Meet The Team
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Portland Code School is committed to providing our students with faculty and staff who can help you achieve your goals. Our instructors are working tech professionals and educators.
Ruby on Rails and Front End Development Instructor
Al Zimmerman has 30 years of experience in software design, product development, information technology, and management. He has been teaching various aspects of software engineering and programming for over a dozen years to middle school students, college students, and professional engineers. He has experienced the joys of being on a tight-knit team of collaborators and wants to share that experience with his students.
He is currently on a mission to increase diversity in the programming profession, having experienced the thrill of product development on teams composed of men, women, artists, engineers and scientists. "The best ideas come from all directions at once," he says.
"More than anything," he says, "I love being in a classroom with talented, inquisitive people, helping them discover new things and achieve their career goals."
In his spare time, Al is an improvisational comedy actor at Curious Comedy Theater where he finds that listening carefully, responding honestly, and laughing frequently is as useful on stage as it is in the classroom.
Andrew Lorente has been writing software professionally for most of a decade, in just about every role a web developer can have: frontend to backend, database optimization to CSS styling. Unwilling to wait for an actual teaching job to share his love of programming, Andrew started serving as a mentor with Code Scouts in mid-2013. He's thrilled to be expanding into a formal classroom environment.
When he's away from the computer, Andrew enjoys bicycling, woodworking, and cats.
Dan has arrived in web development after a long path of software development shenanigans winding through natural language processing, multiscale graphical interfaces, and digital ethnography. He has some sort of degree in trying to understand the cognitive consequences of interface design. He likes carpentry as much as programming and finds many parallels between them, including the judicious use of hammers. He hopes the computers remember that next time they do what he actually says instead of what he means.
Data Visualization Instructor
Huston Hedinger is the Founder and CEO of GraphAlchemist, a Portland based firm that provides data science and data visualization as a service. Huston loves data visualization, and the amazingly complex stories that data viz elegantly tells. He began his software engineering journey in R and Python while in graduate school. Now Huston works across all web technologies with his team, with a focus on d3.js for data visualization, angular.js as a client side web framework, and neo4j the worlds leading graph database and a cutting edge NoSQL technology.
All of Huston’s free time is spent with his family, or watching the Timbers, or both.
Cris comes to Portland Code School with 20 years of experiential education and professional team development. Adding programming and web development to his portfolio in recent years, he has gone on to become a driving force in building out the school as a premier educational resource in the area.
A Portlander by way of Minnesota, California, and Ashland, Oregon, he is also a musician, game designer, rock climber, and father of one amazing five year old boy (who insists on wearing his Spider Man pajamas to the store).
Collaine is passionate about education and technology and she brings her background in administration and operations to support the Portland Code School's mission and growth. With a masters in public health she has 18 years experience in program management and evaluation, resource development, grant-writing, and business development. She has also worked in higher education, both in an Admissions capacity and in teaching specialized classes to massage therapy students. As a Licensed Massage Therapist and business owner, she is an advocate of wellness and balance. With a love for travel and as a former Peace Corps Volunteer, she maintains her connection to Africa as a founding Board Member for the non-profit EduCongo. Born and raised in SE Alaska, she needs to be outdoors hiking and camping as much as possible, with her amazing family that includes an almost-Kindergartener, sweetheart-of-a-boy!
While Kristina Koenig has worked for many years in accounting positions in diverse fields, she settled into the tech industry having found the community a delightfully creative and ever changing environment. The enthusiasm and curiosity that infects both the students and the staff of PCS make running the behind-the-scenes needs of the classroom and the office a new and fun experience everyday. When Kristina isn't manning the office she runs Fotoeffect Studio & Gallery in downtown Portland with her co-owner, Vilem, and spends her time oil painting, camping, running and reading whatever she can get her hands on.
Catherine is deeply involved in Portland area tech, design, and public policy communities. She is the executive director of Hack Oregon, a non-profit organization focused on civic data visualization. She has extensive experience in community organizing, and her work at Portland Code School is focused on strengthening relationships between Portland Code School students and the community of prospective employers. Catherine created the Coders With Kids program at Portland Code School. She is passionate about civic data projects, growing the tech economy in Portland, and high-fantasy period dramas.
Randall Stickrod has been an entrepreneur, magazine publisher, media executive, and technology executive. The founder and publisher/editor of Computer Graphics World magazine, which helped launch the vibrant computer graphics industry, he went on to become founding executive publisher of Wired magazine, and consulted in the launch of many others. He served as executive vice president of a major technology publisher, led over $100M of M&A activity with another, and has advised a broad range of media enterprises through the present.
Mr. Stickrod was considered a pioneer in the field of computer graphics, and went on to serve as CEO of Miro Computer USA and Zelos Digital Media. Since then he has been a strategic consultant to many other technology companies and the financial community of venture capitalists, investment bankers and private equity firms that support them.
He has BS and MS degrees in physics from the University of Oregon and serves on the board of Harvard Media Ventures, a unit of the Harvard Graduate School of Business.
Dr. Cara Tang
Cara Tang is a faculty member in the Computer Information Systems department at Portland Community College, and is Vice-Chair of the ACM Committee for Computing Education in Community Colleges. She earned her doctorate degree in Computer Science at the University of Heidelberg in Germany and her M.S. and B.S. degrees at Virginia Tech. Her interests lie in computing education, curriculum development, and cybersecurity. Before joining academia full-time, Dr. Tang worked in industry for six years as a software developer and operations research analyst.