Andy's memories of using the computer date back to futzing with the Commodore 64 and watching his father play games on the family's Amiga, but it wasn't until late in high school that he started exploring the web and became an intentional user of free and open source software. In college at the University of Wisconsin some of his time was lost trying out lesser known linux distributions - remember Corel Linux? - but the bulk went toward earning his Bachelor's degree in Computer Science.
After a brief stint developing with proprietary technologies, Andy has spent almost the last 15 years around or near Java, doing everything from web apps to batch jobs to swing apps. More recently, Scala and Haskell are fighting for his attention. He is currently avoiding the temptation to write yet another monad tutorial.
Outside of work Andy helps to organize the Chicago Area Scala Enthusiasts (CASE) Meetup group and frequently attends several other meetups. To relax, Andy likes to spend time with his wife playing co-op video games or traipsing around a new Chicago neighborhood.
Cedric Hurst is Principal and founder at Spantree. He spends a lot of time thinking about how to apply cutting-edge open source solutions to business and everyday problems. Before starting Spantree, he had a stint at IBM as an open source evangelist. He also founded a startup to create secure wireless networks in the early 2000s. He loves working with Groovy, Elasticsearch, rules engines, and devops tools. In his spare time, Cedric also speaks at technical meetups, makes music and mentors students. If he wasn't building software for a living, his fallback career is to become a record store clerk.
Dan is a Software Engineer from Grand Rapids, MI, where he lives with his wife Kayla and his dog Bowie. When not learning a new language, framework, or piece of tech, Dan enjoys playing Nintendo games and spending time with friends.
An educator-turned-developer, Dan got his start in the software industry testing embedded automotive infotainment systems. He is currently a part-time Masters student at Grand Valley State University focusing on Web Architectures. A self-described conference junkie, Dan can be found organizing community events and software meetups groups all over West Michigan.
Eileen is a software developer with a background in Java. She became interested in coding while working as an in-person counselor under the ACA, when healthcare.gov taught her that tech greatly can greatly influence access to social services. Outside of work, Eileen enjoys attending tech meet-ups, reading, and cooking.
Justin has been a tinkerer interested in computers since the first time that he got his hands on one. After convincing his high school geometry teacher that programming a computer to do the homework for you shows a command of the subject, he decided to make a career of it! After going to school for Computer Science and Mathematics Justin started his professional career at AT&T doing internal consulting with a variety of technologies in the telecom space. Always curious about how things work and trying to press the envelope, Justin has continued to broaden his technical skill set over the past 10 years.
At Slalom, Justin spent the last several years bringing solid engineering principles into the full software delivery lifecycle. Justin has been particularly excited helping clients adjust their development methodologies and technology stack to best leverage that AWS platform. Justin has a passion for finding the right tool for the job and is currently in love with all things Hashicorp and Kubernetes.
If you can’t find Justin at one of the many Meetups in Chicago he attends, you can probably find him playing with his daughter, spending time with friends and family or out on a boat.
Kevin is a Senior Software Engineer, and the primary math nerd. After brief stints in physics and academic math, he realized the creation of things was just as important as the theory, and became a full time programmer. Possessing a hodge podge of tools for any job, he particularly enjoys Clojure, Elixir, Kotlin, and pretty much every data store in existence.
If you ever want to math out, Kevin would love to talk about cryptography, algebra, graph theory, or number theory. In his spare time, his preferences and hobbies tend to change with the moon, but generally board games, RPGs, and some form of creation lie at the heart of them all.
As Spantree's Operations Manager, Liz ensures our engineers have the ideal environment in which to innovate for our clients, and that our clients have a seamless experience while working with Spantree. Liz joins Spantree from the Chicago office of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE), an international nonprofit that engages young people in school by teaching them the fundamentals of business and entrepreneurship. In her free time, Liz enjoys cooking, binge watching the latest Netflix original series, and finding the best bowl of ramen in Chicago (follow along on ramenadventure.tumblr.com).
Richard is Spantree's resident language nerd. Originally trained in classical literature, he spent most of a decade in academia doing research on machine learning for morphology in non-projective languages, as well as scalable indices for storing and querying syntactical annotations. At Spantree, he specializes in modern strongly-typed programming languages, especially Scala and Go, with a side interest in DevOps. You are somewhat likely to encounter him performing electronic music in various Chicago venues.
Roberto Guerra is a developer living in the Caribbean. He likes to volunteer code to NGOs targeting under-represented communities. In his spare time, he likes to read fantasy books, goof around with his three dogs and try to make his girlfriend happy.
Sebastian Otaegui is a system admin currently living in Buenos Aires. He started his career working as one of the web hosting administrators in the eBusiness hosting team at IBM, soon he got tired of the red tape that big organizations suffer. After working for one year for a very large extended warranty company, he was asked to move to Chicago to work as the team leader for the web hosting administration team. During the six years working at The Warranty Group he met Cedric. Sebastian and Cedric became friends and begun introducing concepts that back then didn't have a name and today are known as DevOps practices.
In his free time, Sebastian enjoys trying new technologies, watching movies with his wife and playing Star Wars The Old Republic. Fun fact about Sebastian is he played rugby for 14 years.