Meet: Mark Horn
Software Application Engineer, Schneider Electric
“CapeSpace allows me to work remotely but still have a professional and motivated atmosphere.”
1. What is your current occupation?
I work as a software application engineer for Schneider Electric. I program HVAC control systems for large buildings, laboratories, etc.
2. What do you love most about your job & why?
My job exposes me to a wide variety of challenges. While the formal role is writing the code for our control systems, I am constantly dealing with customer needs regarding IT Integration and networking. I am often on a construction site setting up temporary networks and systems, and that’s just preparation. Getting out in the field and starting up giant equipment is always a bit of a thrill, but very rewarding when your hard work and creativity pays off and your software is controlling a complex system.
3. What has changed in your industry in the past five years?
The so called “Terminal” units of the past were all connected by an RS-485 serial connection, essentially a three wire com bus. This would be all of your end points, offices, subsystems, etc. This low bandwidth connection put a cap on the type of system wide communications you could set up. Recently everything as shifted over to IP/Ethernet based connections. It’s a challenge for the electricians who are more familiar with the old 3 wire systems than working with CAT6 cables, but its a blessing for me. With IP based connections we can open the flood gates in terms of data. I can really interconnect the whole system and start to improve overall efficiency.
4. How has CapeSpace improved your work life?
My main account is located in Cambridge, MA, but at least half of my work can be done remotely, especially when I am just cranking out applications. I’ve tried working from home but I really need some demarcation in my life, I can’t just roll out of bed and be at the office. CapeSpace allows me to work remotely but still have a professional and motivated atmosphere. Saving those 3+ hours driving to and from Cambridge every day has made me more productive and drastically improved my work-life balance.
5. What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
I always seem to have a new hobby but recently I’ve been trying to focus on becoming a real estate investor. I purchased my first 3 family home and have been spending most of my time working on fixing things up and getting it ready for tenants. Before that I was pretty obsessed with vintage/standup jetski’s. Pretty much anything with a 2 stroke motor. I like to re-build and modify them, and of course get out on the water.
6. What is your favorite place on Cape Cod?
Hard to say but I think its the ocean. A nice warm summer day, floating a few hundred yards offshore, sun shining down, it’s really beautiful and I find it zen like.
7. If you could invite any three people living or dead to a dinner party who would they be and why?
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and Thomas Jefferson. I’d love to pick their brain about the intent of the constitution and how they envisioned it at the time it was written.
8. What is your superpower?
I think my superpower is my ability to learn rapidly, especially if I am interested in something. Give me a week or two and I may not know everything, but I can usually spin myself up to some level of proficiency.