From North Carolina to Silicon Valley - This alum is shaping the future of social networking.
What is a native North Carolinian who grew up in Mooresville doing in Silicon Valley? According to Ben Darnell, he’s putting down roots and changing the ways that we use technology.
Are you on Facebook? Do you Twitter? Then chances are you’ve seen some of Ben’s work. Ben has worked for big name companies like Google and Facebook, but he has found that his niche is the more intimate start-up environment at Thing Labs.
"The best thing about my current job is that we are a small company…. We start from scratch and put the pieces together until we are happy with what we wind up with…. I see my projects through from concept to completion. It’s very satisfying."
"The best thing about my current job is that we are a small company… just seven people. We are doing everything from the ground up. I like being able to define what that means – what direction we are going in. We start from scratch and put the pieces together until we are happy with what we wind up with – that’s a lot more exciting to me than working at a big company where you are working on something that fits into a larger project in some way that you may never see. I see my projects through from concept to completion. It’s very satisfying."
Point of fact, Thing Labs created Brizzly, a companion product for Twitter and Facebook that improves the interface, simplifies browsing and updating, and adds features. Some of the features Twitter offers now were actually pioneered by the team at Thing Labs. Brizzly continues to offer features that Twitter does not have on its own. Ben and his coworkers are responsible for ideas that improve the way you tweet today!
"I’ve found a career path here and I can’t really imagine doing anything else. I do programming for fun too – so it’s not just a job for me."
Ben was very interested in computers in high school. He knew a lot about programming before entering college and feels that his experience at NC State helped him become a better engineer. Ben was a Park Scholar and graduated NC State with the Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science in 2002.