Know This Nerd? Meet Mark Allan Puchala II



Mark Allan Puchala II is a Junior Developer for hire/freelance in Minnesota.

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

I realized that if you use technology just right, even a goal as insane as “accomplish literally everything in the world” can be broken down into many series of reasonable, meaningful solutions that could provide lasting impacts on the welfare of others. So I’d like to see just how much I can contribute to the world by simplifying anything I work on into simple, automatable tasks.

What was the first programming language you learned?

I picked up “Head First C#” because creating a game sounded like a mind-blowing accomplishment at the time and it said it would have me recreate Galaga.

What do you do now?

I’m just out with my Computer Science Associate’s Degree, trying to find my first Junior Developer job.

How did you develop the skillsets to get to where you are today?

Virtually everything in my life has been self-study. I have explored TED Talks, Big Think (on Youtube), and follow the people who I find interesting. I then brainstorm what it would take to accomplish something similar, and figure out what parts of that story could be useful & implementable in my life right now.

What tools do you use on a daily basis?

Atom, Github Desktop, Apple Pages, Sketchable (Windows 10 app I use to brainstorm), Terminal.

What is your favorite part of your job?

Still looking for work, I enjoy all the time & effort it takes to ensure I’m developing my workflows portfolio towards meaningful goals and not just getting off on tangential learning for the sake of tangential learning.

What is your biggest programming pet peeve?

I can’t force-click a function to see a small preview of its inner workings without leaving the Text-Editor.

Any advice for people considering a career in programming?

Introduce yourself to communities within Github, StackOverflow, and attend local tech meetups. Every time you don’t know how to progress with even the simplest thing, start a conversation with someone saying “I have no idea what to do about this”.

Where do you think technology will be as it relates to you in five years?

In relation to myself, I hope to have fully built a self-evolving AI that works alongside me as my personal assistant.

What was the coolest, but most useless bit of programming you’ve seen lately?

I actually turned to google for this so I could look like I’m so hip, and interestingly enough Java as a whole was one of the top results. Poor Java earning so much hate. ):

What are some things you’re into outside of tech?

Negotiating, Compassion, Cooking, Self-care, the concept of marginal cost, Musical theory & culture, relocation (literally, just how to relocate to a new place and act like a local as quickly as possible), and maaanyy more.