Know this Nerd? Meet Christopher Deutsch



Christopher DeutschThanks to The Nerdery for underwriting our new series ‘Know this Nerd?’

Christopher Deutsch is a independent software developer from Maple Grove, Minnesota where he runs Make Rocket Go Now from his home office.  When he’s not driving fast cars, Christopher can be found coding web and mobile applications.

To nominate a nerd for future consideration, drop us a line.

When and how did you originally become interested in technology?

I’ve always loved learning how things work, but for computers specifically it came relatively late in life when I was 18 and my Dad taught me how to build a computer. Shortly after I was put in a room full of used XT and 286 computers, with some manuals and reference books and was paid to see how many I could make work. They each needed to have 2 parallel port cards and a network card, so I learned a lot about IRQs and DMA jumper settings.

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

19 during my first Computer Science class in college. It was written in Ada and printed my name in asterisks. I still have the original source that you can run here:

Which do you prefer in programming, the struggle or the achievement?

Definitely the achievement, but the struggle is where the real learning happens.

What people, groups, projects, or resources were most influential in your development as programmer?

Definitely my Dad for introducing me to computers. I loved every Computer Science class and instructor I ever had. Bonnie Bennett from the University of St. Thomas really stressed how important networking and user groups are for career development. Took me about 10 years to figure out how right she was. I should have been practicing her advice earlier.

What do you do now? What languages are you proficient in?

I work from home as a freelance Web and mobile application developer for startups and small businesses. Javascript and C# are my bread and butter, but in my free time I’m doing Ruby.

What does agile software development mean to you?

To me “agile” is just a buzzword. I like to give my clients something to see as soon as possible so I can get feedback and iterate, is that agile?
The Nerdery

What do you enjoy about your career? What do you dislike?

I enjoy working at home and being in control of my own schedule. I never would have completed P90X if I had to be at a desk from 9 to 5.

I dislike having to tell people no, especially existing customers. I’ve had to decline some really good projects. Trying to level out the “feast or famine” nature of consulting is a challenge.

If you were to be doing anything else, what would that be?

Other then race car driver, I’d like to eventually use consulting to bootstrap or join a startup.

Where do you spend most of your time online?

Twitter is my newspaper. I use Pocket to save interesting links I want to read later.

What concerns you most about where technology is headed?

I worry about big companies and governments abusing the information we’re all putting online.

What excites you most about where technology is headed?

I love how powerful our phones are becoming and the increased capabilities being added. If I could own only one thing it’d be an iPhone. I can’t wait until it replaces my laptop and I can just have it wirelessly docked to a keyboard and display, then head to a store and use it to pay at checkout. Using your phone to talk to real world devices we use in our daily lives is going to be awesome which is why I’m super excited about projects like SmartThings.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

I’d like to thank all the local user group and event organizers, and the companies that support them, for continually improving the tech community in Minnesota.


  • Ethan

    I’ve had the great pleasure of working with Christopher over the last few months and have the best things to say about his passion for his work and utmost quality of skills.

  • Nate Flink

    Chris is a 133t hax0r!
    Great idea for a column!

  • Colin Hirdman

    We’ve worked with Christopher for over a year on a couple projects and can’t say enough good things about him. Being highly intelligent and a great communicator are just a couple of his quality traits…but most of all we appreciate his great sense of humor! Comes in handy during tough times. :) Look forward to learning about other “nerds” in the Twin Cities.

  • Clay Collins

    I’ve met with Chris and he’s a top rate dude. Thanks for covering him. He deserves this attention.


  • Corey Thompson

    Christopher is a first rate guy and first rate coder…
    I have never seen him drive a racecar, so no info on that…