Before graduating from Cal Poly Pomona with a degree in Computer Science then transitioning into software engineering, Derek worked as a programmer in the construction industry. For ten years, he built sophisticated climate control and building management systems for high profile clients, such as NBC Universal, Los Angeles Community College District, Cedars Sinai Hospital, and Microsoft. His time in the Navy after graduating high school in his hometown Detroit, Michigan, allowed him to gain valuable experience with communications and navigation equipment as an Interior Communication Electrician. Being in heavily team-oriented environments gave Nowicki the sense that there was a unique “group mind” at the intersection of all the folks involved in a project. For Derek, collaboration is all about cultivating this group mind; believing that it can develop new ideas more effectively than an individual one.