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Hallway Chronicle: Alex Tingiris

Samir Saeed, Staff Writer

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Matthew Jessen
THE CODER HIMSELF: Alex Tingiris ’19 has created a freelance web design business and shares his love of entrepreneurship by teaching a business course at the Berkeley Academy.

Alex Tingiris ’19 learned to code when he was just seven years old. Now a junior, his love for computer science and technology has immersed him in the exciting world of web development and design. The Fanfare had the opportunity to sit down with Alex to find out more about all the exciting projects he has worked on over the years.

 

Q: How did you get into web and app design?

 

A: My whole family has been into it. My dad is in the tech industry, and my uncles are in the tech industry and my aunts are in the tech industry. I think, there is some genetic strand that we’re just wired that way. Also, it is a wide category just saying technology, we all have very different interests in this very broad category. But I’d say that my family is where I first saw the interest–like always seeing my dad working, and then that sort of expanded, and I just taught myself. Once that interest was there, I pretty much taught myself, because I was doing things very differently than my dad.

 

Q: What websites have you worked on before?

 

A: I’ve worked on a bunch of different client’s sites. Mostly they are smaller businesses, like smaller insurance companies [and] interior design businesses…and then a few personal side projects, like helping people with their blogs. But where I have spent the most time I’d say, are little things I’ll do when I’m studying for a test. Like when I was studying for French a few years ago, I got distracted making an app that would help me learn the conjugations and stuff, so I could just plug in all the words. Yeah, it’s a distraction but it’s fun. The only really web app that I have worked on that maybe anyone would have a real interest in, I’d say, would be Hire Humanly. It uses AI [Artificial Intelligence] to match the company to people who are being hired. But I have also done apps and stuff that are just fun. I did one last year [that] a bunch of my friends started using. [The app was] like a polling app but it was with emojis…My friends would post stupid polls and would respond with these ridiculous little things. It was fun stuff that is entertaining.

 

Q: I heard that you teach a business class at Berkeley Academy. What topics do you cover?

 

A: It’s business and entrepreneurial skills focusing more on tech businesses. But we go over things like business model canvas, showing them how to set up a site, writing a pitch stack, working on their pitch and that kind of thing.

 

Q: What is the most interesting project you have done so far?

 

A: I’ve done a lot of work with Hire Humanly and that’s cool also seeing how people respond to it. I really like how helpful it’s been to people who have been unemployed for a long time.

 

Q: Can you tell me more about other things you have done?

 

A: One of my clients has a company where they use an AI to help company recruiters identify if that person would fit well in that company. It sounded kind of interesting to me, and so I asked the CEO if I would be able to do an internship. I came up with a whole proposal and told him what I wanted to do exactly, and he liked that. So I did the internship there in this past summer, and what was really cool about that was that it confirmed my interest and what I want to do out of college. I got to work on a team of people, sit in on investor meetings, and I got to get people to hire, which was cool getting raised up to that level of authority.

 

Q: What is one piece of advice you would give an aspiring web designer?

 

A: If you enjoy it, then you can do it. I think you need to have a project that you actually are interested in and carries some meaning for you. The actual work itself isn’t that hard, in my opinion. It’s more once you know stuff, what makes it interesting is building things that are really helpful to other people.

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