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Get to Know Software Developer Kevin Connors

What is your professional background?
I started programming when I was 14. I did an independent study for an elective credit in high school, supervised by a computer science professor at Washington and Lee University.

I really enjoyed programming, so I decided to major in Computer Science at Grinnell College before I even arrived on campus, and never changed my mind.

The course curriculum at Grinnell is interesting – students start with Functional Programming in Racket, then learn low-level concepts and data structures in C, then learn Object-Oriented Programming in Java.

After that, the courses generally allow you to use whichever language is most suitable for the task. I particularly learned a lot from the Computer Architecture class.

I also studied abroad for one semester, In Budapest, at a school designed for CS majors. The most interesting class there was “Semantic and Declarative Technologies” where we learned prolog and declarative programming.

Outside of course work, I developed a virtual reality geologic simulation for a personal project, using C#/Unity. I used the same framework for a couple of research projects where we developed educational video games.

What are your hobbies outside of work?
I like to play the banjo, cook tasty meals, and play games.

What have you enjoyed about Visionary so far?
So far, the best part about Visionary is the people. Everyone here is friendly and willing to help! I’m also enjoying learning development processes from a real company with real clients. In the past, I’ve only worked on small-scale projects, mostly for educational purposes.

Where is your favorite place to eat in Des Moines?
I’m sure this will change since I just moved here, but I’m a big fan of going grocery shopping at Hy-Vee and eating a bunch of free samples.

What is your favorite season and why?
Season 2.

Best book or blog you've read lately?
I just read “The Three Body Problem”. (Minor SPOILERS)...It’s about a civilization that lives in a solar system with three stars (like three suns), which cause very unpredictable weather conditions, like extreme heat, or freezing cold. This wipes out the civilization over and over. It also is about Earth, in the period after the Chinese Civil War, to the present day, and their eventual interactions with these aliens from the three-sun solar system.

What is one thing you could not live a day without?
I don't know, I could probably go a day without pretty much anything. It’s not that hard to go a day without food or water or social interaction or what have you…

What are your words to live by?
The quieter you move, the more you can hear.

What are you loving at the moment?
I’ve been getting into Old School RuneScape after they launched it on mobile. I used to play this game as a kid and it’s a huge nostalgia trip.

Anything else we should know?
In high school, I lived in Catalonia for a year and attended a public Catalan school.

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