Know This Nerd? Meet Sarah Marrone

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Sarah Marrone is a freelance front-end developer in Minnesota.

What initially sparked your interest in technology and what was the first programming language you learned?

In my first job out of college, I was eventually tasked with maintaining the website. This was my first exposure to coding and it got me thinking about pursuing it as a career option. HTML was the language.

What do you do now?

Front-end development, using HTML, Ractive, CSS, Javascript

How did you develop the skillsets to get to where you are today? Did you have formal training or were you largely self-taught?

Kind of a combination, in the beginning I took a couple workshops but was mainly self-taught, lots of Googling. Then when I made the decision to switch careers, I enrolled at Prime Digital Academy and completed their bootcamp. That gave me a good jump start, and from there I’ve continued learning on my own and on the job (and there’s still plenty of Googling).

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Know This Nerd? Meet Chak Potluri

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Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 8.31.11 AMChak Potluri is a freelance software developer in Minnesota.

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

I am originally from India and we had 1 hour of computer games per week. I was excited to play MARIO and bird shooting games.This sparked interest in exploring how these were built.

What was the first programming language you learned?

My first programming language was BASIC. It was fun to write small programs when I was kid and see a big box called a computer respond to my instructions.

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Know This Nerd? Meet Jared Sieling

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JaredJared Sieling is a freelance software developer in Minnesota.

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

When I was real little my dad brought home an Apple II computer, with the big floppy disks, and I’d spend hours going through all the disks, starting them up, and seeing what their programs did. Mesmerized me. Of course, the games took up most my time, with Lode Runner being the best and Oregon Trail a close second. (Let the debate begin!)

What was the first programming language you learned?

Visual Basic. In 7th grade, I learned it to build a study tool for my geography class.

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Know This Nerd? Meet Brian Saycocie

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Brian Saycocie

Brian Saycocie is a Front End Engineer with Thomson Reuters and a local freelancer for hire.

When and how did you originally become interested in technology?

My earliest memory was back in elementary school, I was first introduced to a IBM PC and played one of the greatest games at the time, Oregon Trail.

At what age did you write your first computer program?  What did it do?

In my early teens, I got my hands on Macromedia Dreamweaver (before they were bought out by Adobe) and built my first, yet terrible website.
Think table layout with inline styles.

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Know this Nerd? Meet Caylan Larson

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CaylanLarsonCaylan Larson an iOS and Mac OS developer based Winona, Minnesota.

When and how did you originally become interested in technology?

I have memories of playing games on a Commodore 64. A distant uncle was a game hacker and he would put arcade games on 5-1/4 floppies. Sadly, the Commodore was our family’s last computer until the summer I turned 15 and saved my lawn mowing and MN State Fair concession stand wages to afford Apple’s new 1998 Bondi Blue iMac.

At what age did you write your first computer program? What did it do?

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Know this Nerd? Meet Mitchell Nick

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Mitchell NickMitchell Nick is a full stack feelanceweb developer who likes to “Build awesome stuff on the web in Ruby on Rails.”

When and how did you originally become interested in technology?

I remember plopping in a floppy disk and having green text flash across the screen. I’ve been hooked since. Jeez, I feel old saying that.

At what age did you write your first computer program? What did it do?

This is embarrassing, but my first real computer program (not just small snippets of code) was written in VBA during an internship. I helped a call center that had high levels of seasonal calls determine how many people to staff and what hours they should
work to have less than a 2 minute hold time at 90% confidence level.
It worked like a charm.

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Know this Nerd? Meet Andrew Robbins

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AndrewRobbinsThank you to The Nerdery for underwriting the Know this Nerd? series.

Andrew Robbins is an independent developer from Minneapolis who “makes the web beautiful.”

When and how did you originally become interested in technology?

The first time I remember being mesmerized by technology was when I was around 11 years old. After retirement, my Grandpa brought home an HP computer which at the time was running Windows 95. I remember sitting on that thing for hours at a time— completely intrigued by the whole experience. I would spent most of my time creating folders / files and of course creating masterpieces in MS Paint.

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Know this Nerd? Meet Aaron Babcock

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AaronBabcockThank you to The Nerdery for underwriting the Know this Nerd? series. 

Aaron Babcock is an independent Data Science Developer from the Twin Cities.

When and how did you originally become interested in technology?

Like a lot of developers, it was video games that first grabbed my attention. That naturally lead to trying to hack things up for an in game advantage or creating new content.

At what age did you write your first computer program? What did it do?

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Know this Nerd? Meet Micah Iverson

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Micah_IversonThank you to The Nerdery for underwriting the Know this Nerd? series.

Micah Iverson is a freelance user interface/experience designer based out of Minneapolis.

When and how did you originally become interested in technology?

Back when I was in 3rd grade or so (I’m 34 now, you do the math), our local town library had just setup an Apple computer with a dot-matrix printer. Using the paint program at the time I placed some clipart of a snowman and a tiger on a page and printed it out – it was so very cool. I of course had to show my older brother my awesome design skills – which he of course promptly made fun of me for putting a snowman and a tiger together.

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Know this Nerd? Meet Martin Grider

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Martin_GriderThank you to The Nerdery for underwriting the Know this Nerd? series.

Martin Grider is a freelance developer from Minneapolis (most often) found at the intersection of mobile and gaming.

When and how did you originally become interested in technology?

I honestly can’t remember a time I wasn’t interested in technology! I was in the Minneapolis math/science/technology magnet school program from kindergarten to tenth grade. I took my first programming course (learning BASIC on an Apple II GS) in 7th or 8th grade, but even before that I remember playing games on my grandfather’s Commodore 64.

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