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VR/AR is about to change the world and I am changing the way it is used to save lives. I am also an expert in Security and Automation. I am technologist, coder, architect, entrepreneur, mentor and adviser and even authored a programming language. Check out my bio, it's all up for grabs. Ask Me Anything!!!

Pieter VanIperen
Nov 10, 2017

Pieter VanIperen is the CTO of BoonVR, a company developing on the cutting edge of VR technology.  He is a Founding Member of Code Defenders (https://www.codedefenders.com) a collective the protects the long tail of the internet, an Adjunct Professor of Code Security at NYU, a Certified Penetration Testing Engineer (Ethical Hacker) and a Certified Secure Web Application Engineer. He is also currently a resident software architect, automation and secure coding expert for a major online discount brokerage. He is a veteran programmer that has launched and guided over 20 enterprise products.  He has been a co-founder of multiple tech startups and has served as the CTO of several digital companies.  He has advised multiple startups and has worked as a technology architect and consultant to many industries including financial, insurance and law enforcement institutions. He frequently speaks at tech talks, conferences and is quoted in media. He is fluent in more than 20 programming languages and is the author of the HAZL(jADE) programming language. He specializes in solving complex and difficult problems around VR/AR, Learning Tech, ML/AI, NLP, Automation and Security. He provides vision and leadership to help develop processes, methods, and technology that are at the forefront of innovation.

http://boonvr.com/, https://www.sps.nyu.edu/professional-pathways/faculty/19957-pieter-vaniperen.html

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Conversation (51)

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What language should I learn to begin with VR? (given that i only know javascript) 

Nov 17, 7:07AM EST0

VR can be built in JS and I actually think its the better choice for a lot of reasons. 

Start here https://aframe.io/ and then look at the docs and start building. Beyond that look at the docs here https://threejs.org/docs/ for anything more advanced as THREE can be used in AFrame

Nov 17, 7:58AM EST1

Thanks for your prompt reply.

Nov 17, 7:59AM EST0

How do you balance your in-demand career and being an amazing dad?

Nov 10, 8:45PM EST0

First, thanks. A lot of it hinges on my even more amazing wife who balances with me.

Honestly, I try to put in as much quality time with my daughter as I can. But really its day to day and things are generally more like kids on a seesaw than a true balance. Some days I am fortunate and spend a lot of time with my daughter and some days I get very few precious moments. I would say regardless of career, it is the most rewarding and fulfilling aspect of my life. 

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:26AM EST.
Nov 10, 9:27PM EST0

are you on instagram ?

Nov 10, 7:11PM EST0

I am, but I am really there for sharing photos of my daughter. Not really much of a presence.

Nov 10, 9:23PM EST0

Is there a special site for training those  that are interested in learning AR/VR for free? 

Nov 10, 8:31AM EST0

Not specifically that I know about. I would say depending on your flavor, Unity, Unreal or WebVR/AFrame, there are intro projects, repos and boilerplates you can google search for. I would also scan through the docs and then start making stuff. Getting started and getting your feet wet is not hard, but it gets harder exponentially from there.

Nov 10, 9:22PM EST0

Why did you create HAZL(jADE) ?

Nov 7, 3:41PM EST0

I needed a away to make large amounts of streaming data effectively render and alter the view based on the data, without having control over interchanging templates. 

Last edited @ Nov 11, 8:46AM EST.
Nov 10, 9:19PM EST0

How did you switch from coding to VR?

Nov 7, 3:18PM EST0

I didnt really. VR is coding in 6 degrees of freedom or put another way really really difficult coding.  But I dont shoot 360 videos or anything like that, although that is becoming infinitely easier.

Nov 10, 9:15PM EST0

What do you think about 3d printing?

Nov 7, 3:06PM EST0

I think 3d printing is cool. I think it definetly has its place in industrial applications, but I also think it needs to bear out its utlitiy in more scenarios to really emerge to be a more mainstream product.

Nov 10, 9:13PM EST0

What is your favourite programming language and why?

