June Behind the Bot Cover Image

Behind the Bot: Senior Software Engineer, Bob Belt

It’s time to get to know one of our engineers with this month’s edition of Behind the Bot! Bob Belt is a Senior Software Engineer here at Ozobot, and we can’t wait for you to get to know him along with all that he has done at Ozobot and what he is currently working on.  

As a teenager, Bob first started working as a programmer at the educational software company, Micrograms. After graduating from college with an Art and Technology degree, he moved to California and worked as the Lead Game Programmer at Atari and later at Activision. These experiences led Bob to Ozobot, where he’s worked on Evo, the Evo App, and many more projects! 

Read on to learn more about how Bob got started as an engineer, how he has incorporated his love of art into the engineering world, and a few helpful tips and advice for aspiring software engineers. 

What is your current favorite project? 

My favorite project right now is MetaBot. I have been interested in Augmented Reality (AR) for several years now. I made a demo of a game similar to Pokemon Go before working at Ozobot and have continued to prototype ideas using Evo. When I heard there was interest in using AR here, I jumped at the chance. It’s been fun creating MetaBot with my colleague, Leayle Galiber, and I hope we can continue to work on the solution to carry out some of the advanced ideas we have for the next iterations in the future.  

What has been the biggest challenge in your career?

My biggest challenge is keeping up with new technologies. I’ve worked with several programming languages during my career, most of which I haven’t learned since college. Being able to learn on the job while using new technologies has helped me tremendously. I have also taken the time to learn and build my own iPhone and Android apps. This experience has come in handy when companies I work for ask me to build apps. This way I have some practical experience and I can learn more while doing it full-time on the job. 

Why do you love being an engineer at Ozobot?

The combination of new technologies, education, and fun is why I love being an engineer at Ozobot. I have been able to work on a variety of projects, all with educational goals. From the Evo App to AR prototypes to creating the first prototypes for the Ozobot Classroom Communicator (OCC). I’ve always valued education in all forms, and as much fun as it is to make video games as a father I’m glad I’m helping children learn in different ways.

What advice do you have for aspiring engineers?

Don’t wait! Start learning now. When I started my career, I couldn’t use the internet for information. All I had were a few books. There are so many great free resources now. Experiment with Ozobot Blockly after you complete a lesson. With MetaBot, you can try some programming ideas without having a physical robot. Start learning Python or Javascript or other languages; don’t get too worried about the type of language to learn. I know three programming languages pretty well, and I use several more when they are the right choice for the job. They all come in handy at different points in your career. Every language you expose yourself to helps you grow as a programmer.

Belt is currently hard at work with new additions to our Evo App, and we can’t wait to share the new and improved experience with you! 

Download the Evo App on your iOS device in the App Store or on your Android device in Google Play.

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