Last Thursday, Highlander Code Camp students toured the Lincoln headquarters of Hudl, a video streaming service for athletes and coaches to review and improve gameplay. With over 1,900 employees and satellite offices in Omaha, Boston, London, Sydney, and Mumbai, Hudl is one of the Silicon Prairie’s most impressive tech entrepreneurial success stories. 

The field trip offered students an inside look on what working at a tech company is like. (It includes free lunch, a wall of Nerf guns, challenging work, flexible schedules, and plenty of vacation time.) They saw how the skills they learn during code camp—HTML, CSS, Javascript, and everything they need to know to design and build a sleek, functional, contemporary website—could lead to an exciting, rewarding career in technology.

Hudl staff gave presentations on what the company does, how players and coaches use the technology, the data they collect, and technical details about .TS files and the algorithms used in video streaming. 

One of the students asked which languages they would need to know to land a job at Hudl.

Engineering Director Matt Munger said it didn’t matter. Munger doubles as a hiring director and knows the company’s needs inside and out.

“Technically, you don’t have to have experience in the languages we use,” Munger said. “We mostly just look at your experience being able to learn new things.”

Most of Hudl’s products are built in C#, Munger said. Front-end development is Javascript and React. Hudl’s mobile-app developers use Objective-C (for iOS) and Java (for Android). The company’s Research & Development team works in Python on various machine learning endeavors.

Following the day’s first round of presentations, students had a lunch of chili and cinnamon rolls. Some Hudl employees joined the group to talk with students about what they were learning and what they wanted to do. 

Nelson, a Hudl software developer, related his experience getting into tech. “When I was in high school, I thought it was pretty cool how people could play games on their calculators.”

After lunch, students met with a panel of Hudl employees representing various departments. They heard about Hudl’s culture and what it was like to work for a large international tech company. Then they took a tour through the entire facility, walking past work hubs, meeting rooms, game rooms, and arcades. Several youth said the trip was cool and interesting.

“I think the students got a feeling of how a successful, newer business thrives, innovates, and keeps employees,” said Jon Larsen, Systems Engineer and Technology Experience Instructor for AIM Institute. “It could also inspire them to enter a career in information technology.”

The group was joined by Astronaut Tom, AIM Institute’s resident spaceman, technology enthusiast, STEAM advocate, and host of the Youtube video series Ask an Astronaut, which delivers informative science and tech-related content in a humorous way.