For our most recent installment of our “Meet the RocketBuilder” series, we bring you Jeff Ringgenberg, Technical Project Manager. Jeff approaches every project with a healthy dose of curiosity and humility which helps lead him to gain knowledge and perspective about a client’s business and software needs. He brings a wide-ranging background of professional experience to the table, including TV production, real estate, hospitality, and advertising. If he looks familiar, you may have seen him as an extra on your favorite show.
Q & A with Jeff Ringgenberg
Q: What is your role at RocketBuild, and what does it entail?
A: I’m a Technical Project Manager which essentially means I help lead client projects and serve the needs of clients and internal partners to execute on delivering custom software solutions. Sometimes this is by helping our development team remove barriers or making sure we are solving the right problems on behalf of our clients.
Q: What three words might people use to describe you?
A: Kind, curious, and spontaneous
Q: What got you into your career?
A: In short, a lot of random luck. I graduated from the University of Iowa and moved to Los Angeles with $300, no job, and zero network. Somehow, I met some people who helped me get into TV and Commercial production which spawned into casting reality TV shows using MySpace and Craigslist (you can’t make this stuff up) and eventually, I landed a full-time role at United Talent Agency, a big three talent and literary agency. A lot has changed since those first few years of my career.
Q: Describe your educational experience?
A: Generally speaking, I had the traditional college experience, double majoring in Marketing and Management at the University of Iowa. My curiosity really took hold in my late 20s when I began studying comedy at The Second City and iO Chicago as well as starting a digital agency where I learned a ton about SEO, digital marketing, and web design and development. I also enjoy learning about psychology and philosophy and would consider myself a lifelong learner who loves to dive into a good book on a wide assortment of subjects.
Q: Describe your professional experience?
A: I’ve done a few things and my inherent curiosity has driven much of my career path. After spending my early 20s in the entertainment industry, I had a few stops in commercial real estate brokerage, hospitality, and advertising to name a few. Through it all, I’ve had a deep interest in technology and although my career has had plenty of twists and turns, I’m grateful to have met so many exceptional people along the way.
Q: What is your current favorite coding language or framework?
A: Up, up, down, down, left, right, left, right, B, A and Start. Outside the Konami Code from Contra, I like using no-code frameworks like Webflow and WordPress to build random websites for fun.
Q: What’s your favorite type of project or client to work with?
A: Any project where I’m able to learn something new and work alongside smart creatives gives me energy. It’s also a great feeling when you get a chance to work on something that will have a lasting impact on a client’s business or an industry as a whole.
Q: What are you super passionate about?
A: Mental health advocacy is super important to me and normalizing the conversations around mental health and emotional wellness.
Q: What do you do for fun?
A: I have two young daughters so much of my free time is spent making silly faces, playing dress up, and doing all kinds of fun things with them and my wife around town. Outside of family time, I enjoy stock trading, reading, listening to podcasts, or tinkering on the web.
Q: If you had to stay up all night for a hackathon, what drinks and snacks would you need to keep you going?
A: I’d need an assortment of goodies. Definitely coffee with a side of Coke Zero and some pepperoni and sausage pizza. On deck, I’d also have crunchy Kettle brand Salt & Vinegar chips, David sunflower seeds, and Reese’s pieces.
Q: Favorite local lunch spot?
A: I don’t care what time of day it is, I’m a sucker for pizza and Napolese has never steered me wrong.
Q: Favorite band or artist?
A: It pains me to say this but I rarely get the opportunity to listen to anything outside of Disney themed music these days. Some of my favorites though are The Temper Trap, Ben Harper, Ghostland Observatory, and Tori Amos.
Q: Favorite place you’ve ever visited?
A: Oh wow, that’s tough. I can say that my favorite trip of all time was a European adventure with my wife through Italy (Positano and Venice), Switzerland (The small town of Ringgenberg in the Interlaken region), and Spain (San Sebastian and Barcelona).
Q: A fun fact about yourself:
A: I can clap with one hand and you can find me (if you look real hard) as an extra in a Gavin Degraw music video and a handful of TV shows like Gilmore Girls, LAX, 8 Simple Rules, and Summerland.
Q: A random fun fact:
A: The phrase “mind your P’s and Q’s” comes from the days when booze was served in Pints (P’s) and Quarts (Q’s) and that was the phrase bartenders used to calm down rowdy patrons. Also, not all ripe oranges are orange. Some are green.