Blog: Jason Stewart

Jason Stewart is a student at U-M, pursuing his Master's Degree in Human-Computer Interaction. Jason weighs in with his thoughts on young talent in The Deuce - whether it's high tech or music.

Jason Stewart - Post No 1: Finding The Tech Community

There is a lot of talent in Ann Arbor. Sometimes, you have to dig for it, but it's there. Not just in the universities or in the businesses either; there are talented people just sitting around. You might have seen one of these individuals at your local coffee shop… you know, the guy or girl whom you've seen sitting at that same table before, perhaps many times before, drinking the same low cost beverage while intently focused on their laptop screen in front of them.

Have you every asked one of these individuals what they’re doing?

I took the opportunity to speak to one of these individuals to learn more about this talented pool of people seemingly flying under the radar. Trek Glowacki can be found at Bigby Coffee on East Liberty at pretty much any time during the day on Monday through Friday. Point your nose in the direction of pomegranate tea and look for a black Apple MacBook without a power adapter.

"I never plug in, but I always need to," he admits. Trek is one of the many area software developers who are working on independent projects and using community or business places as their workspaces. For smaller organizations, such as Trek’s "Backtick" company which is comprised of himself and one other individual, it doesn't financial sense to go the traditional business route of renting office space and generating other overhead; his needs are few.

If you're a software developer, entrepreneur, and/or "ideator" and would like to get involved in this community, there are a number of monthly events you could attend:
  • Coffee House Coders is weekly event where software developers meet at coffee house to talk about ideas and help each other out with technical problems. More information can be found at:
  • A Python and Ruby user group meets on the first Tuesday from 7-9pm of every month to discuss programming related issues and ideas. Location of this event varies.
  • The Coworking Group is another programming interest group that’s been gaining some momentum lately. They meet at 118 S. Main on Wednesdays from 9am to 12pm.

Ann Arbor has a very rich independently inspired technical community; sometimes it just takes a little digging to know find out who they are and how to get involved.