Josh is one of our 20 Builders and is a web developer in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.

Name: Josh Stroschein

City/Town: Madison, South Dakota

How can we connect with you? 

Twitter: @jstrosch
Website: www.m9development.com

Who is your community?

Sioux Falls and the surrounding area.

Give us a behind-the-scenes look at your average day.

That’s pretty hard to do as most days vary quite a bit.  I teach at DSU and spend a vast amount of my day preparing for class, answering emails, meeting with students, delivering class and grading.  I also run SD Code Bootcamp and spend a good deal of time doing similar things for that in addition to some of the business management.  Additionally, I’m completing my doctorate and taking classes for that.  There’s no shortage of things to work on!

What is the most beneficial aspect of living in the OTA region when it comes to your career?

There is a lot of passionate people and great things are being done – even though we’re in the Midwest, we can compete at a global level.

At what intersection do you live your life?

I live at the intersection of Busy and Overwhelmed.

Where do you think good ideas come from?

Experience.

What’s one current trend you think will change the world?

Education, and how people find it and consume it.  That’s one reason I started SD Code Bootcamp, I believe there is a growing trend to learn outside of ‘traditional’ academic venues.  While not everyone will pursue these alternatives, I think enough will and it will greatly change our educational system.

What’s the best way to put inspiration into action?

Sharing ideas/inspiration, getting others involved and excited and building on that momentum. I started a non-profit that refurbished computers for those in need and did so alone.  I made it about two years before I could no longer keep up. I’ve since had an opportunity to get others involved and have seen my passion re-ignited!

What’s the greatest risk you’ve taken?

I’ve tried hard over the years to be who I am and not who people expect me to be.

What’s your biggest failure, and what did you learn from it?

I went to pilot training for the Air Force and spent nearly 2 years in a training program.  I had some medical issues disrupt my progress and I was ultimately unable to complete the training.  The training was intense and I had spent several years before that just working for the opportunity, it was difficult to have to walk away from it.  I learned a lot from that experience – determination pays off for starters.  I also learned how to persevere through long periods of adversity and that I could do far more than I thought I was capable of.  One of the most important lessons I learned is to be careful what you wish/work for – pilot training was certainly not the experience I had expected it to be.

Who do you hope to leave a legacy for?

My family and my community.

Who is the most connected person in your life, and what personal characteristics make him or her so well-connected?

Will Bushee, who is also my business partner.  I think what makes him a great connector is that he’s easy to talk to, eager to help and quick to respond (and always responds).

Who is the most creative person in your life, and why?

My sister, she has a completely different way of looking at life than I do. I tend to be more analytical and she is more of a free-spirit.

Who is the most community-focused person in your life, and how do they impact their communities?

Will Bushee, he dedicates a large amount of his time helping out the community.  He’s involved in non-profit organizations such as Health Connect and Computers for the Community, but also involved in a variety of other clubs/groups and is always in attendance, offering his help when he can.

The OTA Builders are a group of individuals who thrive on possibility and use all opportunities they are given to grow both in their careers and in their passions. We seek creatives who are tenacious and strong-willed movers and doers and are driven to make a significant impact on the people around them and the community they call home. These people recognize their talents and capabilities and find ways to continuously grow and learn from them. Why is this you?

I have been driven all of my life. I have constantly strove to push myself to accomplish new challenges, from attending pilot training to (nearly) completing a doctoral program, I have set goals and pushed towards them.  I have also dedicated myself to the betterment of my community.  I first started by founding a non-profit called Computers for the Community.  With this organization I refurbished donated computers and provided them to those in need.  I ran this organization individually and was refurbishing between 75 and 100 PCs a month, outside of full-time employment.  While I wasn’t able to keep this tempo up, I was able to find others in the community to help and the organization continues to help our community.

I also saw a need for training in web development, not just from individuals who are pursuing these skills but also from businesses in our area that need employees that possess those skills.  This not only provides career changing opportunities for individuals, but also helps our community to grow by allowing tech-based businesses to find the skilled workforce they need.  In addition, we’ve also started gaming boot camps, which teach children the fundamentals of programming in an engaging way.  Our educational system (K-12) lacks any real curriculum in computer science and programs such as this help to fill a much needed gap for our children.

What project will you focus on as part of the OTA Builders Program?

SD Code Bootcamp, which covers not only formal training in web development but has also starting gaming boot camps for elementary and high school students.  I have ambition to grow this business to include community outreach and other technologies.

What change / advancement do you hope to achieve as part of the OTA Builders Program?

The development of my business and networking skills. From there I’d like to grow SD Code Bootcamp to impact not just Sioux Falls, but the greater geographic region.