16.2.2. Bryan Hickerson

"Having a product that actually has an impact, doing work that has an impact, [and] being able to have a strong influence was really impactful for me."

Picture of Bryan

How did he get into computing?

“I was always interested in video games as a kid. And I thought that was a very magical thing. But my dad also was a system administrator at Boeing. So, he helped me build my own computer and give me access to computers at a really young age. I think those two influences were probably the main things that got me really interested in computers.”

What kind of company does he work at?

“I work at a startup, and I started as employee number three. Now we’re at over 200 employees. Th[e] ability to have agency and ownership [at a startup] was very powerful for me.”

Brian started out by working at IBM, a large firm. He eventually transitioned to a start-up because he enjoyed the greater freedom and autonomy there.

What keeps him in computing?

“There is some level of motivation now around teaching others… There’s the level of understanding where you can work or do something, and then there’s a level of understanding that you actually need to be able to effectively articulate that to someone. There’s a slight difference. And it also just allows you to see it from a new perspective.”

What subfield is he interested in?

“I came from doing a very different kind of programming to doing web development. I didn’t know what I was doing, and a lot of it was learning.”

Bryan is currently a manager, but he started with his company as a web developer. He actually entered the industry as a low-level, database programmer. Once he joined his current company, he made the transition to web development.

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