Meet the Corso Team!

Meet Alex

Founder, Owner

If You Were Working Outside Of Technology What Would You Be Doing?

If elementary school Alex had his way I would be a video game designer. Before I knew people did things for a living I had a dream job in mind designing the next version of Contra for the NES. If any later version of me had his way I would be on-stage in front of sold out audiences playing concerts and touring the world. I lucked out and got the best of both worlds in automation.

What Do You Do In Your Free Time?

Free time? When I am not working with customers, the Corso family, or spending time with my wife and our dog, I learn about things I find interesting. For the past few years this has been a mixture of the physical with Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, the mental through mindfulness exercises, and the more esoteric with a deep dive into storytelling and mythology.

First Website You Go To When You Need To Take A Break?

Feedly. I have accumulated RSS feeds over the last decade of most of the sites I enjoy and Feedly aggregates them all. In the last year I have also gotten into YouTube more and more, especially the maker movement channels.

What Is Something You Like That Most People Have Never Heard Of?

One of things I learned about for the first time while I was in Italy for work was the liquor genre of Amaro. Despite being super bitter, complex, and not easily accessible, it spoke to me in a way few things have before. I am always on the search for something to rival the best example from one of the small towns we worked in. I have made a few converts, and have gotten quite a few dirty looks, still I keep looking for the best the world has to offer.

Favorite Podcasts?

My Mt. Rushmore of podcasting is simple. Hardcore History, Song Exploder, Revisionist History by Malcolm Gladwell, and 99% Invisible. I also love listening to Gimlet Media’s Startup, The Prepared by Spencer Wright. 2 Hours with Matt Pinfield is great, as is Joe Rogan Experience, Waking Up With Sam Harris, Still Untitled with Adam Savage, and the Making It Podcast. That narrows it down to almost 4.

What Are You Tinkering On Currently?

Right now I am far down the path of learning about motion control and robotics. After working on a few really interesting customer facing projects I have some ideas I am taking a look at from the ground up. I am also constantly tinkering on the Corso formula to make sure we are giving our team the best possible place to work, and finding the coolest customers we can to share in our collective experience.

Meet Bill

Senior Systems Engineer

If You Were Working Outside Of Technology What Would You Be Doing?

I had big dreams growing up. The very first thing I remember wanting to be is an astronaut, although I don’t think that counts as “outside of technology”. From Tee-Ball through most of high school before I fell in love with computers, I wanted to be a professional baseball player. Once I started exploring the internet and building cheesy 1990s websites, it was a no-brainer to do something like that as a career.

What I love about programming is that it’s an act of creation requiring both halves of your brain to build something from nothing. I am motivated by progress so it is incredibly rewarding to see a system come to life piece by piece. If I never made it to the technical side, I would probably be on the construction side of the same industries, building things from the ground up with physical tools instead of software tools.

What Do You Do In Your Free Time?

I like to spend my free time with my Border Collie mix, Reggie. We play Frisbee (he’s REALLY good) and take walks in the park. He is super smart and has a ton of energy so it takes a lot to keep him occupied. When I go out, I like to watch live music and comedy and try new restaurants and local beers. I always try to make time to play games (card, board, video, you name it).

First Website You Go To When You Need To Take A Break?

Reddit. It’s a great source of news and discussion on quite a range of topics if you put in the effort to manage your subscriptions. I try to stay in the technical, programming and hobby centric subreddits but it’s easy to wander off. Alex and I actually met on /r/PLC, so I can certainly say that it’s been good to me!

What’s Your Favorite Outdoor Activity?

I would have to say camping. Whether it’s at a music festival in the middle of a field or some beautiful and secluded spot in nature, there’s nothing like gathering a group of friends and enjoying your surroundings together. I like to hike and take in nature but I’m also perfectly content to sit around a fire laughing and eating camp food. As a kid, my family would make hobo stew for dinner on a fire in the backyard because we loved it so much.

What Are You Tinkering On Currently?

I’ve always got a handful of projects going on and I rotate them on and off my workbench on a whim. Right now, I’m working on integrating an old analog joystick with my favorite SCADA platform to build a game. I’m also putting together a light organ kit I got for Christmas last year. Hopefully, I won’t get sidetracked by some random project idea and I’ll get it done before winter so I can put together a cool holiday light display this year. The most recent project I’ve seen to completion is an ambient light system that captures images from a TV and mirrors the colors to an LED strip mounted on the back of the TV.

Favorite Podcasts?

I am a bit behind the times when it comes to Podcasts. I have a couple on my radar, mostly from Alex and Evan’s recommendations, but nothing on rotation. You’ll usually find me listening to music. Bluegrass in the morning, classic rock and funk by day, and electronic jam bands by night. If I’m head down at work, I’ll put on an ambient playlist that’s all instrumental. Unless I need energy, then it’s anything with wailing string instruments and nonsense lyrics I don’t have to pay attention to.

Meet Evan

Systems Engineer

If You Were Working Outside Of Technology What Would You Be Doing?

I’ve always had a love for the ocean. I feel it is a vastly unexplored area, full of mysteries and clues to our true history and time on Earth. I always wanted to follow along the lines of marine biology growing up, as it satisfied my need for exploration and my quest for new ventures. When the reality of low pay and smelling like fish all day came into play, I started venturing elsewhere for my career thrills. The world of automation provides many challenges and unexplored avenues also waiting to be explored, and working with Corso Systems allows me to be creative and take on new ventures with each new job site and city we travel to.

What Do You Do In Your Free Time?

Hailing from the Pacific Northwest, the list of extracurricular activities is endless if you enjoy being outdoors. I balance my computer and tech world with a host of off-the-grid avenues. I enjoy hiking remote mountain tops, kayaking in crisp mountain lakes, snowboarding in the winter with every opportunity I get, and riding motorcycles, both on street and off-road.

First Website You Go To When You Need To Take A Break?

LinkedIn. I generally use the mobile app. Following the correct companies and pages gives me a broad range of news, from the latest IoT findings to the newest album releases. It gives me a wide variety of views and information that would otherwise be scattered throughout various websites. It’s basically my version of Facebook.

What’s Your Favorite Outdoor Activity?

My favorite outdoor activities fall directly in line with my free time choices. If I had to pick, it would be between snowboarding and riding motorcycles. Both give you an amazing amount of freedom and creativity choices with your own style, and allow you to create your own path to follow with each ride.

What Are You Tinkering On Currently?

My current list of projects includes rebuilding my 1987 Kawasaki 305 motorcycle. I’ve been turning it into a custom café racer for sporting around town. From paint and seat modifications, custom exhaust pipe welding, carburetor fixes, and motor tuning, I’ve been doing it all. I’ve logged quite a few hours on it, but it is definitely a work in progress…

I also enjoy doing various homebrew beer recipes. I’ve done a Red Ale and an IPA, and I am currently starting the brewing process on a Citrus Pale Ale with some fellow Corso Systems friends.

Favorite Podcasts?

One of my favorite categories. Podcasts are a huge part of my weekly routine. From travel time to leisure to workouts, podcasts fuel many parts of my day. In no particular order (except for number one), my list includes The Joe Rogan Podcast, Waking Up (Sam Harris), Radiolab, All in the Mind, Science VS., How I Built This, Stuff You Should Know, and a few others that fall into similar categories. My latest download, which I’ve yet to listen to but am excited about, is the IoT Podcast (Stacey Higginbotham). May be a little late to the party with that one, but I’m ready to get started on those episodes.

I’m always up for new challenges and podcast suggestions, or tips from fellow bike builders and home brewers. My lines of communication are always open, no matter what coast you’re from!

Meet Dave

Sales and Marketing Manager

If You Were Working Outside Of Technology What Would You Be Doing?

