SparkFun Electronics


The term Creative Technologist has been hotly debated in the marketing world as of late, with some firms referring to it as “a critical function that helps to bring life to our design work,” and others quick to label it “clichéd at best, and at worst, bordering on the meaningless.” (The latter are a real cheery bunch, eh?) As with any such debate, both sides actually make some interesting points… But again, as with any such debate, the truth can be found anywhere but in the middle.

SparkFun’s first Creative Technology hire was me in 2013. At the time I was a catalog assistant, writing the product descriptions that you rely on (for better or worse) when you’re shopping our site! Whenever we had enough time, the Catalog Team (myself and Rob) would come up with a demonstration of the new product for the week and build it up. It made sense at the time for us to handle demos because we often got the first look at products that were going to be sold the next week. As time went on, I found myself spending more time on camera with more involved projects.

At some point this got the attention of advertising firms who were showing interest in the skillset that I had developed working for SparkFun. Around the same time, our award-winning talented videographer Gregg was exploring ways to shoot a new kind of promotional video for SparkFun. He wanted to create large, spectacular projects and interactive exhibits that looked really pretty on video, but no one at the company had time to devote to the project. So as it happened, while I was mulling over the idea of chasing a career as Creative Technologist, SparkFun found itself in need of a Creative Technologist and I moved to the Marketing Team!

Fast-forward through a few staff changes, re-organizations and project management strategies to 2015, and it’s not just me cranking stuff out. Product demos, technical written content and interactive displays have become a large part of our brand, and this has allowed us to bring on two new technical members of the Marketing Team! If you’re a regular on the site then you had seen them before their moves to marketing, so they’re not new faces entirely, but they are new faces (and fresh perspectives) to the marketing family. Shawn Hymel, formerly of the Engineering Department, and Sarah Al-Mutlaq, previously our Sustainability Coordinator, have joined me in forming a Creative Technology team working full time to create fun and interesting technical content for the site, as well as for live events!

Today, I thought that I’d make some introductions and ask Shawn and Sarah to answer a few questions about exactly what they do and how they ended up doing it! In the interest of fairness, I guess I ought to answer as well… So without further ado, let’s meet the Creative Technology team: