Innovative Learning

Code for the Home

As an iOS engineer at Nest Labs in Palo Alto, Calif., Nathan Nesiba ’13 regularly uses his liberal arts background to make the home an even more comfortable place.

Nesiba is part of an apps team that develops the user interface for Nest’s line of smart devices for the home, like their thermostat, indoor and outdoor web cams, and smoke alarms that connect to your mobile devices.

The computer science and philosophy double major says his critical thinking skills help him to think about programming problems in new ways. Computer science isn’t just about technical work, says Nesiba.

“In my philosophy and religion classes at Concordia, I was taught to re-examine the things I took for granted,” Nesiba says. “In programming, realizing that your assumptions aren’t necessarily true is important for problem solving.”

Nesiba says he has always been interested in computers, even as a child, so it was natural for him to become a computer science major. As a junior at Concordia, Nesiba began an independent study/internship as a software engineer at what is now known as Myriad Mobile, a mobile app development company in Fargo, N.D. After three years of working with the company, Nesiba was offered a job at Nest and moved to California.

“One of the things I love about Silicon Valley is the sense of overwhelming optimism,” he says. “If you have the right group of people and the right idea, you really can change the world.”

Video by Evan Balko

The purpose of Concordia College is to influence the affairs of the world by sending into society thoughtful and informed men and women dedicated to the Christian life.