Park Ranger, hands down, I love History and the Outdoors. I spent a lot of time outside growing up and even when it was raining, some of my best memories are away from cell reception. My wife (Beth) and I are planning on visiting all 50 States, 59 National Parks, and I have a couple of Mountains on my list when I make it to the West Coast and Alaska.

What Do You Do In Your Free Time?

We spend a lot of time outside and traveling. When we are back by friends and family, I spend a lot of time with them. Otherwise you can find me working on Picket, our bus home, and/or with my camera in hand.

First Website You Go To When You Need To Take A Break?

HackerNews. It gives me a different perspective than I have normally, and overall the comment section it typically upbeat and there isn’t much flaming going on.

Favorite Outdoor Activity?

Yes. If I’m by myself or need to take a break, I’ll go for a run. When with other people you can find me hiking, or camping, I’m always looking for a good thru-hike or Mountain climb.

What Are You Tinkering On Currently?

Picket is a 1966 Silver Eagle converted from Bus to House on Wheels. I’m always working to make something better. Beth’s list of things for Dave to do seems like it is always getting longer. I really want to know how 300 square feet can have so many things that need to be changed…..

Favorite Podcasts(S)?

Freakonomics Radio, Kings Falls AM, Welcome To Night Vale, The Startup Chat Podcast, HBR Ideacast, Tell Me Something I Don’t Know, Coming soon the Corso Podcast! I listen to them on Google Play, because I don’t own an iPhone and I haven’t downloaded anything else….

What do you think? Worth having a conversation with Dave? He hopes so. Feel free to reach out to start the conversation. He’s a pretty cool guy and would be happy to talk about vintage busses, thru-hiking, or a system that you’re having issues with…what are you waiting for?

Meet John

Senior Systems Engineer

If You Were Working Outside Of Technology What Would You Be Doing?

If I were to leave my job today and work outside of technology, I would probably try and be a musician or Harley Davidson technician. In my adolescence, I would have immediately said musician since I lived and breathed playing music and played shows nearly every weekend. My early twenties brought my passion for riding motorcycles. Since my financial situation was different back then, any repairs required on my bike meant I had to do them myself, which brought me to my passion for working on motorcycles. It’s like that old motto that goes something like, “find a job you enjoy doing, and you will never work a day in your life”; if I must have a job to support my family, why not have it be something I love?

What Do You Do In Your Free Time?

In my limited free time, there is a good chance you’ll find me out my motorcycle with a few good friends, goofing off with my boys at the park, or trying to learn something new. When it comes to night time, you will more than likely find my wife and I watching a couple of The Office episodes that we have already watched multiple times. We aren’t ready to let that show go yet.

First Website You Go To When You Need To Take A Break?

YouTube. Whether it’s for watching videos of people failing at life in the most hilarious way possible or watching tutorial videos to learn how to do something new, YouTube is usually my go to website.

Favorite Outdoor Activity?

Getting out on the road on two wheels with some wind in my face. I know what you are thinking and I realize that that is one of the most cliché and cheesy sayings I have ever heard, but until you experience it you simply just can’t understand. There is just something about putting my favorite Social Distortion album on while blasting down the highway that eases the soul and slows down time in the ever-increasing speed of our society. For that short while, there are no worries, no troubles, just me and my machine; and life is good!

What Are You Tinkering On Currently?

I usually have a few projects that I’m working on. A Raspberry Pi 3 that I have installed a few emulators on so I can play all of the console games I grew up playing like Earthworm Jim and Zombies Ate My Neighbors. I am also setting up a media server, ran off a Raspberry Pi Zero on my home network so that my family can all upload our photos into a central location and save space on our phones. My three-year-old son just gave me my most recent project by coming home with an old Buzz Lightyear from daycare that needs its electronics restored.

Favorite Podcasts(S)?

