Representatives from the ACME Competitive Robotics Team presented to a standing room only crowd this week at Nevada County Tech Connection’s TechTonic event. The high school students, who recently advanced to the state championships for robotics competition, spoke confidently about the nitty gritty technical details of programming robots for autonomous and driver-controlled tasks. For the handful of children who attended the event, the highlight of the presentation was taking turns driving ACME’s robot.
The adults in the crowd of just over 40 people were engaged and impressed by the work these high school students are doing. They were also there to network. “Us geeks have to get out some time,” said Dennis Wolfers, who works as a software engineering manager in Rancho Cordova. “I would love to get rid of my 50-mile commute,” he added.
The event attracts a healthy cross-section of Nevada County techies – people who work for local tech companies or commute like Dennis, entrepreneurs, and remote workers who don’t want to give up their Nevada County lifestyle. “I’m here to see what people are doing in our local tech community,” said Todd Kaplan, who works remotely as a circuit designer. “It’s a great way to meet other people who are involved in coding and development,” said Ryan Trauntvein, another software engineer who also works remotely. Trauntvein thinks it’s important to bring the Nevada County tech community together. He and Remington Maxwell, a software engineer who works for local company Grass Valley, a Belden Brand, started and currently run the Free Code Camp Meet-up, a casual monthly gathering for people who want to learn how to code.
Nevada County Tech Connection donated all of the proceeds from Tuesday’s event to ACME, which relies on volunteers and fundraising to supply its student members with everything they need to build competitive robots.