Know This Nerd? Meet Mark Allan Puchala II

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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.

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Know This Nerd? Meet Aaron Ackerman

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Aaron Ackerman is a Freelance Software Engineer in Minnesota.

 

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

When I was young we had many game consoles: NES, SNES, several GameBoys, N64, Dreamcast, PS1, PS2, XBox, and on. My parents bought the family nearly all the systems except for a GameCube and Sega Saturn, I guess we didn’t ask for those ones. Needless to say, we were not outdoor kids. Along with the consoles, we had a Commodore 64 that we would play games on. Eventually the Commodore was upgraded into Windows95, Windows98, WindowsME, and Vista.

I was always fascinated with playing games and by what you could do with computers and that led me into wanting to build software and taking programming classes in high school.

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Know This Nerd? Meet Zach Aaberg

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Programmer Zach Aaberg is a student of data science, geospacial data, artificial intelligence and healthcare analytics.

He is among hundreds of local freelancers for hire.

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

Classic video games like Duck Hunter, Super Mario, and Sonic were the likely culprits for my initial interest in technology. I also remember having PC games that would occasionally get hung up and I’d go into the game’s files to find a way to make it to the next level.

What was the first programming language you learned?

The first programming language I learned was Python. I built an ArcGIS tool that calculated the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation(RUSLE) so I could estimate the amount of soil that was eroding into local area lakes. The calculation was based on factors like average rainfall, soil type, slope, and others.

I learned how to use other bits of code here and there prior to that
project, but never embraced the opportunity to learn more than the basics.

What do you do now?

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Know This Nerd? Meet Cam Schnackel

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Cam Schnackel is freelance software engineer in Minnesota.

 

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

I’ve been interested in technology ever since I was in the 3rd grade. My older sister at the time was dabbling in some HTML/CSS and taught me some of the basics. I coded a number of super basic fan sites for various goofy things that I enjoyed at the time (primarily Yu-Gi-Oh!). It wasn’t until recently that I decided to make a career out of coding, but I’ve been keeping myself informed with new technologies and products for years now.

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Know This Nerd? Meet Tim Brown

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Tim Brown is a Freelance Front-end Developer and Web Designer with Hook Agency.

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

My bus stop was at the library when I was 11-12, and after I had read most of the comics in my favorite series’, I would hop on the internet and ‘surf the web’ – first to look at jokes websites, and then I wanted to make my own jokes websites.

I found ‘Homestead.com’ which had this (in hindsight god-awful) website builder that I thought was absolutely amazing.

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Know This Nerd? Meet Mike Boardley

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Mike Boardley is a Freelance Senior Front End Developer With Comfy Chair Consulting.

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

My dad was a programmer in the 80s so I grew up around computers.

What was the first programming language you learned?

Coldfusion

What do you do now?

I am Senior Front End Developer for Comfy Chair Consulting, Inc..
I primarily build custom WordPress sites using a custom theme I built.
My goal is to build single page WordPress sites using Vue.js

How did you develop the skill sets to get to where you are today?

The short version: building lots and lots of websites.

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Know This Nerd? Meet Matthew Dangerfield

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Matthew Dangerfield is a local freelance software developer for hire.

 
What initially sparked your interest in technology?

My Dad is a software developer, so he initially got me interested. He started teaching me to program when I was only about 8. I liked having the ability to create anything I wanted.

What was the first programming language you learned?

Scratch, a block-based drag and drop introductory programming language from MIT. I had a lot of fun making games with it.

What do you do now?

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Know This Nerd? Meet Matthew Scofield

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Matthew Scofield is an applications developer (Java / C#) and local freelancer for hire.

 

What initially sparked your interest in technology?

Even as a kid, I could never seem to reconcile how we each somehow live together yet existentially isolated. I had a dream: I started to see myself like Jeff Bridges in Tron charting thoughtfully along some glowing blue stream carrying a sincere hope. I had an idea that ubiquitous communication could transcend all barriers to bring scattered “tribes” together (at least as closely as possible in this brief imperfect life :).

Ok, well all that, plus, my uncle would bring over a 1985 IBM PC-5155-68 to let me play Flight Simulator 2.0 on DOS 2.10 and if you missed it, that was EPIC.

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Know This Nerd? Meet Sarah German

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Sarah German is a senior back end developer and local freelancer for hire.

 
What initially sparked your interest in technology?

In 8th grade, I was a guitarist in a band called the Ice Cream Señoritas. If you were into the underground alt-rock scene of Prairie Village, Kansas in 1998, you may have heard of us. Anyways, we were in desperate need of a website, so I made us one on GeoCities.

What was the first programming language you learned?

Learned a little QBasic in elementary school, then took an 11 year hiatus from the whole programming thing and later learned ColdFusion in college.

What do you do now?

Back-end development and tech spec writing for Drupal and WordPress projects. I work with PHP and JavaScript mostly. And spreadsheets.

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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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