By Bethany Good
David Wolgemuth is a software engineer hailing from Lancaster, Pennsylvania. His interest in technology started at a young age. “I have always been a computer nerd and grew up playing with old-school computer games and open-source software, ” he says. Later, he spent some time living overseas in Vietnam teaching English, where he met a few “digital nomads” who were developers. He taught himself to code using a couple of PDF textbooks and eventually went to a coding “boot camp” to help network and find a job. Because of his teaching background and prior coding ability, he was able to get a job teaching at the boot camp. Eventually, he landed his first full-time software gig. Since then, he has honed his skills and focused on the “Back End” of web/cloud development.
David is a musician and has learned a variety of instruments, including the guitar, drum set, piano, and violin. During college, he spent a lot of time writing music. He also enjoys being a member of the choir at his church.
David has been studying Spanish for years and regularly attends a conversation practice at “El Centro Hispano de Frederick.”
Why we love David
David is a valued member of Cowork Frederick. It’s easy to love David because he’s so laid-back and friendly. At first, he may seem reserved but as you get to know him, you will begin to see his sense of humor. Every time you talk to David, you learn something new. David carries himself with humility, and his gentle nature makes him especially endearing to everyone in our community. He is quick to offer a hand or some words of encouragement to those in need. David has a big heart and a passion for giving back to his community.
Q&A with David
Tell us about your approach to work and life.
For work – I’m of the “agile” mindset:
– people over processes
– working on solutions over polishing documentation
– collaboration over negotiation
– responding to change over following an existing plan
With the caveat that process, documentation, negotiation, and plans are all fundamental and helpful.
For life, I have a similar approach. I am a bit of a dreamer and often need to remind myself of the important tangible things I can be doing rather than being bogged down by everything I am not doing.
What inspires you and keeps you going?
I stay motivated by giving to charities. I grew up hearing that “if you have a refrigerator and running water, you are in the top percent of the most wealthy people on the planet.” It is easy to compare yourself to billionaires and feel “poor,” but the average US citizen can make a difference with strategic donations. This helps me find more purpose in my work rather than simply making myself nominally more comfortable. I recommend reading “The Life You Can Save” by Peter Singer for a deeper dive into that subject.
Which of the guiding values defined by Cowork Frederick members speaks to you?
“Balance” is the value with the most meaning for me. It is easy to be swept up by a job, a relationship, a chore, a hobby, or a life event and forget about the many other things which make up our lives. I try to take a step back and put everything into perspective.
Any tips for getting into the software industry?
Start a long-term, self-guided project which solves a problem that you find fun! A common problem among my past students was a fear of the unknown — procrastinating by passively reading more on the subject, watching more tutorials, and planning what they will do, rather than rolling up their sleeves, diving in, and starting coding!
Sidenote – this applies to many things other than software. Want to be a watercolor painter? Don’t wait until you have all the “right” things, like the right paper, brushes, or theories – grab what you have and start painting!
Why Cowork Frederick?
I prefer to be surrounded by people who actively work to improve the community.
About the Author:
Bethany Good is a prolific poet, creative writer, author, copywriter, editor, and storyteller. Her work has been featured in PopSugar, Frederick Lifestyle Magazine, Patapsco Valley Living Magazine, and Columbia Inspired Magazine. Bethany is also the founder and “Head Wordsmith” of Good Writing Co. which provides copywriting, digital marketing, editing, and other content writing services. Find out how Good Writing Co. can help you or your business at goodwritingco.com.