Nov 7, 9:52AM EST0

Lets see. There are languages I love to use because they are simple elegant and easy to use (Go, Python Julia), There are langauges I use because they are fast or because they are the best to use for a situation. Then there are languages I use sometimes that I hate because they try too hard and do too much for you as a coder which boxes you in. But if I had to choose and that was what you asked, I would say Javascript. Because I being not as young as I wish I was, dealt with JS way before ES6 or 5 or .... And JS is flexible in some ways it can be too flexible (see Typescript's existance) but it kind of allows you to do anything in this weird psuedo structured architecture. Which really means you can make it and the world it interacts with do things that they really aren't meant to do, which is really what excites me most in programming.

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:29AM EST.
Nov 10, 9:08PM EST0

How long did it take to create your programming language?

Nov 7, 12:43AM EST0

Who said its done :)  The initial release took about 4 months. Then increments for about a year to a second major version release which is really where it hit the core feature set. Revisions continue to this day.

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:31AM EST.
Nov 10, 8:56PM EST0

What does a secure coding expert do on daily bases?

Nov 6, 6:50PM EST0

If you are me a lot of different things as I work more across multiple disciplines. But in general a secure coding expert, hacks, codes, educates, reviews, analyzes risk, creates best practices and occasionally does forensics. There is a lot that happens within those buckets but that is what it is at the core. 

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:32AM EST.
Nov 10, 8:54PM EST0

You are teaching secure coding for coders, do you offer courses online somewhere?

Nov 6, 6:32PM EST0

I don't right now, but it is something I have discussed with both NYU and other outlets. I have thought about somehting more like micro workshops, like 20 or 30 minute quick hits on topics.  I would love to try that out. Is that something you think you would be interested in?

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:33AM EST.
Nov 10, 8:51PM EST1
Show all 3 replies

What is the programming language you created used for?

Nov 6, 11:35AM EST0

HAZL is used for high data throughput environments. So there is MVC, and MVVM, HAZL is essentially functions like a model driven component architecture that is headless or view agnostic. Meaning, you take a data source  - take any view and HAZL just pumps in the data and manipulates it and the view all at once.

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:34AM EST.
Nov 10, 8:47PM EST0

How do you define how much to charge for advising companies?

Nov 6, 9:56AM EST0

It depends on a number of things: stage, size, type of company, market value of advice and what type of advice you are bringing to the table. It can be anything from a very small precentage of equity to pretty high hourly fees.  That may not be a very helpful answer, but if you have more specfics or want to dive deeper, point me in the right direction and I will try to get more specific.

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:36AM EST.
Nov 10, 8:42PM EST0

Do you do much actual coding these days?

Nov 6, 8:46AM EST0

Yes. I code all the time. Truth is I probably don't have to but, I love coding. I also code through lots of people through mentorship, pairing and creating POCs to teach from. I think that is an incredibly overlooked part of coding. I also code on whiteboards and in conversations which is really where the important stuff happens. I try to make sure I code something at a keyboard a minimum of every other day.  Code is creation.

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:37AM EST.
Nov 10, 8:37PM EST0

When did you start coding and in what language?

Nov 6, 7:38AM EST0

So this depends on your definition of coding. First real coding ( built something on a computer using commands I wrote) was in something called LogoWriter  (online now with lessons here -  https://turtleacademy.com/lessons/en) on an Apple 2E. First real programming  - full fledged logic - was Turbo Pascal when I was about 11/12 years old. 

Nov 10, 8:34PM EST0

How is VR/AR used in the medical sector exactly?

Nov 6, 6:39AM EST0

VR and AR is used in multiple ways. So lets start with some of the more basics, body/anatomy simulations, composites of MRI/CT scans to 3 dimensions, 3D immersive videos of procedures, showing patient data on a HUD while doing procedures. And then there is what Boon does which composites several of these into immersive real world VR team based operating room training for new medical devices and techiniques. Which makes something possible that has never before been possible before, near inifinite rehearsal of procedures before doctors and staff ever touch a living breathing soul. 

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:40AM EST.
Nov 10, 8:29PM EST0

Given how easy it is to access the internet at any age, what steps should one take to protect their data and that of their kids?

