Ian Brandt

Hello, World!

I’m the founder and executive director of Brandt Academy. We’re a non-profit STEM academy where middle and high school students learn technology engineering from industry professionals. I’m also the founder and organizer of the San Diego Kotlin User Group, and serve on the board of directors as well as co-organize the San Diego Java User’s Group.

I have a passion for learning, mentoring, and servant leadership. I’ve been a long-time proponent and practitioner of Agile, Lean, DevOps, and Software Craftsmanship values, principles, and practices. I’m constantly seeking to refine my craft, and leverage my skills to foster high-performing technology delivery organizations.

I’m a member of the Association for Computing Machinery. I also enjoy contributing to open-source projects, and studying software, electronics, computer, mechanical, and robotics engineering.


My fascination with technology began when I was young. Ever curious, I wanted to learn how to make the early-generation video games my childhood friends and I would play. I purchased an Intel 8088-based computer with a year’s worth of paper route savings, and started teaching myself how to program in BASIC and C from magazines and books. My learning efforts greatly accelerated upon gaining access to the internet in the mid-90’s, and grew into a career in the lead-up to the Y2K problem. Amateur and professional experience combined, I’ve now been programming computers for over 30 years.

Other Interests

Away from the keyboard I keep busy with an overly-long list of hobbies. I love hiking, backpacking, rock climbing, and beach volleyball. I enjoy reading and listening to audiobooks, particularly on the topics of leadership, start-ups, business strategy, cosmology, evolution, neuroscience, nutrition, personal productivity and improvement, and personal finance. I play upright and electric bass, am slowly learning the piano, and I like experimenting with hardware and software synthesizers. Otherwise I’m often tinkering with cars, motorcycles, and radio control helicopters. I love movies, and follow Formula 1, MotoGP, NFL football, and America’s Cup sailing. Some dormant interests I hope to revive include sailboat racing, playing the cello, and aviation.