Matt Puskala, Project Manager
You started as an intern at DMC and have worked your way up to management. What have you learned along the way?
I started working at DMC as a co-op in 2000. I’ve learned to use any support at your disposal right away if you are struggling with something. Whether it’s technical support or the person down the hall from you, leveraging your resources is crucial to time management. One piece of advice I’d give my intern-self is to keep a positive attitude – it carries you farther than you would imagine.
DMC has also changed a lot since I started. We keep hiring smarter and smarter young people that really impress me. We are always advancing technically – learning more systems, and improving our programming standards and methodologies. The caliber of DMC’s quality of service and overall capabilities has expanded and we have grown in our cultural identity. Working here has only become more fun over time.
What do you like about working at DMC?
I enjoy the variety of experience, both technical and business. Since we are a small business, everyone has a chance to pitch in, and I enjoy the opportunity to work on web marketing, web development, and the entire sales process. You look at the big picture view of the company and it’s a lot of fun. I also appreciate working at DMC because I am challenged to grow and improve all the time; it’s not the kind of job where you sit and punch in numbers.
What have been some of your favorite projects?
I get excited to work on any embedded project. A recent project includes the board design for a battery testing and simulation project. I had fun working on the board and circuit design and electronics for an embedded bagging and vending machine, basically a system that runs on a scaled down computer.
Do you have any engineering hobbies?
I spend a lot of free time programming, building computers, and setting up my home network. Over the past year, I built an Intel i5 and an Intel i3 system at home. My next project will be to rebuild my Linux computer on an Intel Atom system, which is a scaled-down processor designed for netbooks and lower power consumption.
Another project I hope to complete someday is building an Arcade emulator from an old computer and cabinet. It will run multiple old school arcade games using a CT monitor, joysticks, and buttons.
We hope to create an autonomous robotic embedded blimp to fly around DMC’s new office. It will be programmed to return itself to a charging station, avoid fans and walls, and possibly have a camera. Its working title is !Hindenburg (that’s a programming joke – the ‘Not’ Hindenburg).
How do you spell Minnesota?
I grew up cheering for the Golden Gophers and attending about half of their home games every season. I don't remember it, but I'm told I won the Kindergarten spelling bee for being able to spell the longest word (Minnesota).
I love hockey and Minnesota lost the North Stars team when I was growing up so I adopted the Blackhawks. I especially enjoyed the 2009 and 2010 Blackhawks seasons – and teasing my friends who are Redwings fans. My family at home will probably disown me, but my baseball loyalties lie with the White Sox (I still cheer for the Twins and Cubs) and of course I am a die-hard Vikings fan.
What are your favorite ways to enjoy summer in Chicago?
I like spending time with my wife and friends in the city. Whether grilling out or trying new restaurants, we like to eat. One of our new favorite places is Viceroy of India. Some friends have a place near the beach so it’s nice to hang out there. Other hobbies of mine are running and playing poker with friends and coworkers.