HUMPHREY, Neb. (AP) - His teacher has joked about failing him on purpose so he will be around to help her in the future.
It’s one example of how Brandon Huettner of Humphrey High School has become so respected for his computer knowledge that his graduation may be a tad bittersweet around the school.
While most kids his age were playing with Legos or building blocks, the son of Jeff and Marie Huettner, was on his way to writing computer code.
“I got my first computer when I was about 4 or 5,” he said. “I was interested in computers, but probably around junior high, Mrs. (Mitzi) Luedtke pushed me and asked me to help, and I really started to get interested and gaining more and more interest as the years went on.”
Luedtke said the summer after his seventh-grade year, Huettner told her he was bored. But instead of avoiding school like most kids, he came to school to work on computers.
Computers and all related technology are “cool,” Huettner said, which is the main attraction for him.
“I can do something with it, I can change the world with it, create something awesome with it,” he said of technology.
He said working with computers and technology came naturally to him.
“It didn’t bother him to break something,” Luedtke said. “If something broke, he fixed it.”
By the time he was in the eighth or ninth grade, he already had a reputation as the go-to-guy for computer problems.
“If I wasn’t around, we knew Brandon could take care of a lot of things,” Luedtke said. “People around the community would ask for help, and I was getting busier at the time, and I knew Brandon could handle it, so he started working with computers.”
The senior is likely heading to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln next fall - whether Luedtke likes it or not - to study computer science.
His dream job is to work at Google.
“They have a data center in Council Bluffs or (I could) move out to San Francisco where their headquarters is stationed,” he said.
He prefers Google to any other company.
“I just love the environment. I’ve seen a lot of videos, and they even made a movie of it. They’re so relaxed and cheerful there,” he said.
The Norfolk Daily News (bit.ly/1OByYsV ) reports that one of the things he enjoys most is coding, which is defined as a system of signals used to represent letters or numbers in transmitting messages, which serve as the instructions in a computer program.
“We needed something in code, and he had never had a class in coding, so he looked up coding, and he taught himself how to code,” Luedtke said.
He enjoys the creative part that technology allows him to explore, as well as the technical aspect.
“When you write a code, and it works, it’s like, ‘Wow, I can do that,’ ” he said.
“I’m going to be lost next year without him,” Luedtke said.
He and Luedtke are working together to create a new web page for the City of Humphrey, and will make that presentation to the council sometime this year.
When not found on a computer, he is working two jobs to help finance his love of technology.
He was able to buy himself a pair of Google glasses, and tries to keep up with the latest trends and gadgets.
The glasses connect to his phone though Bluetooth, and can do about anything. He calls them “a cell phone for my face.”
The time he spends on a computer trying to figure out something is no different than the athlete who puts in extra time to get better.
“I will often spend hours trying to figure out why it won’t work and what’s wrong with it, and that moment I fix it and it works and everything looks well, it’s like a drug,” he said.
He had that moment while working on the Humphrey school App, which was rejected a few times by Apple before he perfected it, and it was accepted.
Huettner said he hopes the school starts to offer more computer courses so other students can learn what he’s taught himself.
“I would love for them to push computer classes because I didn’t have the opportunity to learn (in school), I had to learn myself,” he said.
Information from: Norfolk Daily News, https://www.norfolkdailynews.com
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