Factory VisitSodick America

Mark Picasso Interview with Mark Picasso
(Software Manager)
In his dream job as a software engineer,
he's developing the manufacturing of the
future in a hub of leading-edge technology.
Interviewer: Miki Shimamura, Caribou Inc.

Born in 1981. After gaining a bachelor's degree in computer engineering at San José State University, he was employed at Intel's manufacturing department. Joined Sodick America in 2007 and started a career as a software engineer. Took charge of the "Sm-ART" software that links to the NC unit and customizes screens, and commercialized the software. As a software manager, he currently manages the "Sm-ART" software and liaises between Japan and Shanghai divisions to develop a user interface incorporating leading-edge technologies.

From a game-enthusiast youth to an engineer creating software incorporating leading-edge technologies.

Mark, you were born and raised in Silicon Valley. What brought you to your present job?

I am really familiar with computers and I started using them at the start of the 90s. I learned the basics of DOS commands through shoot 'em up games and action games like "Duke Nukem", "Jungle Jill", "Doom", and "Prince of Persia". And then I became curious as to how these games worked and got caught up in the world of computers. I decided to study computing at university and then realized my dream of becoming an engineer.

What kind of development have you involved in Sodick America?

Since joining the company, I have been in charge of the development of the "Sm-ART" software. After repeated trial and error through several versions, we commercialized the software after four years.
"Sm-ART" is software that creates a user interface linked to the "M4LINK" NC unit built into Sodick machines. It was intended to provide simple and easy-to-use screens which the user can use intuitively.

More interactive handling allows support for users around the world.
Striving to develop state-of-the-art user interface software.

Tell us more about "Sm-ART".

Mark Picasso Screen of previous version
(before Sm-ART)
Latest screen generated by Sm-ART First and foremost, "Sm-ART" comprises three programs. "Sm-ART-B" (B stands for Builder) creates tools such as forms, buttons, labels, combo boxes, and check boxes, and makes screens. It is used by middle users. Next, "Sm-ART Interface" creates a screen on the machine based on data output from the smart builder. This is an application for the end users. The third program is "Sm-ART Language". As Sodick is a worldwide corporation, our customers speak various languages. This program allows computers to display different languages.
These three programs form "Sm-ART".

Before completing the program, you really did work by trial and error through a number of versions.

Even when "Sm-ART" was complete, it doesn't operate on its own because it is software. As Sm-ART has to work together with software created by various Sodick divisions, it is essential for us to fully understand the software developed by various people in our group companies. It was fun learning new things, but at times, it was difficult to overcome challenges that came along. So, it really took four years to complete the software.