August 22, 2014

Meet the Squirrels: Jon Zelasko

This is the ninth post in an ongoing Meet the Squirrels series. Read more in this series.

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Jon is from Alliance, Ohio and is a developer at Squirrels. Specifically, he works on the Windows versions of all the applications. Jon makes sure that all Squirrels Windows apps behave as they were designed.

Working with Slingshot for Windows has been the coolest thing Jon has done at Squirrels, along with private projects he’s currently working on that are not yet released to the public!

“The best part about working at Squirrels is the energy,” he said. “It comes from the camaraderie of the employees, but it’s part of what makes our products so good.  We’re all friends, so we imagine the intended user with that same friendly respect and thus we aim to make the user experience as good as possible.  Also, having friendly co-workers and good products really helps having a job one can be proud of.”

Learn more about Jon!

Favorite things to do in your free time: Biking, dancing, spending time with friends, spending time with family, improving my home and building Lego sets.

Favorite food: I don’t have a specific favorite food, but I’m a big fan of the things served at the restaurants I can’t go to everyday like the hot dogs at Dirty Franks in Columbus, the wraps at Thatsa Wrapp in downtown Canton or the really good sushi at a few select places in the area.

TV show: The West Wing

Movie: Casino Royale

Band/artist: Again, I don’t have a specific favorite, but it’s because my musical tastes are always in flux so I might be really into the music of an indie folk band one week and very much digging the funk-synth-pop of another band/artist the next.

Your idol and why: My grandfather.  He’s humble, he’s intelligent and he’s worked hard to make a good life for his family.

Your motto: Never say never.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? I’d be a party animal or Animal from the Muppets.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? A scientist.  When I started college I settled for being a doctor, but I found that I wasn’t a fan of Biology (though I loved Chemistry) so I eventually became a computer scientist (or at least that’s what my degree says anyway).

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Telekinesis, the ability to move and control objects with one’s mind.  It’d be like having most of the best super powers all in one: Flight?  Lift and move myself. Super speed?  Move myself faster. Super strength?  Move or push things with my mind to enhance existing strength. Plus, it would really help doing two things at once, so it’d save me time cooking and cleaning and whatnot.

August 19, 2014

Squirrels Joins Forces with Habitat for Humanity

Recently, members of the Squirrels team and a few friends spent a Saturday morning giving back to the community. Squirrels joined forces with Habitat for Humanity, a world-wide organization that helps provide safe and affordable housing for families. Not only does Habitat for Humanity build and restore homes, it teaches buyers how to get out of debt and how to care for new homes. 

Habitat for Humanity Stark acquired a house in Massillon, Ohio and needed volunteers to help get the inside of the home ready to sell. Squirrels worked hard and got dirty, spending the day wiping down, painting and trimming the walls and ceilings of every room in the house. 

Many of the Squirrels employees grew up in and around the Stark county area. “We’re headquartered here, and this area has proved to be a great area to grow a company,” Squirrels cofounder Andrew Gould said.

“We’re lucky enough to be successful, and we welcomed the chance to give back to those less fortunate than us in the area,” he continued. “Habitat for Humanity seemed like a great way for us to satisfy our desire to work hard and give a family a chance to build something successful from humble beginnings—just like we did.” 

For more information on how you can volunteer with Habitat for Humanity in your area, visit their website to learn more about how to get involved

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August 15, 2014

Meet the Squirrels: Stephen Gerstacker

This is the eighth post in an ongoing Meet the Squirrels series. Read more in this series.

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Stephen is a senior application developer. A Dover, Ohio native, he writes and designs software for Squirrels. Stephen’s talents allow him to work with software across all platforms.

Since starting at Squirrels, Stephen has enjoyed attending Apple’s World Wide Developers Conference last year the most. “Attending WWDC had always been a dream of mine, and the company made sure I got to go,” he said.

In his opinion, the best part about working at Squirrels is his co-workers. “This is more of a team than a company, so it makes the day-to-day work a lot more enjoyable.”

Learn more about Stephen!

Favorite things to do in your free time: I spend my free time tinkering on computers.

Favorite food: Indian Food

TV show: Monty Python’s Flying Circus

Movie: O Brother, Where Art Thou?

Band/artist: De La Soul

Your idol and why: I couldn’t say I have a specific idol, but I try to take inspiration from a lot of people. I enjoy people’s perspectives on and approaches to the world. This includes Salvador Dalí, MC Escher, Terry Gilliam, Grace Hopper and Stanley Kubrick. There’s probably more, but this list is getting pretentious enough as is…

Your motto: I don’t really have a motto, but I try to live by the “Do unto others…” “Be excellent to each other” ethos.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Probably a dog. There’s something to be said for a simple life.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? In my actual words, “a digger truck driver.”

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Flying. That seems like the most fun.

August 11, 2014

Squirrels Assemble Second Largest LEGO Set Ever Created

Some of the folks in the Squirrels office are big fans of Star Wars, and others are fans of LEGO sets. We combined both passions and had a large-group, long-running assembly of one of the largest LEGO sets ever produced—the 10179 Millennium Falcon. It’s a rare item, and at 5197 pieces, it’s massive. Check out some of our assembly shots below! 

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Next up, we’ll be assembling 10143: Death Star II, and we’ll surely be building some of the other largest sets, too!