The pMD Blog

Welcome to the
pMD Blog...

where we cover interesting and relevant news, insights, events, and more related to the health care industry and pMD. Most importantly, this blog is a fun, engaging way to learn about developments in an ever-changing field that is heavily influenced by technology.

Interview with a pMD Developer: Siavosh Bahrami
It takes a team of amazing people to develop and support pMD’s charge capture and secure messaging software. Here’s a chance to learn more about one of our team members, Siavosh Bahrami. Siavosh is a Lead Software Design Engineer and the mastermind behind our system that allows pMD employees to efficiently provide unparalleled service to all of our customers.

How long have you worked at pMD?
We were just talking about this. I’m a super senior.

What does that mean?
Over five years. Wow. That’s a long time.

How do you explain your job to someone you meet at a dinner party?
Well, since I live in San Francisco, I don’t usually need to do much explaining. Outside of San Francisco... I’d say that I write software, and I make websites and mobile apps for medical folks.

What sort of languages do you use on a regular basis?
The main language we use for the backend server at pMD is Java. The database is MySQL. On the front end we do a lot of JavaScript, HTML, and CSS. We use different libraries. We have frameworks we use: Backbone, jQuery. And then there’s iOS development and the language is Objective-C.

Do you do any sort of software development outside of work?
I’ve always liked programming, and I think programming outside your regular job is helpful if you have the time. I don’t always have as much time as I like. But yeah, I do programming outside of work. Actually, one of my side projects is something I talked about in my pMD interview at the time.

Side projects always introduce you to new things. And it's actually a really good feedback loop. A lot of times I’ve learned stuff in my side project that I brought back to work, too.

What’s the side project?
My hobby is woodworking. I was frustrated by having to follow a lot of blogs manually. I would have to open up like 50 different tabs just to see if a site had posted anything new. For whatever reason I never got into RSS feeds. I never could find the software, figure it out… I guess it was over my head. And there would be blogs that didn't have RSS feeds and I couldn’t really keep track of them very easily. So essentially I wrote a web crawler that goes out and checks all these blogs for me and posts if they have new blog posts. These are amateur woodworkers who blog about stuff they’re building. It saves me a lot of time. A few other people use it too, so that’s kind of fun. At this point, it probably checks 300 blogs a few times a day. It posts the links and the pictures. You should check it out! It’s called woodspotting.com.

What health care trends are you following most closely?
As a company, we’re paying very close attention to the community aspects of health care. ACOs are very interesting. I think that would be a dramatic shift in how the country does health care. I think it's very important for software companies like us to try to support that.

It fits in line with our philosophy. Our philosophy is to make the doctors happy. Doctors are obviously happy if they can focus on treating the patient. Regardless of what the reimbursement model is, that’s going to be a constant. If your software company can keep the doctor happy and effective, and the patients as healthy as possible, it will succeed no matter what.

What's been your biggest achievement as a developer at pMD?
One project that was really fun just last year was when we introduced the web chat client. We ran into interesting scaling issues after we had gone live. What I still remember is that we convinced the team, the whole company, to give us 5 days to re-write the message panel after we had learned a whole bunch of stuff.

As a software developer you don't often get the chance to go back and re-do something. This was a very special opportunity. It was a very important opportunity. It was a lot of fun working very closely with the rest of the devs architecting it, implementing it (all within 4 or 5 days), and releasing it successfully. I still remember that week as being super fun - and intense. Looking back, I’m very proud of what we, as a team, accomplished.

What are you most excited to develop in the next year?
I would love it if pMD does a virtual reality app. (laughing) I’ve been reading a lot about VR and think it's so super fascinating. VR and augmented reality have been talked about in the medical world for a long time so it’s not totally far fetched.

But realistically… I think it would be fun to build an app for the Apple Watch for the physicians. That would be fun. Writing a brand new iOS app for the Apple Watch would be a great chance to use Swift, the year-old language that Apple introduced that replaces Objective-C. It would be a lot of fun to build something from the ground up.

What’s your superpower?
It’s definitely not running or anything athletic! Well, I tend to be pretty curious, which has led me to learn a little bit about a lot of different things. I wouldn’t say it's a superpower, but it’s something I’ve learned about myself. I find most things pretty interesting.

Best soundtrack for an afternoon Code Bash?
For a morning code bash I usually listen to electronic music. Trance or something. That usually gets me going with coffee in my hand. In the afternoons I tend to mellow out a little bit, so in the office we sometimes play some Miles Davis. It depends on my mood. I’m a moody guy! I listen to everything in between those two.

ICD-9 or ICD-10?
I’m old school; I like ICD-9. But you know, supposedly, ICD-10 is going to help the world keep track of things.

Giants or 49ers?
You’re asking the wrong guy.

New York or San Francisco?
Tough one! There’s no city like New York. Everyone should try to live in New York for at least a little while. San Francisco is a pretty cool place… aside from the weather.

Favorite pMD customer memory?
We have a customer who I’d spoken to a lot over the years. When I finally traveled there, it was wonderful. We felt like we knew each other. She hugged me on first sight. It’s nice putting a face to somebody you’ve worked with for a long time. Having the face-to-face interaction helps to build the communication and the trust.

Favorite pMD team memory?
When we first came out to San Francisco, a lot of us didn’t know anyone here so we used to hang out a lot. When one of our colleagues Ryan first came out (it may have been for his interview or during his training) we went out to the Mission and had a great night. We had dinner and it was an all-night sort of thing. It was a good time.

Tell me a joke.
Um…. I have no jokes. I’ll have to get back to you on that one.
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