Clicking away on his keyboard during his final year of high school, self-taught programmer Scott Brady (’16) wasn’t thinking about his senior class trip or what his major in college would be. He was focused on saving money—a lot of money—for craft superstore Jo-Ann Fabrics.
“When I was a senior in high school, I knew I wanted to do programming for a living when I made the program for the headquarters of Jo-Ann Fabrics that saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars a year,” said Scott.
Scott’s interest had been piqued a few years earlier when he picked up a book about making computer games. Over the course of the summer, he taught himself how to program. As a freelance programmer, he had many opportunities to hone his skills.
But he knew college would give him the background he would need to start his own business. As a Christian, Scott wanted to attend a solid Christian college that would help him further his software engineering knowledge. “PCC gave me a good foundation in programming, but more importantly, it taught me to learn on my own,” he said. “The assignments that were given at PCC required me to learn outside of the classroom. That is an incredibly important skill in this field. Programming changes daily, so I get to teach myself new things all the time.”
Being able to adapt to an ever-changing environment was not the only skill he learned at PCC. “The education I received at PCC was very well rounded,” said Scott. “It helped me with things I wouldn’t have anticipated. My speech and business classes have helped me when talking to potential customers or investors, and my Bible classes gave me a biblical grounding for my businesses.”
While still a junior in college, Scott created an app to speed read e-books and articles on smart phones and wearable devices. His app was featured on Huffington Post and was in the top 25 paid apps in the Android App Store.
After graduating from PCC, Scott and fellow computer science and software engineering grad Brandon Carroll (’15) founded their own startup, creating two impressive programs.
The first app is a platform that allows teachers to set and track goals for their students. As the students meet the goals, they earn rewards in the app. Before Scott and Brandon created the app, Brandon was working with charter schools and saw the need for students to invest in their own learning experience. “We created the app in order to help students get excited about learning again and to assist teachers in challenging their students to do their best,” said Scott.
The second app was created after Scott’s church asked him if there was a program that allowed people to give to their church online. He began to research what was already available and was quite surprised at what he found. “As I looked through the options available to churches for online giving, I saw a problem,” he said. “Whenever a card is charged, there is a processing fee that is added to the total. All of the other giving platforms deduct that processing fee from what the church receives. So whenever a person gives something like a tithe, not all of their money actually reaches the church.” Scott realized this problem could easily be resolved if an app were available that would let the giver pay the processing fee so that the church would receive all of the money.
“God has given me a desire to help kids and to help churches,” said Scott. “I believe that is why God led me to help create these apps.” Through these programs, Scott actively changes how people interact, influencing lives one app at a time.