Mike Castillo, Co-Founder & CTO

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I was born with a natural inclination towards engineering. I was always trying to figure out how things worked, fixing them if broken, and creating new things based on what I learned. My early memories are sparse…something about trying to understand how electricity worked by using a fork and an electrical outlet. I do remember that experiment led to my Johnny Unitas pajamas catching on fire, but that only seemed to fuel my desire to learn more. 

I was one of those early programmers who had to have, and could actually afford, the Sinclair computer with the extra memory option (64K). But I was more attracted to hardware back then, spending way too much time at Radio Shack saving up to buy more chips and other components to build my next project.

It was during my Computer Engineering undergrad that I realized the opportunities with software – you can create anything from virtually nothing. I was hired by Bell Laboratories after I graduated from UNM and with their help I was able to obtain my Masters in Computer Science from UC Berkeley. I was ready to take on the world. That was almost 30 years ago and I’ve been a software engineer ever since. My roles have encompassed all facets of software development, including design, architecture, implementation, and testing. 

I feel lucky that I was naturally attracted to the sciences, because it has been a very rewarding and fulfilling career for me. I am excited to be part of Couragion, and to contribute to the mission of getting more people exposed to and excited about STEM careers.