The Engineer of What?

A bi-weekly discussion of all things related to a life of an engineer

About the show

"The Engineer of What?" is a bi-weekly discussion with Rick and Nathan on the life and struggles of being an engineer. If you are an engineer, you know that most of the time you're not even doing what your job title is. As engineers, you're a problem solver and are required to solve anything put in front of you. Doesn't matter what type of engineer you are, you'll be able to relate.

Rick and Nathan met in 6th grade, became friends, worked on projects together in high school, and have stayed friends through the different paths life has taken them. They both had a love of technology and problem solving starting from a young age and became friends through this interest. Now that they are both established in their careers they're taking the daily struggles of being an engineer in two totally different fields and creating a podcast out of it.

The Engineer of What? on social media

Episodes and Blog Entries

  • Episode 19: Life of an Audio Engineer

    Episode  |  September 24th, 2018  |  36 mins 22 secs
    audio, bids, engineering, honeymoon, interns, mixing, music, production, road, stage, tips, traveling, vacation

    While Ricky is away having fun on his honeymoon, Nathan and a special guest get to have an audio only episode! Listen as they talk about adventures on the road along with some tips and tricks of being an audio engineer.

  • Episode 18: On the Road

    Episode  |  September 10th, 2018  |  35 mins 31 secs
    airport, coins, cryptocurrency, debugging, ducks, engineer, programming, road, travel, wedding

    Nathan got stuck in an airport, but that doesn't stop us here! Join us as Rick and Nathan talk about the awesome wedding that took place along with a few updates in cryptocurrency and a programming hint that Rick has never heard of.

  • Episode 17: Like Father, Like Son

    Episode  |  August 27th, 2018  |  30 mins 53 secs
    chemical, civil, engineer, engineering, experience, field, field work, fire water, mechanic, petro chemical, petroleum, technology, travel

    While Nathan might not be in the same field as engineering, both he and his father are engineers. This is a special episode where he gets to interview his father about his 30+ years of experience in the field as an engineer. You aren't going to miss this interview as we talk about what someone might expect and how engineering has changed with technology over the years.

  • Episode 16: The Earth is Round?

    Episode  |  August 13th, 2018  |  34 mins 58 secs
    android, audio, coffee, earth, engineer, essential, google, kickstarter, maps, music, pie, pixel, soulfest

    Nathan just got back off the road from taking a break from programming and working as an audio engineer all week. Hear about his fun stories from his time on the road along with other things that are new including an important stance google maps is taking on the earth, android giving the whole world some pie, and something we all love, coffee.

  • Episode 15: Problem Solved

    Episode  |  July 30th, 2018  |  44 mins 29 secs
    apple, audio, gis, ios, ipad, mac, microsoft, music, prime day, problems, processor, slack, solving, spatial, teams

    GIS problems? Solved. 16 bit audio problems? Solved. New intel processor problems? Solved. Prime day? Solved. Listen this week as Nathan and Rick talk all about the problems that have came up and the solutions that happened to overcome them.

  • Episode 14: Recap

    Episode  |  July 16th, 2018  |  41 mins 34 secs
    apple, beer, clues, elon, esri, food, games, hardware, macbook pro, microsoft, musk, new york, puzzles, recap, surface go, surface pro, tech, tesla, travel

    This week, Nathan and Ricky discuss all of the shenanigans that occurred during Ricky's visit to New York. Listen in as we talk good food, great beer, as well as all of the new developments in tech for this week.

  • Episode 13: Level 2

    Episode  |  July 2nd, 2018  |  45 mins 41 secs
    azure, clients, esri, issues, it, level 2, location, microsoft, release, sharepoint, story boarding, support, updates

    Client issues are a real thing in the software word and probably anywhere were you deliver a final product. How do Nathan and Ricky handle these "Level 2" issues? Is there another staff that handles them first or are we working right on the front lines. Join us as we discuss this and so much more with this weeks tips, tricks, and updates.

  • Episode 12: Open Source

    Episode  |  June 18th, 2018  |  42 mins 37 secs
    esri, mapbox, open source, security, traveling

    Ricky's co-worker thinks just because code is open source, it's what?! Listen Nathan just go off on a rant talking about why open source is amazing and they way things are going.

  • Episode 11: Quick! How do I go "cloud"?

    Episode  |  June 4th, 2018  |  50 mins 42 secs
    ai, azure, blob storage, cloud, coding, cosmosdb, esri, functions, machine learning, serverless, vision

    Get ready for a packed episode as Ricky has a challenge at work. He needs to deal with tons of data in relation to points on a map. How does he store this data? How do we process it? Can we use AI? How does it link to ESRI? Listen as he tells Nathan the challenge and together they come up with a possible solution.

  • Episode 10: Goat Poop

    Episode  |  May 21st, 2018  |  45 mins 21 secs
    agile, development, engineering, goats, ibm, open source, software, water, z/os

    We hit double digits with Episode #10! Be ready for some fun stuff and even a guest! We don't want to give too much away, so start listening!

  • Episode 9: What's even going on

    Episode  |  May 7th, 2018  |  44 mins 38 secs
    assistants, beer, burgers, busy, calendars, conferences, ftp, ide, lists, planning

    Ever have those weeks where you can't remember what you did an hour ago? Listen to Nathan and Ricky talk about how they handle this level of being busy. You also don't want to miss hearing about the best burger ever and Ricky making Nathan cringe over how he update websites.

  • Episode 8: Locked Out!

    Episode  |  April 23rd, 2018  |  52 mins 13 secs
    beer, desk, locked out, stickers, swag, water tower, windows

    Nathan gets locked of his machine for a few days. Ricky gets to stand around and watch a team fix a $250,000 mistake and gets a sweet package in the mail? What else exciting has happened this week?

  • Introduction to Mobile UI Automation Testing with Appium

    Article  |  April 11th, 2018
    By Nathan Westfall
    appium, automation, mobile, qa, testing, ui, xamarin

    As a developer unit tests are easy. We write logic all the time so writing more logic to test it comes natural. What happens though as a mobile developer when I need to test my UI on actual devices across many form factors? How do you write UI tests? Why write UI tests? Which framework do I need to use? How do I automate my UI tests on physical devices?
    Appium ( is an open source test automation framework to use with native, hybrid, and mobile web apps that will work on iOS, Android and Windows. It doesn't matter if you are writing native swift/java or using Xamarin Forms. You can use the same UI automation framework.

  • Episode 7: Ricky goes into IT

    Episode  |  April 9th, 2018  |  55 mins 3 secs
    acugis, appium, ar, beer, geonode, geoserver, gis, hosting, it, ui testing

    Join us this week are we cover a whole bunch of topics. We go over GIS hosting, UI Testing, beer, user group meetings, and new app ideas! We also cover Ricky "moving into IT" for a new project he's working on.

  • Episode 6: Watered Down Water

    Episode  |  March 26th, 2018  |  48 mins 40 secs
    android, big news, break, mead, philly, st patricks day

    After a small break, we are back! Big things happening in both our lives in and out of state. Listen to as we discuss what we have missed and hear about a philly thing that is "watered down water".

  • Episode 5: Going to the Dark Side

    Episode  |  February 26th, 2018  |  49 mins 51 secs
    android, beer, busy, chromebook, ios, work

    Not only has this week been a busy week, but Nathan decided it was time for a change. Listen to Rick ask him what he thoughts are as he makes this switch and talk about the technology behind it.