Mentor Monday: Meet Matt

Matt Dorsey mentors ideaSpark students this semester at our UT Dallas location. Just like the Jr. High students in our program, he started learning web development in his early teen years, so he's able to relate to their curiosity and motivation. Working from the AT&T Foundry in Plano, Matt is an applications developer for AT&T Partner Solutions.

Meet Matt...

How did you become interested in tech and programming?
When I was 13 my Dad brought home a copy of Front Page (WYSIWYG editor), which I used to make several websites. After a short while, I began looking through my websites’ source code which eventually got me writing raw HTML, CSS, and Javascript. I’d show my websites to my friends and word got around to my neighbors and business owners in the community who then hired me to build their websites. So it was a combination of curiosity and financial pull.

What did you study in college?
I earned my undergraduate degree in economics from UNT and a master’s degree in technology commercialization from UT Austin.  My part-time job as developer in college turned into a full-time job after graduation.

What are you working on now?
I work for AT&T Partner Solutions on the tools and technology team where I develop applications to assist collaborative efforts between our agents, solution providers and wholesale customers.

What have you gained from being a mentor? What was your most memorable moment while mentoring?
I discovered that I really enjoy teaching. My most memorable moment as a mentor (so far) was seeing one of the kids begin googling for developer knowledge that we hadn’t yet gone over as a class. He was really motivated.

Is there anything that you wish you could tell your younger self about coding?
I think it’s really important to work on a development team with experienced, senior level coders, the first couple of years into a programming career.  There are a lot of silo developer jobs out there that can make it difficult to become a better programmer because there’s no one around to critique your code or push you onto better technologies.  

Is there anything about our mission that really connects with you?
I really like Bold Idea’s emphasis on teamwork and collaboration.  The kids are able to create better quality projects faster and become better coders through these collaborative team efforts.