“I like to build things, I get to be creative and it’s really fun,” Matt Hartmann says when describing why he’s interested in becoming a software developer. “It’s a lot of problem-solving, and I really like that aspect of it. You get a rush when you get something to work or fix a bug. I’m really passionate about it.”

Not only is he passionate about software development – he’s very good at it. In fact, Matt recently was named the winner of the 2018 Terry O’Banion Student Developer Champion Award, a prestigious national award given by the League for Innovation in the Community College to recognize students who have exceptional technology skills.

Matt’s love of technology started when he was a child.

“When I was young, I used to take apart everything. I went to resale stores and bought old computers just to dismantle them to figure out how they worked,” Matt says. He was only 12 when he built his first computer and over the years, he continued to teach himself.

In his free time, Matt developed the U-Pick Restaurant Picker free app that’s available on the Google Play Store.

“Basically, it randomly chooses a restaurant for you based on your location,” he says. In the future, he hopes to add features such as having the algorithm allow users to select a certain food type or a mileage range.

Matt’s glad he decided to pursue a career in the technology field and he’s glad he chose Moraine Valley where, he says, “You feel like everyone has your back. It’s a good community.”