When high-speed Internet was just catching on in Minneapolis, Justin Grammens ’96 was building his own servers and hosting e-mail, websites, and Internet radio streams in the closet of his apartment. He developed a keen sense then of the importance of keeping data secure—secure not only from hackers, but from other users on the system, and always asking himself, “How would I like my data treated?” As a software developer and entrepreneur, he knows this challenging game of cat and mouse (with online hackers) is of utmost importance in an increasingly technological world—and it’s a challenge he loves.
In 2009, Grammens co-founded Recursive Awesome, a mobile software development company that specialized in creating tablet, mobile, and web applications. The company—providing solutions for clients such as Best Buy, Thomson Reuters, and BuzzFeed—was acquired in 2011 by Code42 Software, where Grammens currently serves as engineering co-founder, working to protect the world’s data with high-performance hardware and easy-to-use software solutions. Perhaps their best known product is CrashPlan, a system that manages and protects your digital life with easy-to-use software and high-performance hardware storage. (Augsburg is among its users.)
In addition to founding many user groups, filing patents, organizing various conferences, and mentoring countless students, Grammens has recently created a publication, IoTWeeklyNews, which focuses on trends in the Internet of Things, otherwise known as IoT. If that phrase is new to you, you’re not alone! In a nutshell, IoT is the emerging network of everyday objects that can share information online and complete tasks while you work, sleep, or are otherwise occupied. (Think home security system that can adjust temps, turn on an appliance, open windows, etc., while you are out shopping. Oh, and then think beyond the home—cars, factories, outdoor environment, even our bodies!) The possibilities are endless! As you might expect, Grammens has a concern or two with IoT, lying primarily in the area of security and interoperability of smart sensors, and so far, there are few standards in place. Minnesota’s first IoT Hack Day was organized by Grammens. Continue reading