If one bumper sticker slogan could describe Aaron Salazar, it would probably read, “Everything is Awesome!” For starters, “awesome” is a word Aaron uses frequently. More importantly, there’s not a more appropriate description of such a creative, artistic, exuberant, Ultimate-Frisbee- playing, problem-solving software engineer.
Aaron’s awesomeness as a software engineer (and human being) comes from his creative spirit, diverse work experience, curiosity, and zest for life. He loves his job writing code because it gives him the opportunity to work through challenges and solve problems. Aaron understands that the ability to write code that is simple, yet powerful, requires creativity. He also loves tackling front-end work—color, layout, and navigation—because it allows him to flex his artistic muscles.
Art has long been one of Aaron’s passions. He’s an accomplished visual artist who prefers to work in colored pencils. (To see an example of his work, check out his award-winning skateboard deck art.) Aaron also enjoys acting. He performed in a few plays in high school, where he caught the acting bug. His wife, Karlyn, is also into theater, so acting and performing in plays has become a family activity. Aaron has recently performed in a couple of plays with his two kids, daughter Piper (15) and son Teague (12). The family has a great time rehearsing and interacting together in an environment free of cell phones and Netflix.
Aaron’s curious nature led him in multiple directions before he found software engineering. He spent several years in the medical field as an EKG and EEG technician, Licensed Practical Nurse, and EMT. After he had his two children, he realized that the non-traditional hours required in the medical industry were not going to jive with his new priorities as a father, so he switched his focus and earned a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Westminster College, which he followed up with an M.B.A.
Aaron’s been at STG since 2012. He was immediately impressed with the “awesome,” “rad,” and “fun” people, including STG’s management, who always support him 100 percent. In fact, STG easily passes Aaron’s own bumper sticker test, which measures his happiness in a company by whether he’d be willing to put their bumper sticker on his car. In the case of STG, he definitely would, and he might even place it next to a sticker for Ultimate Frisbee, another one of his passions. Several times a week, you’ll find Aaron at the park with a group of like- minded friends, flinging a Frisbee around in what he considers to be absolutely the best way to exercise.
So, everything does seem to be downright awesome for Aaron Salazar. He’s got a great family whom he loves and a job that allows him to use his artistic talents and creativity to work on fun and interesting projects. It all meshes nicely with Aaron’s philosophy of pursuing happiness: Chasing status or money doesn’t lead to success—if you’re happy, you are a success. And success is awesome!