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  • By Julie Griffin
    Developer Spotlight: Brendan Michaelsen BMichaelsen2.png

    Brendan Michaelsen is a builder through and through. He may not always have a standard roadmap, but that doesn’t stop him from charting his own path.

    While attending Purdue University, Brendan opened a software consulting company out of his friend’s dorm room.

    “I had never really done a lot of software before but was starting to get into the programming way of life,” Brendan commented.

    He initially started building iOS apps for small businesses owned by friends and family before moving on to larger clients like Purdue University and the city of West Lafayette. From wildlife guide apps to an app that scans vouchers for restaurants and marketing websites for hair salons, Brendan was immersed in a learn-by-doing way of life. He dedicated all of his time outside of class to his business, PearCircuit.

    When he graduated in 2016, Brendan and his partner decided to take PearCircuit full time instead …

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  • By Julie Griffin
    Text Request's Multichannel Mission Text Request Blog Header

    Six-and-a-half years ago, Brian and Jamey Elrod finished their meal at a restaurant in Chattanooga, TN, and looked around for their server. After waiting a while for the bill, wondering why they couldn’t get their server’s attention, they envisioned a solution to the lack of service.

    What if you could text into the restaurant? The message could show up with the corresponding table number on a big screen that would alert the server of the table’s need. Texting would eliminate a lot of the back and forth between diner and server to help make the experience of dining out more efficient and enjoyable.

    The initial idea for Text Request was born that day, although Text Request has evolved to encompass many more industries and use cases since its inception.

    “Text Request was founded out of recognizing an opportunity to help businesses communicate,” Brian explained.

    After more research and asking Rob …

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  • By Julie Griffin
    Developer Spotlight: Jozef Kutka JozefKutka_BlogHeader.png

    If Jozef Kutka had his druthers, he’d be out in nature riding his bike or running. As a developer and CTO for MeetFox, his view on software is rather untraditional.

    “I believe software makes life easier, but it’s not making it nicer.”

    He doesn’t like how much time we, as a society, spend in front of screens. He hopes that by working at MeetFox, the company can help people spend less time organizing meetings and reviewing schedules and more time face-to-face (virtually and in-person).

    MeetFox is a tool for professionals to manage meetings with online scheduling, integrated video calls, and direct payments. Originally called CoachFox, the company was focused on matching coaches to clients in an online platform. The company quickly pivoted once the founder, Susanne Klepsch, realized that a lot of the day-to-day of coaches was spent scheduling appointments, writing invoices, and doing other administrative tasks.

    By providing a …

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  • By Julie Griffin
    Developer Spotlight: Bernard Baker Bernard Baker Header

    Bernard Baker has a day job, but you wouldn’t believe it with the number of projects he juggles on a daily basis. By day he works for an e-commerce marketplace and in his spare time, he employs his programming skills to solve a variety of issues in our communities. Lately, he’s been focused on how to help people stay safe and connected during COVID-19.

    Solutions to stay connected

    Because of COVID-19, Baker found himself frequently calling his loved ones to check-in. In particular, he’s been talking to his parents who are high-risk. He got to thinking about people in crisis in developing countries who don’t have smartphones or internet. How do they stay connected to the ones they love when they can’t see them?

    During Twilio’s DEV hackathon, Baker decided to tackle this problem head-on. He built Let’s Connect, an app that allows you to “connect with other people …

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  • By Julie Griffin
    Developer Spotlight: Kristen Womack KristenWomack

    Kristen Womack may not be a traditional developer. She didn’t dream of building computers as a kid and she didn’t pursue a computer science degree. In fact, she studied sign language interpretation and linguistics in school. But, she is driven by something that fuels developers across the globe: “the hacky nature of wanting to make something work.” This nature has enabled her to use software and technology as the building blocks for her dreams.

    Her career spans a number of roles in the tech stratosphere. As a Technical Product Manager at Best Buy, she first learned about Twilio. She found her “curiosity about API strategy wouldn’t end” and Twilio stood out to her as one of the companies with the best API documentation.

    Her tech career grew as she co-created a Minneapolis chapter of the Geekettes and then co-founded the company, Hack the Gap, a hackathon designed …

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