Today, Justina and I were invited to MakerSquare's hiring day / graduation to shoot some photographs for them. MakerSquare is a career accelerator for software engineers that teaches computer software fundamentals and modern web languages to students who can then join top engineering teams. They are a software developing company that trains new engineers in an environment that values diversity, creativity, and innovation. Every seven weeks, they have these fantastic hiring fairs where students give a presentation on what they've been working on with their teams and then get to interview with multiple local companies that are currently hiring people that have their newly acquired skills. When we first showed up, we were given a mini-tour around the building where we got to see what would take place and where. They had a check-in station, an interview room, a training room were students were hard at work, a kitchen, office spaces, meeting rooms, and a presentation room. The space was well set up for the flow of what they would accomplish today.

We got to walk around and speak with each company's representatives that were there to interview the students. Before the event began, we met representatives from Salesforce, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Yuzu, LeverHipmunk, Level Studios, Lacework, Movoto, Oceana Tech, and Vida Health. Justina had more time to meet people as I was roaming the building snapping some pre-event shots, and learning the lighting settings for each room. Justina's favorite to speak with was Jim Corderio, the COO and co-founder of Oceana Tech. He walked us through what his business does. Oceana Tech is a software development firm that offers an advanced twelve month boot camp program for developers who want to be several steps ahead of their competition. Their accelerated program offers direct hiring and rewarding, challenging opportunities. If you have the skills, innovation, ambition, and creativity to do so, go check out Oceana Technologies at or call them at (415) 466-2993 and find out more!

I was snapping pictures of the students coming in while Justina took notes and we covered a lot of ground before two o'clock. At two, the presentations began. There were four groups, each with a different and unique app that were fascinating. The first app presentation was CombustJS while the second was CountMeIn, a social media app meant for pledging and motivation between peers. The third app, our mutual favorite, Equipp made regular calendars a thing of the past by adding instant chat, to-do lists, spreadsheets, text, and photo sharing. Lastly, Scrapin'it was a price check app that used time-based scheduled checks of images so that when they change an alert will be sent out. I took pictures like crazy during the presentations while Justina furiously scribbled away in her notebook. We both really enjoyed the presentations and were happy to know what the tech future had in store.

After the presentations was a break so the students could grab refreshments and snacks before the lightning interviews. At this time I was able to get a team photo of MakerSquare which you can see below. From left to right is Jeff: a tech mentor, Saurut: a student outcomes associate, Rachel: a marketing op, Will: an op associate, Monica: admissions specialist, Kyle: head of curriculum, and Jerod: the managing director. We had a lot of fun with these shots, even getting some silly shots!

The lightning interviews began with Ryan directing the students to each table and soon the room was filled with introductions, laughs, and talking. I love capturing natural smiles and energy, so I took even more pictures during this time. My favorite time to take pictures was when students switched chairs, because the initial hello's and introductory handshakes made the best shots. It was a nearly two hour process that was well organized in a comfortable environment.

During this time, Kyle Simpson came in as a special guest teacher to work with a few students on the side. Kyle is better known as @Getify to most techies and author of the book "You Don't Know JS." He is well known for his work with JavaScript and Open Source. You can check him out at

After the interviews was the networking happy hour, in which we got to relax a little and mingle with the attendees. Justina and I were offered food and drink along with everyone else and the professional interviewing mood changed to a fun, social gathering and I was getting great shots as everyone unwound. MakerSquare provided sandwiches, cheese, crackers, nuts, and grapes for snacking along with wine and beer. Tables were set up so that the students and teachers alike could converse easily and happily. All the people at the event were extremely kind and determined. Just watching them at the end of a hard day solidified the fact that this would be a great company to work for. If you would like to find out more about MakerSquare at (424) 442-0310 or visit their website at