I am an avid listener of the Jason Ellis Show on SiriusXM satellite radio, I listen to it every day. Unfortunately, this show is only three hours long each day so that has recently made me branch out into the podcasting world. The Changelog, The Internet of Things, TechStuff, and Envoy Office Hacks are a few of the podcasts that I have started listening to. I am still looking for podcasts so if you have any you would like to share with me, please do!

Meet Olivia

Administrator & Educator

If You Were Working Outside Tech, What Would You Be Doing?

Well, I’m not a techie by trade, so I guess the answer is really just what I do already, which is education (currently working on my PhD and was an English teacher in Brooklyn before this). If the question is “what else would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you’re doing?” then I think I have 20 different answers, which is probably why I’m not doing any of them. Definitely something not related to sitting at a desk (I just couldn’t do it); I’d probably get back into the non-profit realm or choose global public health.

What Do You Do In Your Free Time?

My free time is limited between September and the end of June, but when I do have it I like to explore whatever city I’m living in, travel to outdoor adventures, or read things of my choosing that are not research reports and papers. My longer stints of ``free time`` consist largely of traveling to various corners of the world, which is my true spare time passion; so far I've lived in the Middle East and Thailand, crossed the country in a Camry camping and hiking in national parks, backpacked around southeast Asia, did a 60 mile trek to Machu Picchu as part of a tour de Peru, ate my way around Europe, and danced through Cuba. El Salvador for research is on deck at the start of 2019, followed by the possibility of Africa in the summer. If I could somehow travel constantly, I would.

First Website You Go To When You Need To Take A Break?

The New York Times or Twitter. I really like relaxing with non-education-research-reading. I love my work, but sometimes it gets overwhelming and it’s nice to read journalism. I’m the worst Twitter user ever, but it’s great- I don’t tweet anything, as a rule, but follow all the sports, news, music, and journals I like for easy updates and good links to further reading. Still figuring out Reddit and LinkedIn...I've heard they can be useful?

Favorite Outdoor Activity?

That I can do regularly given my proximity to DC? Running. Marathon #2 is coming up next spring. That I just enjoy? Hiking. Wherever I go in the world my first or second order of business is to find the nearest national parks and trek around; it’s one of my favorite ways to get to know a country. That I wish I could do more of? I'm a certified diver and would go diving every single day of the week if that were somehow possible—the ocean is the coolest place on earth.

Favorite Podcasts?

Podcasts factor heavily into the structure of my day. I listen to The Daily when I’m showering and getting ready, Pod Save America or some of the other Crooked Media pods when I’m working out or on long runs, and then other usual suspects in the car include Stuff You Should Know, Serial, lots of political series, and some of Gimlet media’s productions. I can’t listen to stuff and read/write at the same time, otherwise this list would be much longer.

What Are You Currently Tinkering On?

I don’t really “tinker” on things unless something in my apartment needs repair, and even then sometimes I shouldn’t (RIP shoe rack, gone but not forgotten). I do “intellectually tinker,” I suppose, on writing articles. I’m looking to have something published within the year so there’s a lot of both early drafting and writing notes I sometimes can’t interpret later, and revisiting old notes and pieces to see if they spark my interest again.

What do you think? Worth having a conversation with Olivia? Feel free to reach out at Olivia.Murphy@CorsoSystems.com

Meet George

Systems Engineer

If You Were Working Outside Of Technology What Would You Be Doing?

I have a hard time seeing myself working outside of technology in general. I’ve always been hacking at something. We are in the golden age of makers: the ability to prototype rapidly, collaborate on projects with people across the globe in real time, and wearable interactive technology. It seemed like science fiction when I was growing up. If I was doing anything else by choice it would be working in creative coding for art exhibits and for music experiences. Which segues right into…

What Do You Do In Your Free Time?

Making music, visuals to accompany them, and creating interactivity driven experiences. You can often find me deep into Ableton doing song construction or sound design or noodling around. I love all things Native Instrument and I am always working in Kontakt, Reaktor, Massive, or FM8. Shout out to Serum as well. I love DSP in general and applying it to music and video makes me happy. I have a ridiculous setup I am always working to minimize and do my best to avoid gear acquisition syndrome.

