David Thielen Featured Guest Speaker at the University of Colorado, Boulder
November 10, 2015
Boulder, CO – David Thielen, CEO of reporting and document generation software leader Windward Studios, was a featured guest speaker at the University of Colorado’s Introduction to Computer Science freshman course yesterday.
The talk was entitled “What it is Like to Work in a Startup?,” a topic with which Thielen has great familiarity. He not only has hands-on experience with being an employee in a startup himself, but he built and grew his own start-up, where he interviews and hires many interns. The first part of the talk revolved around Thielen giving valuable insights on what he looks at and takes into consideration when hiring an intern.
“Get as much experience and internships prior to graduation as possible in order to build a strong recommendations network,” Thielen advised. “You will help your future employer quickly determine ‘Are you an idiot or not?’“
Other bits of wisdom Thielen shared regarding hiring computer science interns:
- GPA has almost no value. Thielen noted that GPA doesn’t relate much to the characteristics he is looking for in a candidate.
- Time in the field. Thielen looks for someone who has been involved with programming since 9th grade at least. His argument is that those are the ones who are really passionate about computer science and they have a head start on others.
The second part of the speech was Thielen sharing his experience as a CEO and managing a startup. He said it will and should consume you, up to the point where you pass out on your keyboard only to wake up to have a quick snack and continue working. He also said you should be doing what you think is too easy for you, because usually those are things that you are very good at.
Another big point he brought up is that in his experience, you will fail a lot, to the point of no return.
“But that is natural and this is why starting a business is insane,” Thielen said. “It is very fun and the rewards are great when you are at the top. But when a certain substance hits the fans, everybody will see it. So be ready to deal with this.
“To help succeed, you need to always believe in what you are doing and in the people next to you,” he continued. “In order to accomplish that, you need a goal that is worth the effort. It must be something beyond money, and it must motivate and inspire. Start-ups that follow profit or a quick sprint to get acquired are not going to make it.”
About Windward Studios
Windward delivers powerful document generation and reporting software for enterprise or OEM use. Businesses worldwide create custom reports and documents more quickly with data intelligence made easy. Windward has been delighting customers – technical and non – since 2004.
Patrick Bates, Marketing Director
303-499-2544 x 1203