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The People Behind the Software: Bob Hickey

This is part of a series of Q&As with the JMP development team as we approach the release of JMP 9 on Oct. 12. Previously, I interviewed Xan Gregg, Chung-Wei Ng and Laura Lancaster.

Bob Hickey of JMPBob Hickey has been with the JMP team for 13 years. His current responsibilities include creating and maintaining the software installers for Macintosh and Windows for all of the JMP products. He also manages the install projects as they move through the release management process here at SAS.

Arati: What do you like about JMP?

Bob: I like JMP because it makes data analysis interactive and visual, and because it’s easy to install. :-)

Arati: Do you use JMP in your job or for personal projects? If so, how?

Bob: When I was started with JMP, I was on the marketing side and represented JMP at trade shows, so I used JMP more frequently then. I certainly install and uninstall JMP more than the average person. Occasionally, I use JMP for personal projects of interest -- usually for analyzing sports data.

Arati: What are your favorite JMP features that you wish more people knew about and used?

Bob: I really like the Internet Open function that lets you open a Web page full of numbers by supplying the URL.

Arati: What’s new in JMP 9 in your area of installers?

Bob: The JMP 9 release includes a new product, JMP Pro, for both Macintosh and Windows, so I built new installers for both versions of JMP Pro. Our development team and product management put new requirements on the installers.

Screenshot of Windows installer for JMP 9

Arati: How will these new installers help customers?

Bob: The JMP Pro and JMP 64-Bit Edition installers contain both 32-bit and 64-bit executables of JMP, which will be an installation convenience for customers who have a mix of machines.

screenshot of Macintosh installer for JMP 9

Arati: What’s most exciting to you in your work?

Bob: Change is exciting because it means problem solving. I get tremendous assistance from the various groups at SAS, and that makes my job better and results in better products for the customer.

Arati: What book(s) are you reading right now?

Bob: I just started reading Flying High: How JetBlue Founder and CEO David Neeleman Beats the Competition. I spent 10 years in aviation and like to keep up with the industry.

Arati: What do you like to do in your free time?

Bob: Now that both of my boys are in college, I have much more free time for house projects. My wife and I are excited to travel again. Before we had kids, we traveled the world free as airline employees. I also try to keep up with the various sports teams I follow, and I like to attend college sports events. I'm a Maryland Terp, but have also become an East Carolina Pirate fan.

Arati: Pick two (or more if you like) of the following to identify: your favorite programming language, favorite algorithm, favorite formula, favorite theorem or favorite software tool.

Bob: My favorite software tool has quickly become Beyond Compare by Scooter Software. A close second is the screen capture ability of Full Shot by Inbit Software.

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Releasing JMP Genomics 5 - JMP Blog wrote:

[...] JMP 9 a fantastic platform on which to build JMP Genomics 5. An extra special thank you goes to Bob Hickey, who handles the build and release engineering process for all JMP products, for all the help near [...]