Nov 5, 9:09PM EST0

Let's start with kids. I am a new parent, so I have given this a lot of personal thought lately. Kids should be limited with proper software to keep them to a limited number of sites. Beyond that especially as kids get older and become teenagers, assume exactly what we assume with users and employees, that there are bad actors or in the case of a teen or preteen, a temporarily angry enough to make a bad decision actor. That means they should be monitored and still blocked from select sites or categories. Also get credit monitoring. I have seen numerous cases of CC/ID theft that when investigated is actually a child in the house and or friends of the victim's children. 

As for the rest of us, be prudent with data. Never use public wifi. Don't put things in the cloud, email, private chats, etc that you would be upset to see in a google search. Use a VPN and use encryption and check for encryption when sending any private details. Use strong passwords.

Best advice, be skeptical, if it seems weird or out of context or too good to be true, assume its wrong and move on, their is no reputable company that will send you a single contact for something important. And always feel free to reach out to the supposed source for confirmation.

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:42AM EST.
Nov 10, 8:24PM EST0

Trump's Twitter got hacked by a Twitter employee which raises the question how do you secure information when you have to have employees working with it? What are your thoughts on this?

Nov 5, 11:01AM EST0

So there is a lot of cannon in the CyberSecurity world about access controls. The problem is generally they are a pain in a$$ so most of the time people skirt the rules - share passwords, use system accounts, login for each other etc. So the simple answer (stock answer) is there was no reason/incident that should have provided access for that employee to be able to even interact with that account. The real truth is for that to work you need to have a simple system that is simple to use and simple to implement. 

Now a part of me wants to assume Twitter has some system in place - yet I have seen other large companies that should know better, where those assumptions have been wrong. Basically, in this case though for something as "bigly" as deactivating an account, there should be multiple approvers to avoid rogue operators. 

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:44AM EST.
Nov 10, 8:11PM EST0

What is your favourite project from all the ones you have worked on and why?

Nov 5, 9:37AM EST0

Oh man, that is tough. Its a little like asking a parent what child they love the most. I think top 5 I could maybe do. Boon VR - because it is so out in greenfield, HAZL - because writing a language is like nothing else, a now defunct personal/private social networking site made for couples to stay in love (personal motivations), a lot of the tech at Sports Media 101 before it was sold - basically automated things to run a large portion of the complicated business processes hands off, and I know this isnt techinically a product - but the course I teach - I think code security is the gap right now that allows for breaches like Equifax ( although not specifically the case there).

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:45AM EST.
Nov 10, 7:59PM EST0

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Nov 4, 11:56PM EDT0

Many things. Strangely none of them were really close to what I do now: Doctor, Lawyer, Detective, Egyptologist, Paleontologist, Writer, Artist. However, I got hooked on coding when I was 12. Although, I did take a left turn for a few years while coding trying my hand at some other things - successful, but it wasn't coding.

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:47AM EST.
Nov 10, 7:46PM EST0

Do you think coding should be a subject in schools?

Nov 4, 10:51PM EDT0

I think coding should be available in school as a subject. I think a variety of coding should be offered. I think an intro to coding basics should be offered or maybe required.

However, I think there is a mentality some people have that coding is the future and future generations are going to be walking around coding all the time. 

Computers and devices that are based on small computers - phones, VR headsets, IoT are definetly going to permeate almost everything we do. But the idea that teaching coding in school or making it a required subject will make this army of coders is silly. Its like thinking everyone who takes woodshop will grow up to be a carpenter. 

I do think having a basic understanding of how the things we interact with all the time  (see above) work and a basic literacy in how they take instruction is critically important to the flow of how business will happen in the future.

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:50AM EST.
Nov 10, 7:41PM EST0

Hello Pieter! How long has Boon VR been around for? How is it being received in the medical sector so far?

Nov 4, 5:54PM EDT0

Boon has been around for about 1.5 years. So far all the doctors and med tech companies love the product and the way it is changing their ability to train. 

One of my favorite things is watching the doctors put on the headset for the first time. I get to see them react to being in a "real" but in VR operating room.  Their head is on a swivel, jaw agape and in awe of how much things are about to change. Its like a child watching a movie at a movie theater for the first time. 

Last edited @ Nov 11, 10:51AM EST.
Nov 10, 7:32PM EST0
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