My Journey to FIRST World Championships in Detroit

Team 525 - Swartdogs at the FIRST World Championships

My initial exposure to FIRST robotics came when my son joined the Cedar Falls High School robotics team as a sophomore back in 2012. At that time, I thought it would be a fun little activity for him to be involved with. I really had no idea what being a part of a FIRST team meant. Boy, have I come a long way.

Now, seven years later, I do know what it means. As it turns out, there is nothing “little” about it. It is the most....

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2018: Year in Review

DISTek Cedar Falls Summer Outing at Palmer's Family Fun

For the second year in a row, my year-in-review blog is being delivered well into the new year. That is getting dangerously close to a bad habit, so I will have to work on that for next year. On the plus side, this should get posted in February and thus I am technically only a month late of my goal of January for the target date. Normally I would not start at the end of the year, but this year is an exception because the single biggest piece of news is what happened at the very end of the year …

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Recruiting Efforts

DISTek Software Engineer, Nathan Volkert, helps staff the booth at a
UW Platteville career fair.

Here at DISTek, we’re always looking to recruit the best candidates to expand our team.  Recently, Lydia Allen, our Human Resources Intern, sat down with Jeff Sandvold, Vice President of Human Resources, to conduct a Q&A panel to get some insight into current recruitment efforts at DISTek.

Lydia Allen: What are DISTek’s current recruiting needs/specific positions that we are looking to fill?

Jeff Sandvold:   We are currently in the need for experienced software engineers with a background in Model Based Software Development (MBSD) and embedded programming skills. We are also recruiting for May graduates and summer interns in Q1 of 2019.

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Better Late than Never – Year in Review/The Future

Indeed I am a little tardy in my year-in-review blog entry. But, without further ado, here is my one-and-a-half-month-late DISTek Year-in-Review, coupled with a look toward the future to finish the DISTek: Past, Present (parts 1 & 2), and Future series of blog posts.

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Alternative Tools Lead to Creative Solutions

Here at the DISTek products department, we're always looking for ways to make our user's lives easier. As engineers that use our own products, this is doubly important to us! We've identified that open source tools can be one possible solution to alleviate potential issues down the road.

We spend a lot of time designing user interfaces for ISOBUS VT clients. There are a few tools currently on the market, and while these tools get the job done, we've found a few shortcomings...

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open-source-software

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I’m Starting to Feel Like an Owner

Employee Owned
DISTek - an Employee Owned Company

Just recently I was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation for ten years of excellent service and valuable contributions to DISTek Integration. Needless to say, I'm quite thankful and happy to have been involved with DISTek for the past ten years. Wow! I’ve been employed here for ten years? It sure doesn’t feel like ten years. Maybe that’s partly because since December of 2014, I, like many others at DISTek, became employee owners, after DISTek founder Matt Dickinson decided to share a part of his company with his employees by forming an ESOP – an Employee Stock Ownership Plan. That's right, DISTek is employee owned.

I’m not sure when...

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Assessing the Entire Functional Safety Hazard Space

Safety is a challenging status to achieve and maintain, thus the need for the guidelines that collectively fall under the heading of Functional Safety (FS). DISTek has always been conscience of safety as it applies to the products developed for our customers. This includes implementing the various requirements and guidelines associated with Functional Safety, as expressed in documents, such as ISO 25119.

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Holiday Elves

DISTek Elves busy in the workshop!

♫It’s the most wonderful time of the year♫…..DISTek continues the tradition of giving back:

Once again this year, as in previous years, the DISTek Cedar Falls office adopted two families from the Waterloo school district to help make their Christmas a little extra special. We received a wish list from each of the families and shared these with DISTek Elves (employees) who set about fulfilling everything (and even some extra items) on their lists. As usual, Elves were very generous...

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