawaii. I want to see the volcanoes and experience the island way of life.

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Elizabeth M. Jarrell
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, MD