Our summer marketing intern, UW-Madison student Nicole Long, is on a quest to interview the Gillware staff. Our people are what set our lab apart and allow us to solve the most complex data recovery cases at the best prices. They also make us more fun. Here’s what Nicole found out about Eric Knepper for our fifth employee profile . . .
Gillware Blog: You are triple majoring in computer engineering, computer science, and mathematics.
Eric: You have to plan ahead a lot, but it’s actually pretty common to group those majors together. The class requirements for those majors overlap enough to make it possible. Mathematics is also a huge part of computer engineering and computer science. Besides just the prerequisites like calculus and algebra, there are classes like discrete mathematics and introduction to numerical methods that are math intensive.
Gillware Blog: Have you always been interested in computers?
Eric: Yeah. I grew up with a PlayStation, and I still play a good amount of video games when I have time. One of the games that I was into for a while is an online computer game called Dota 2 (Defense of the Ancients 2). It is a competitive action/strategy game played between two 5-person teams.
Gillware Blog: What did you do before you came to Gillware?
Eric: I had an internship at Quad/Graphics in Sussex, WI doing automation controlling. Quad/Graphics is a printing company that prints magazines like BussinessWeek, Time, Sports Illustrated, and People. They have machines on their production lines that move and perform different tasks and I worked on a messaging architecture that helped to implement those tasks. It was really interesting because I learned a new program language. That was one of my main projects while I was interning there.
Gillware Blog: How did you end up finding Gillware?
Eric: Jake Gillberg, my roommate and classmate at UW, was an engineering intern at Gillware last summer. He had a great experience. I ended up applying and getting the position for this summer because he really recommended it.
Gillware Blog: So what are you doing at Gillware?
Eric: So far, I have added file system support to RecoverBot and I’m working on programming the data backup service’s e-mail system. I work on various projects or whatever needs to be done.
Gillware Blog: You also like to draw. Does that fit in with your computer engineering?
Eric: Not really, it’s more of a hobby. People used to actually know me for my art in high school. I ran into an old classmate, and she asked if I was still doing art. I hadn’t even thought about it for a long time because I’ve been so focused on computer engineering. I don’t do it nearly as much anymore, but I’m taking a drawing class next semester to get back into it. I guess I did a little geometric drawing for a project I was working on last semester; I had to map out things on a sphere.
Gillware Blog: What kind of project was that?
Eric: It was for a senior design class called Embedded Microprocessor System Design. A group of 3-4 people had to create a project from scratch, get the circuit board printed, put it all together, and program it. Ours was a game in a hamster ball with 122 equally spaced LEDs on the inside. There was also an electronic gyroscope to track movements of the ball. For the game, there would be a lit up LED and you would have to navigate another LED to it by moving the ball. When it got there it would completely light up to show that you scored. It was a fun project to work on.
Connect with Eric on LinkedIn here, and keep checking our blog to meet more of our employees!