Cyber security. Progamming. Linux-based systems. And of course, the occasional video game.
Such is life for our intern, Evan Kammermeier, who won Paragon IT Professionals’ IT Leadership Forum Technology Scholarship earlier this month.
The scholarship was awarded to nine high school students from all around the state. All the winners intend to pursue a tech-related degree, including Evan, who will continue his education at Iowa State University.
Keep reading to learn more about our young visionary in-training, who talks about his tech heroes, how he spends his free time, and what he imagines his dream job would be like.
Start of by telling everyone a little about yourself:
I'm currently a high school senior at Valley High School in West Des Moines, Iowa. I have been an intern at Visionary since the summer of 2013.
In that time I have had the opportunity to work on a variety of projects at Visionary, learn about different career paths and jobs in the technology industry, and enhance my programming skills.
I'm planning on continuing my involvement with technology in college by attending Iowa Sate University this fall to study Computer Engineering.
Why are you choosing to attend Iowa State and what will you be studying there?
I chose Iowa State primarily because of the school's academics. I plan on majoring in Computer Engineering, so when the time came to apply to colleges I was looking for good engineering schools.
Iowa State's engineering program combined with the fact that Iowa State is relatively close to Des Moines made the school my first choice.
What areas of IT and computer science are you interested in? Is it mostly programming?
My first interest with computers was programming. I have always been interested in computers since I was young, so when I had the opportunity to take a computer programming class in my sophomore year of high school, I jumped at the chance. I enjoyed the class immensely and immediately knew that programming was something that I would be interested pursuing a career in.
Since my sophomore year, I’ve continued learning more about and working with different programming languages. More recently I've had the opportunity to take some computer security classes which focus more on computer hardware and networking. I've found the subject to be just as interesting as programming, and I intend to learn more about computer security and hardware in addition to programming and software development in the future.
What do you feel would be your dream job and why?
While I do know that my dream job would definitely be in the technology sector, I'm not sure exactly what it would look like. Most likely my dream job would be working as either a software engineer or as a cyber security professional.
Do you have any tech heroes, such as Steve Jobs, Jack Dorsey, or Mark Zuckerberg? If so, why do you look up to them?
I'm a fan of Linus Torvalds' work developing and maintaining the Linux kernel. With the large role that Linux-based systems have in the technology field today, it's hard to think of a world without the Linux kernel or without Torvalds.
What do you like to do in your free time? Any side projects you’ve been developing?
Most of my free time is taken up with either learning more about technology or playing the occasional video game now and then. I'm working on learning the C programming language right now, in addition to studying cyber security and network administration on my own.
What have you learned so far during your internship at Visionary?
My internship at Visionary has been invaluable in letting me see what the working environment is actually like at a technology company and getting hands-on experience with a variety of different career paths that I might follow.
Being able to see first hand just how a technology company operates, how different team members work together, and how a project progresses through the different stages of design and development to completion has been very helpful in giving me a more grounded, realistic idea of what working in the technology industry is like.
In addition to getting a more accurate idea of what working in the technology industry in general is like, my internship at Visionary has given me the opportunity to experience the daily routines of different positions in the technology field. Not only have I learned about working in the technology industry, I've also learned PHP and SQL, two skills which I did not have prior to coming to Visionary.
The combination of career information and actual technical experience that I've gotten through my time at Visionary has made this internship an incredibly useful tool in preparing me for a career in technology.
What’s been your favorite thing about your internship at Visionary?
My favorite thing about my internship at Visionary would have to be the people that I get the opportunity to work with on a daily basis. I get the opportunity to interact with many knowledgeable professionals who know a variety of programming languages, have a plethora of prior experiences, and are willing to help me with any problems or questions I may have. Working with and learning from them is an experience that I would not really be able to get in a classroom or from studying on my own, and I value the benefits I get from working with them.
Anything else we should know?
I'm incredibly thankful to have been given this opportunity by Visionary. It means so much to me that the Visionary team was so willing to let me come in and work and learn with them in the helpful, accepting way that they did.
My internship at Visionary has given me more insight into the technology industry, programming, and what I would like to do as a career than I ever could have hoped to learn when I first arrived at Visionary.