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Mary Ludloff
February 21, 2019

KLB Construction Intern, Vivian Nowka-Keane, Talks About Her Fearless App Building Journey

Over the years, I’ve gotten to know Richard Glass, Director of Information Services at KLB Construction, pretty well. Since KLB is Seattle-based, we’ve gotten together a few times for lunch to discuss Richard’s digital transformation progress. And it’s safe to say that Richard and KLB continue to remain at the forefront of automation in the construction industry.  If you’re curious about what they’re doing, check out this case study.

Now, I’ve known that Richard tends to hire interns to work on some of his app projects during the summer and school vacations. But I’ve always assumed those interns were University of Washington students as we have a number of them working for us each year. So, imagine my surprise when I discovered that Richard’s intern was a high school student!

I had lunch with both of them and after chatting with Vivian Nowka-Keane, an intern who has worked with Richard for the past two years, I wanted to hear more of her story. And that’s how this podcast came into being.Vivian Nowka-Keane talks about her app building experience at KLB Construction.

In it, one our UW interns, Dain “Yoshi” Yoshizumi, sits down with Vivian to talk about how she got into tech, what she learned about app development from KLB and Richard, how she used the AppSheet platform, and her future plans. And full disclosure: Vivian is now a freshman at the Rochester Institute of Technology, majoring in cybersecurity with an emphasis on—you guessed it, computer programming!

This is a great, true story of how one young woman followed her passions—equal parts journalism, math, and of course, computer science—and learned to be fearless. In her words:

“Never let fear get in the way of pursuing something you’re interested in—no fear of outside judgement, obstacles, or failure is more important than discovering things for yourself…”

Hopefully, we’ve all had the good fortune to have mentors like Richard, ready and willing to help us on our own journeys!

So when you have a few minutes, please listen to the podcast below and learn:

  • How Vivian “found” her KLB app building gig.
  • Vivian’s take on the digitization of the construction industry and why it’s important.
  • Why user input is so critical for app adoption.
  • The role that The Tao of Programming played during Vivian’s KLB internship.


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