Axel has been working for Brightspot since May 2014.
This week, Rose went on the record with Axel Tarnvik, one of the newest members of the software engineering team at Brightspot, formerly Perfect Sense. Axel, who interned during the summer of 2014, returned to Brightspot full time in July after graduating from the University of Virginia. During their conversation, Rose and Axel discussed how his internship impacted his decision to come back to Brightspot, his first project, and his recent trip across Europe.
As a recent graduate, why did you choose Brightspot to begin your career?
I chose Brightspot because of my experience here as an intern last summer. I got to work on real projects, as well as both back and front end, which I thought was fun and challenging. Every one I worked with was very knowledgeable, so I thought I would be able to learn a lot from others by coming here.
What inspired you to become a software engineer?
I started with software development in high school because of my dad's influence. He was a software developer early in his career and encouraged me to take a computer science class in high school, which I ultimately really enjoyed. From there, I continued to study it throughout college.
As a developer, what are the benefits of working with Brightspot?
As a developer, Brightspot is easy to work with, simplifying how we make websites and other applications. Since it is based in Java, the language I am most familiar with, I also found it surprisingly quick to understand. I also like it because it removes some of the harder, more tedious tasks.
What piece of advice would you give college students that are interested in careers in software engineering?
Work on side projects. Don't simply learn information in class then forget it when you come home, really learn to love what you are doing by challenging yourself outside the classroom. Also, always be reading about changes and new topics in software development.
What is the first project are you working on?
My first project is Grupo Expansión, a content magazine business based in Mexico.
What was the last movie you saw? Would you recommend it?
Last weekend, I saw The Blind Side, a movie about a football player. I thought it was a good, uplifting story and would definitely recommend it to others, especially those that like football.
I heard that you recently traveled to Europe. What was your favorite city to visit? Why?
My favorite city was Prague. It's an old city with castles, an old Astronomical Clock, good food, good beer, and it's cheap so you can do a lot without emptying your wallet.
What are your favorite activities or hobbies outside of the office?
I really like to listen to music. I'm also very interested in craft beer. Occasionally, I brew my own beer or go to local breweries to try new beers. I also enjoy working out at the gym.
Where is your favorite place to eat lunch at the Reston Town Center?
My favorite is the monthly food trucks because they have different options every time.