September 5, 2014

Meet the Squirrels: Matt Elsey

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

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A Green, Ohio native, Matt manages and develops the websites and web-based applications at Squirrels. He works very closely with the creative department to implement designs and the marketing team to assist in developing content that drives traffic to the websites. Along with being the web developer, he also takes prides in his title of “under-appreciated t-shirt model.”

 When asked about his coolest experience at Squirrels, he said, “I’ve had a lot of awesome experiences since joining the team. It’s hard to pick just one, but I would say that our company trip to Lake Tahoe ranks near the top of the list. Not only was it a great trip to a cool place, it was also a great relationship and team building opportunity. It really brought everyone together. I’m excited for the trip this year so that we can build on that and bring the newest employees into that experience.”

 Matt’s favorite part about working at Squirrels is the people. “I work with some of the most passionate, talented and creative people in the industry. On top of that, I consider everyone here a genuine friend. We all get along and work so well with one another. We really are a family here and I’m genuinely excited to come to work everyday.  Also, we build LEGOs!”

Learn more about Matt!

Favorite things to do in your free time: I’m a pretty simple guy. I enjoy spending time with my wife, family and friends. I also love to lift heavy things whilst wearing the smallest amount of sleeve allowed on a shirt.

Food: Protein

TV Show: Game of Thrones

Movie: Star Wars (all of them)

Band/Artist: Jimmy Eat World

Your idol and why: Sidney Keith. Because when I grow up I hope I can achieve the level of coolness he effortlessly displays on a daily basis.

Your motto: Eat all the protein. Lift all the things.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? A Sloth… obviously. 

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Again, I’m a simple guy that had simple dreams. I just wanted to be tall. Technically, I wanted to be taller than my dad. I’ll never give up on that dream despite the fact that people say it’s impossible at this point.

If you could have one super power, what would it be?  Definitely the ability to move things with my mind. Aside from the fact that it would be cool, there are just endless possibilities to mess with people with that ability.

September 2, 2014

Meet the Squirrels: Matt Bowen

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

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Matt came to Squirrels from Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio. He is the company’s Android application developer and software engineer! 

Developing Slingshot for Android has been Matt’s coolest experience at Squirrels so far. “It was one of my first production Android applications I have worked on,” he said. “I got to work with technologies while developing Slingshot that I never had before, and the process of learning them and implementing them was amazing.” His favorite thing about the company as a whole is the environment and his “awesome coworkers.”

Learn more about Matt!

Favorite things to do in your free time: Coding and turning Roombas into robots using Arduino.

Food: Pad Thai

TV Show: Mad Men

Movie: Drive

Band/Artist: Griz

Your idol and why: John Carmack. He is one of the best engineers of our generation, from programming and development to rocket and aerospace engineering. It doesn’t matter what it is, he has proven he can accomplish it.

Your motto: Low-level programming is good for the programmer’s soul.

If you could be any animal, what would you be? A bear. They are massive, can run 30-35 mph and climb 100 feet into a tree in under 30 seconds. If you could have super powers, being as strong/fast as a bear would be pretty good ones.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Like a lot of little boys, I wanted to be an astronaut. Then after astronaut I wanted to be an aerospace engineer.

If you could have one super power, what would it be? Teleportation. I mean really, do I need to give a reason? That would be awesome. Or of course, have the strength/speed of a bear (See previous question).

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 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 8, 2014

Meet the Squirrels: Andy Yanok

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

Andy is a senior application developer at Squirrels. He was raised in Canal Fulton, Ohio and works on a bit of everything in development. He is well versed in iOS, Mac and Windows development. He can jump around and assist in application UI or work on the backend of Squirrels applications.

Andy has done a lot of cool things at Squirrels, but he mostly loves the uniqueness of the software and applications he is working with. “ Working on new and innovative technologies, not many developers get the opportunity to work on software that evolves as our software does,” he said. 

According to Andy, “The best part about working at Squirrels is working on software that so many people use.  Also, constantly learning new things.  I was once simply an ‘iOS developer’ now I’m a software developer. I constantly get to learn new software platforms and OS’s.”

Learn more about Andy!

Favorite things to do in your free time: Playing video games, watching TV with my wife, running.

Favorite food: Chipotle Burrito

TV show: NFL Football

Movie: Ghostbusters

Band/artist: Beck

Your idol and why: My mother.  She has all the traits and personality that I strive to have but can’t always replicate.

Your motto: “Oh wiwi?”

If you could be any animal, what would you be? Mountain Lion, because they thug.

When you were a little kid, what did you want to be when you grew up? Baseball player (we see how that ended up).

If you could have one super power, what would it be? The ability to fly.