SCC Graduate Now Pursuing Dream as a Video Game Programmer
Thaddeus Kohrman grew up as a computer gamer. He enjoyed playing a variety of games, but particularly enjoyed those that involved strategy.
I was always into strategy games, Kohrman said, noting that he enjoyed coming up with long-term plans and constructing ways to best utilize resources when playing.
Kohrman, a graduate of Somerset Community College, not only enjoyed applying strategic concepts on the computer, but has also employed those same gaming principles to shape his education and career.
Kohrman, now 25, attended Science Hill Independent School and Somerset High School before beginning his college journey at SCC. He is currently pursuing his dream career in the video gaming industry as a Junior Infrastructure Developer for Nerd Kingdom, a video game technology and research group whose first game, called TUG, centers on user interaction and community development.
Nerd Kingdom is developing an engine and platform for creation and collaboration that leverages ambitious technology in order to empower everyone from casual modders to sophisticated engineers, the Nerd Kingdom website said of the company, which is based outside of Dallas, Texas. We aren't just creating tools, we are focusing on how data flows through our engine in order to help us and the community create better experiences as players and creators.
Kohrman began working for Nerd Kingdom last October.
Kohrman began his education at SCC in order to have a better chance at finishing his degree with no debt. Once he received his associates degree, he transferred to Eastern Kentucky University where he obtained a bachelors degree in computer science with a minor in math and a concentration in interactive multi-media.
There are a lot of people who think they want to develop video games but most likely don't realize that playing and programming are very different, Kohrman said, stating that strong math skills are essential to the job.
After graduation, Kohrman went to work for Xerox in a call center. He later started working for Custom Data Processing (CDP) in Frankfort in a developer position. There, he did a lot of business logic, or programming that validates user-provided data matches with existing data.
When the opportunity came for him to accept a position with Nerd Kingdom, Kohrman took it.
Its a laid back, casual atmosphere, Kohrman said, noting that the standard work day is from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and employees can then decide when and where to make up the extra two working hours. I like knowing that what I do contributes to the success of the company and that it matters.
In his position at Nerd Kingdom, Kohrman is working primarily on building an interface that will allow TUG users to directly contribute to the accessibility and playability of the game. Most of his time, though, is not only spent writing code, but also writing documentation of what the code is and why it is set up in a certain way.
You are teaching silicon how to behave, he said. You have to program each and every detail and scenario so it knows how to respond.
Nerd Kingdom currently has about 40 employees, Kohrman said, but plans to expand to around 60 in the immediate future. For those looking for a career in the industry, he says to expect to work with other people that haven't had the chance to prove themselves and to look in unusual places for opportunities.
Its also very important to be able to demonstrate your knowledge, Kohrman said, noting that he had to perform computer programming tasks at his interview for both CDP and Nerd Kingdom.
Kohrman plans to work with Nerd Kingdom as he builds his skills. After that, he doesnt make any assumptions about where life will take him. Chances are, though, that his next moves will certainly be strategically calculated.
The official team icon (left) for Kohrman can be found on the Nerd Kingdom About Us page on nerdkingdom.com. On the page, Kohrman's description is playfully listed as Infrastructure programmer from Kentucky. Quiet, when not being loud. Clever, when not being foolish.