8/11/2014– Ken Nierenhausen
I’m Ken. I am the first new hire that happens to not have gone to Olin. I come from San Diego, and after receiving my degree in Computer Engineering from UCSD I’m excited to be joining the team.
During my time in San Diego I focused a lot on lower level software development and design; architecture, networking, things like that. I interned at Pico Digital as well as ViaSat Inc. During my time at UCSD I became interested in the startup world due to local entrepreneurs like Brant Cooper. I decided to give it a try and started working on the early stages of my own startup with a couple buddies of mine. We called ourselves Allnighters and were focused on bringing up to date sales, deals, and discounts directly to your phone based off your location. Although we did have a taste of success thanks to San Diego’s up and coming startup scene, our team fell apart as we did not have the resources or support that we needed to continue. My failures taught me a lot, and I joined an on-campus startup incubator as a student advisor to try and help teams make it further than I did. It was a great experience that instilled in me an entrepreneurial mindset.
Before graduation, seeing that I didn’t have my own startup anymore, I accepted an offer with a big name software company.
After graduation I took a trip to San Francisco to experience where I was going to be working. This is where I managed to get ahold of Jon McKay, an old friend who had started his own company. I was interested in seeing how managing his own startup was going so I went and saw the place. It was fantastic. There was a brilliant team of software and hardware developers and I wanted to be part of it. Jon asked me to interview and after a few discussions, interviews, and a contracted project, I was lucky enough to get onboard with the visionary members of Technical Machine. I said no to the big name software company and made my way to Berkeley.
My main focus here will be on firmware and runtime. My first big project is going to be trying to get Tessel to be as node compatible as possible. In the meantime I’ll be working on improving the performance of Tessel runtime as well as incorporating some new ideas into firmware.
I’m excited to be part of the team and look forward to interacting with all of you. If you want to contact me feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org