Video wise I am working in Cinema4D, Houdini, Unity, and TouchDesigner. I also love learning more about graphics and shader coding and incorporating that where possible. Each has their purpose and place in the puzzle I am figuring out and getting them working together how I want to be its own fun. I tend to use Unity3d as my prime generative graphics base and incorporate into TouchDesigner as my main control station. Creating loops or video inside Cinema4d/Houdini that I then mix together inside of TouchDesigner to make my visual art. I also dabble in VR experiences with using Unity.

First Website You Go To When You Need To Take A Break?

Reddit. Generally followed by a few pages I follow on Medium for creative technology. Lastly popping in several of the art and music groups I am in on Facebook.

What’s Your Favorite Outdoor Activity?

Whenever I need some alone time I like to hike around the local state parks to take in the views from the dunes of coastal VA and NC. Love to Canoe through the estuaries and river ways. Otherwise hanging out around a bonfire with people dancing to live music creating some artwork and memories of good times.

What Is Something You Like That Most People Have Never Heard Of?

The Demoscene. There are always videos going viral from it, but people don’t really know it outside of the coding circles. People out there compete to make video and musical masterpieces using code that is often only kilobytes in size.

The graphics and music of this video was all made in code creating an executable only 4kb (4096 bytes) in size:

Favorite Podcasts?

Joe Rogan Experience. Freakonomics Podcast. The Musician’s Podcast. Dead Heir Records. The Collective Podcast. Whitestone.io – Chatting series.

Digging through a couple YouTube series. Really enjoying RedLetterMedia’s Best of the Worst. Channel Awesome’s Nostalgia Critic and Rap Critic. Another Dirty Room by This is Dan Bell. Zero Punctuation on The Escapist for video game reviews.

What Are You Tinkering On Currently?

Getting 5440 addressable LEDs working via Artnet synchronized over network to match music and accentuate projection mapping visuals accompanying it. I have the backbones done and I am asking myself how I want to incorporate them either as a 3d sculpture, part of something wearable, or a mix.

What do you think? Worth having a conversation with George? He hopes so. Feel free to reach out . He’s really into music, and loves making everything…what are you waiting for?

Meet Marguerite

Systems Engineer

If You Were Working Outside Of Technology What Would You Be Doing?

Given that for the past two years I was teaching, that is most likely what I would have continued doing. High school and early college me wanted to be a physicist. If I had kept with that path, I would be in graduate school researching how the universe works.

What Do You Do In Your Free Time?

I play this game called Ultimate. It’s a ball game where the ball is a flying disc. It’s like football with basketball traveling rules and soccer endurance and where players make their own calls. You can find me watching games posted on YouTube or just throwing a disc in the park. Otherwise I like to play card games, board games and, recently, coop video games, as well as take the occasional hike when I find myself out of the city. Oh, and play with my cat. She likes the cuddles.

First Website You Go To When You Need To Take A Break?

My internet habits take me all over the place and I cycle through sites when I take my breaks. I look to Twitter for the news, Facebook for the laughs, Instagram to see where people are and what they’re eating, Reddit for what’s happening in the realms of my interests.

Favorite Outdoor Activity?

Tossing discs. It’s a fun activity to do with friends. I have also used it as a focusing technique.

What Are You Tinkering On Currently?

Nothing much at the moment, though I am trying to figure out the best way to make a quilt from all of the fabric I brought back from Tanzania.

Favorite Podcasts(S)?

I’m not much of a podcast person, though I do go through periods where I will follow one podcast intensely for a little while before falling off. It all started with Pottercast and Mugglecast. Nerdist followed along with Serial. A few months ago, I went through Gilmore Girls nostalgia with Gilmore Guys. While I was living in Tanzania, I kept up with news through The Daily and NPR stuff like Wait Wait, This American Life, and RadioLab.