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Grill the Arsonist: Meet Tony
December 16, 2015 | Brianna Aust

Tony Nagy

Next up to be grilled is our very own MindFire pilot! Oops – we mean programmer! (But he’s also a student pilot – check out question 3!)

Digital Arsonist Tony Nagy has been lighting fires at MindFire for three years! He is a veteran programmer, with an enthusiasm and talent for turning pages of coding into powerful and effective marketing tools.

Check it out:

What are three personality traits you think a good programmer should have. GO!

The ability to solve problems that seem to have no answers, a love for pizza and Red Bull for the late nights, and – most importantly – patience.

It’s true, you have the patient of a saint… we can attest to that. Do you remember the first time using a computer? Was it magical? Did you instantly have an epiphany that you were destined to be a programmer?!

Being behind a computer is one of my first memories! My dad picked up a VIC-20 when I was just a few years old and he programmed a United States flag to display on the screen. I was SUPER impressed by that and I’ve been tinkering with computers ever since.

Word on the street is you have a pretty impressive hobby that takes you a couple THOUSAND feet in the sky? Tell us about it!

I’m going to guess you mean flying. :) The owner of the house caddy-corner to my parents’ place had his own airstrip. Growing up, I’d often see planes flying right over our house to land there. It was so, so, so cool and I wanted to fly every time I saw an aircraft overhead. A few years ago, I finally took my discovery flight to get the feel for it and have recently started getting into it heavily so I can get my pilot’s license! As Leonardo da Vinci said, “Once you have tasted flight, you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return.” The statement is astoundingly accurate.

Stereotypes of programmers can be killer, so we gotta know – do you work in a dark room with no windows and no lights?

Yes to two out of the three. I have windows with blinds that are perpetually closed. Can’t let any of that pesky light in.

Imagine you just got sucked into your TV/Computer while playing your favorite video game and now you’re living in that world! What game would you want to be playing and why?

Easiest question ever. Skyrim. I’ve always loved fantasy. Skyrim is an insanely immersive and beautiful world with dragons and magic. A little nerdy, I know, but I can’t help it. Nor would I, if I could.

Before you found your passion for programming – what did you think you would do for a career?

I always wanted to be in the air force but life took a weird turn when I turned 19 and I moved to New York during a time when the web was in its infancy. Things fell into place there and I’ve been doing it ever since.

What happened to Old Zealand?

The first one sank into the swamp, so they built another one. IT sank into the swamp. So they built a third. It burned down, fell over, THEN sank into the swamp. But the fourth one [NEW Zealand] stayed up! (You’d have to be a Monty Python fan to appreciate that.)

What advice do you have for someone who is interested in programming?

Get out while you still can!! Er, I mean... I’d suggest diving right in! Give yourself a simple project and do what you can to accomplish that project. If it continues to interest you, add complexity and repeat.

What is your favorite part about working at MindFire?

This one’s too easy. The people. They are simply amazing. Heck, they’d have to be to put up with me! :)

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