Software Development

This contractor’s son forged his own path by getting into tech

Welcome to First State First Start, a new column where we look at how Delaware software developers first got excited about tech.

Nate Reams started out in tech by taking apart video game consoles and then computers. (Photo by Flickr user Peter Miller, used under a Creative Commons license)

First State First Start is a new column where we show how Delaware technologists found their way into the industry. 

Nathan Reams, who lives in Wilmington, is currently enrolled in Delaware Skills Center’s SQL and Java programming class. We spoke to him about his old school tech roots and how his interest in tech is related to the family business.
When did you first decide to go to school for tech?
What led me basically, into computers, honestly, was video games: the Sony PlayStation and everything else before the NES. It was more about creating a game and creating a system. I was reading magazines like Next Generation and they got real in depth. So they started mentioning parts, like parts in a motherboard. They started identifying, they started comparing: what’s in a game console to what was at that time, in a regular desktop PC.
So, around that time I just started taking things apart. Took apart a console [and I was like,] OK, I can identify that. Got my hands on a whole computer. I took that apart and I found out it was like, putting parts in, was more [like] LEGOs — even though I didn’t really know what I was actually doing. It was like a long trial and error and then I got into Delaware Skills Center and knew exactly what was what.

Nate Reams - First Start

Nate Reams. (Photo by Anitra Johnson)

What was your first inclination or experience that made you want to pursue a career in tech?
My first thought was I really didn’t […] want to do what my dad does, or what he did. He’s a contractor. And that really didn’t fit with me. I felt that I could actually do something more.
How old were you when you decided you didn’t want to follow in your father’s footsteps?
Twelve. I was 12.
Had you been working with your father on his job at 12?
Yeah. It was: Get suspended from school? Go to work. Don’t have a job? Go to work. If Dad needed extra help – you’re working. I can appreciate what my Dad did now. It was just that … I’m like, “Well I know Ima do something else.”
But I have this, as my dad says, I have this under my belt. Which is good. Actually, it’s great! It’s just, if the pay was like it was coming in, back in the day, then I possibly just would have just stayed more on my dad’s side and would have just dabbled in computers. It could have been something just as simple as that, but … when I first actually opened up magazines and seen that they actually, like, showing me the guts of a console and showing me, like the person that created the system or the game, like, that’s it, that’s what I want!

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