What can the virtual pet website, Neopets, teach us about software engineering? For Alison Brandt, a Core10 Senior Software Engineer, creating text-adventure games with the use of decision trees taught her the basics of coding languages, which she attributes to launching the career she has today. We’re beyond thankful that Alison’s childhood Neopet adventures led her to join our Core10 team!
Ask anyone at Core10 about Alison, and they’ll say exactly what our VP of Technology, Joel Legg, has to say. “I know that if Alison is on the project, it’s going to be successful. Alison is the definition of our core value, Success Comes in Cans.”
From her year and a half with us, Alison has become a reliable, all-star team member.
“Alison joined Core10 and immediately showed her development, leadership and strategic skills. Alison is a very seasoned developer that ramps up quickly to any project. She also leads the ICE team and is a great mentor and leader. While Alison is not developing and leading team members, she thinks strategically to improve ICE pricing and the overall ICE ecosystem. Alison is also fantastic with prospects and clients.”
-Tony Nigrelli, VP of Customer Experience
Among being a wickedly talented engineer and mentor to many, Alison is a wife, mother, and community volunteer. She seriously is Super Woman! With that, take some time to learn more about Alison.
What is your role at Core10?
I am a Senior Software Engineer at Core10. I run the ICE integrations team and am part of the Mesh team. I am a mentor to other engineers. I also run the Lunch & Learn program.
How long have you been with Core10?
I joined Core10 in June of 2021, so one and a half years now.
How did you hear about Core10?
Amy Simpson, Senior Human Resources Manager, reached out to me through a Nashville developer slack group. I posted introducing myself as a Node/C# engineer and she invited me to interview with Core10 since they were looking to hire a Node engineer for the ICE integrations team.
Why did you choose to work at Core10?
I chose to work at Core10 for many reasons. Core10 had everything I was looking for in a company – fully remote but with an office local to me, an opportunity to work on a Node project again, room to grow, a leadership team that cares, and a wonderful and talented team to work with.
What did you do before joining the team?
Before I joined the Core10 team I worked for another technology consulting company in Illinois after I graduated from university with my bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. I was involved in several projects with different technology stacks across multiple industries and quickly moved into a lead role during my time there.
Where did you go to school?
I went to school at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois.
What did you study?
I originally studied under the pre-med program. I was in that program for two years until I met my husband and his friends, who were all computer science majors. After seeing what they were working on, taking a 101 class, and realizing it was much more fun and fulfilling to me than the pre-med program, I decided to make the switch to studying computer science with a concentration in game and simulation programming. It is the best decision I have ever made!
What got you interested in a career in software development?
I got interested in a career in software development after meeting my husband, making the switch to the computer science program, and falling in love with programming. However, the foundation for software development was laid for me much earlier, in my childhood. I spent an unspeakable amount of time as a kid teaching myself HTML, CSS, and web development. I also loved making text-adventure games with the use of decision trees. I can thank Neopets for the career I have today!
What is your favorite project you have worked on at Core10?
My favorite projects have been the ICE mortgage technology integrations. I had the opportunity to join the ICE team in its infancy which allowed me to design our codebases and processes and build out the rockstar team we have today. I could not have asked for a better experience!
Tell us about your life outside of Core10.
My husband and I met in our sophomore year of college, and we have been inseparable since the very first time we met. We married in 2020 – right in the beginning of the pandemic.
We moved to the Nashville area along with our 2 dogs last year to be closer to my immediate family, which gave me the opportunity to work for Core10. My husband and I have also started our own little family by welcoming our first child into the world this year in August. She is the light of our lives and has been keeping us on our toes!
When I have the time, I love to visit local wineries for tastings, read, and play video games.
How do you give back to the community?
Giving back to the community is very important to me. In college, I was part of a service sorority, service was our main pillar. Our philanthropy was women against domestic violence; we regularly volunteered and ran events to help those affected.
During that time, I was also a volunteer for Love Your Melon, which is a brand that donates 50% of their profits to the fight against pediatric cancer. We visited sick children in hospitals to hand out beanies as part of this organization. As a pediatric cancer survivor, this cause was close to my heart!
I also frequent Feed My Starving Children to pack meals for the malnourished and have volunteered for Operation Santa to collect and package toys for underprivileged families. I enjoy donating to any cause that I stumble upon. At this time of the year, I am donating toys to foster kids in my area.
One of the most exciting volunteer opportunities I had was working as a regular volunteer at the Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary, a nonprofit wildlife sanctuary providing permanent homes for animal ambassadors that were confiscated illegal pets or non-releasable wildlife. The animal ambassadors took part in interactive education programs I was involved in as we promoted conservation, preservation, and humane treatment of all animals.
What is something other people find most surprising to learn about you?
I used to be so shy that I couldn’t answer phones and would freeze up during public speaking of any capacity. Now I regularly run client stakeholder and sales calls without a second thought!
What is your favorite thing about Nashville?
My favorite thing about living near Nashville is being close to family. We used to visit once a year before we moved down. I also love exploring the area and all the opportunities for live music! I came from the Chicago suburbs, and visiting Chicago was always a stressful event for me. I don’t feel that way about downtown Nashville!
Anything else you’d like to share???
I am the kind of person that believes everything happens for a reason. I feel like it was meant to be for me to move to Nashville and work with Core10. I can’t wait to see what the future holds!