The Official Nerd Biography:
Barry Caplan is The Porterville Nerd.
The Nerd graduated high school and attended Johns Hopkins University at the tender age of 16. He was already a voracious reader, a trivia expert, and a creator of published crossword puzzles.
In college, The Nerd specialized in Applied Math, Computer Science and Psychology. These specialties provided him with a toolbox of Nerd Skills to help Regular Joes and Janes solve the seemingly unsolvable.
The Nerd spent the 1980s working on some newsworthy projects. He was among the 1st 10 employees of the Hubble Space Telescope Science Institute, and as we all know, The Hubble is still front page news more than 25 years later.
At the Hubble, The Nerd was involved in Educational Outreach planning and some very technical and very groundbreaking scientific instrument scheduling and image analysis software. The results of both efforts can be seen in the enduring popularity and historic scientific success of the Hubble Mission among adults and generations of school children everywhere.
Towards the middle of the 1980s, The Nerd took his first trip overseas to Japan. He resolved to start studying Japanese while still on his trip and made good on his Nerdly Promise: he spent the next 5 years studying Japanese at night while continuing as a software engineer during the day.
Like all good things, decades must end. As the 1980s closed, The Nerd decided to apply his Nerd Skills to a new area, combining his software experiences with his burgeoning Japanese language skills.
The Giant Nerd Problem that he identified: How do American software companies create products for Japan, given the complexity of the Japanese language?
Even back then, Americans had software that the Japanese really wanted, but there was not yet a way to make them Japanese-friendly. The Nerd moved to Silicon Valley to be in the center of the software industry, and he discovered this was a problem/opportunity already identified by only a few pioneering companies.
He spent the next 13 years with startup companies devising technical solutions, marketing plans, and business models related to translating software interfaces for use worldwide, not just in Japanese, but dozens of other languages.
The Nerd was among the pioneers in this field. Today, thanks to The Nerd’s Work, we can take it for granted that software will work with all languages.
A couple of these companies were extremely successful during the dot-com era and were among those who thrived even after the era ended: Lionbridge (which acquired International Communications where The Nerd started a new service line), Cobalt Networks was Sun’s largest acquisition ever, and Kana Software (alive and well to this day).
International software was once difficult, but now routine. The decade had changed again, and it was time to look for new problems to solve.
Looking into the future during his semi-retirement, The Nerd noticed that movies, music, games, and other forms of entertainment were in a period of heavy technical and business change.
The lightbulb in The Nerd’s Head went on: A new opportunity! The Nerd has since worked for new startup companies navigating opportunities in entertainment and social software.
All along, The Nerd was recognized as a supreme educator and teacher of skills, because he never forgot his roots – that his dream remains for others to reach their goals large and small.
Now that he is in Porterville, The Nerd is able to bring all these years of experience to problem solving because when problems are solved, great things come about.
Whether you are an individual, a student with classes or standardized tests to pass, a small business in need of part time technical assistance, or a larger farm business competing in a world suddenly where gas costs $4 a gallon, The Nerd can help.
Now that you have read this far, please share your dreams and problems that need Nerd Help. Initial consultations are always free, so don’t hesitate to dream and don’t hesitate to ask.