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Mac software development and a little rock ‘n’ roll with Rich Bochkay

Rich Bochkay, unit computing manager, Rutgers–New Brunswick

Known as the Macintosh expert for the IT team at the School of Arts and Sciences, Rich Bochkay is a unit computing manager at Rutgers–New Brunswick who handles software development, system administration, and ensures Macintosh computers are working properly for SAS employees. After hours, you can hear him play guitar in a band that’s been around for 30+ years, put out three records, and opened for an alternative rock band from New York City.

How did you get into the technology industry?
I kind of fell into it. I went to Rutgers for my undergraduate degree and returned later hoping to get a master’s degree in Geography. I started working as a Geographic Information System (GIS) technician at the Grant F. Walton Center for Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis.

That sounds interesting. What is remote sensing?
Remote sensing involves processing satellite images that can be incorporated into GIS software for creating landcover, road, and hydrology maps to name a few. It is often used for ecological approaches for defining land suitability, which is used heavily in urban planning and landscape architecture. This isn’t something I do in my current position, but I still find it interesting.

How did you go from that job to working in IT at Rutgers?
I realized in my GIS technician position that I really had a passion for computers. From there I wound up as a systems administrator at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy and found myself more interested in working with Mac devices, specifically. I applied for a position at SAS and I’ve been there ever since.

What are your hobbies outside of work?
I play a lot of guitar. I started a band when I was at Rutgers in 1990, and we’re still playing today. We did two demos for MCA Records and opened up for the band The Spin Doctors. My band, Billy, put out three records over the years and we’re working on another one right now. We record in my studio at home. I also enjoy kayaking down the Delaware River, camping, and mountain biking. There’s actually a trail that runs through my back yard.

What are some things on your bucket list?
I started getting my pilot’s license but never finished, and that’s always been on my list of things to do. I would also love to travel more. I’ve always wanted to visit Portugal and Spain for their beauty and history and of course their food. Aruba would also be a bucket list destination; it looks incredible, and I would love to go scuba diving there.

What is one of your favorite resources that Rutgers IT offers?
LinkedIn Learning is a great resource that’s available to us at Rutgers. There are a ton of course options. I’ve taken a few courses to get information on Windows and Mac items professionally, and I’ve also used it personally to learn how to do digital recordings for my band. I recommend checking it out.

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