Behind the Scenes

Lars Koester – Software Engineer

As the saying goes, “Sometimes it’s not the resume you make, it’s the hand you shake.” 

Resumes are important. Experience is important. Networking is also very, very important — you never know when a connection turns into a job opportunity. 

Meet Lars, one of our newest Software Engineers, whose introduction to Knack came from an unexpected place. 

Where are you from?

I was born in Hamburg, Germany, and raised in a little town outside of it, but I moved to South Florida nine years ago. 

Where did you go to college and what did you get your degree in?  

I went to Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, studying Computer Science. I graduated with a MS in Computer Science in May of 2020. 

What was your favorite class in college?

One of my favorite classes in college was Intro to Data Science, because the professor not only taught us the meaning of data science but they also connected it with real world applications. We had a lot of discussions about what is currently happening in Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. 

How did you end up working with Knack?

Tony, an old friend from high school, sent me an Instagram DM and said that the company he works for was looking for Software Engineers and that he could introduce me to David, one of the Co-Founders and the CTO of Knack. I hadn’t really spoken to Tony since we left high school. Like most people, we went our separate ways, but now we’re working together. Life’s funny that way.  

What’s one skill you use often that you weren’t necessarily taught in school? 

How to use GitHub! For the non-devs out there, GitHub is used for version control in Software teams to make it easier to work on a project together. It’s such a vital part in software development, and professors should use it in their classes for projects. When I started at Knack, I had little experience with GitHub. The team has been very helpful getting me up to speed with all the practices and technologies they use. 

What’s something you wish you had learned in college but didn’t?

I wish I had learned more about financial literacy, how to file taxes, how to invest properly, different options for saving for retirement, etc. It should be a requirement for all students, K-12 and higher education. I think it’s important for everyone to know how to manage their money. 

Do you have any advice for current college students? 

Start looking for internships right away because they give you so much experience and provide another perspective beyond what you’ve learned in school. And, of course, it can (and most likely will) be a path to employment after graduation. Companies like students that have experience in the industry. 

This post is part of our ongoing Meet the Knack Pack series.