Team Q&A: McKenzie Nalley – Software Development Intern

Minimizing greenhouse gas emissions to help fight climate change is critical to our Software Development Intern, McKenzie Nalley. Join us in welcoming McKenzie to the Virtual Peaker team!

How did your previous life prepare you for Virtual Peaker?

Once upon a time (a month and a half ago, really), I worked as an editor at a magazine publishing company. Now, I’m a software development intern. In the popular imagination, I think these two fields are seen as near-polar opposites since so many people express surprise when I tell them about my transition. But I don’t see the work as tremendously different. There are the obvious corollaries—proofing, double-checking, attending to wayward or lacking semicolons; but there are subtler connections too. I find outlining the flow of a program flexes the same mental muscles as outlining the flow of an article or a story. And fixing a bug is no different than fixing an awkward sentence: with nothing but the text in front of you, you have to infer what the writer (or coder) was trying to say, predict how the reader (or computer) will interpret it, and then correct the disconnect between the two.

Tell us about your role at Virtual Peaker.

McKenzie Nalley greenhouse gas emissions 1 I’m a software development intern here, and I make small fixes and new features for our various apps and services. As an intern, I’m not tied to a specific team, which means I get to learn about and work on just about everything we do. Virtual Peaker is my first role as a developer, so having such breadth in my work is invaluable as I learn about both the company and the process of software development.

How do you personally engage in sustainability efforts?

I’ve been ringing the bell about climate change and sustainability to anyone who will listen since I was a teenager. I try to reduce my consumption. Nowadays when I buy new clothes, I ensure they’re made of natural fibers, and as much as I can, I try to purchase products that minimize plastic packaging. About 5-6 years ago I stopped eating beef due to the outsized effect it has on greenhouse gas emissions. Also, I vote, every election, every primary, and canvas when I can. Vote, vote, vote!

McKenzie Nalley greenhouse gas emissions 2What can you tell us about yourself?

I’m a guitarist who’s a poor jazz player and a middling bluegrass player. I speak pretty okay Spanish, sort of okay French, and less okay German. I love the outdoors and hiking and camping. I’m a big fan of indie video games. In the height of the pandemic, I started and ran a literary magazine for fantastic fiction called Welkin Magazine; it’s on a hiatus now because I’ve been busy changing careers, but it’ll be back soon/someday!

Come work with us to help change the world!

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About The Author
Bill Burke blog author

Bill is a serial entrepreneur with a PhD from UC Berkeley in Controls and Artificial Intelligence and 10 years of experience with high performance residential energy management and connected appliances. He was previously at GE as an Advanced Systems Engineer in the Connected Home Software Group, but left that role in May 2014 to pursue entrepreneurship full time.

Bill grew up in Louisville and returned with his family in 2010 after a long stint in the San Francisco Bay Area. He loves Louisville and is working to make it a better and more attractive city for high tech startups.

More About Bill

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