Brandon Mills

Brandon Mills

Software Engineer
At 7:57 p.m. on Saturday, October 17th, 2015, 192 marchers clad in navy uniforms and white cross belts formed up along the away sideline in Ohio Stadium…

Watching from the stands was a crowd whose official count totaled 108,423. Anticipation ran high: a prime time game under the stadium lights always brings the loudest crowds and the biggest plays. Penn State, an almost-but-not-quite rival, had come to town. The team would don sleek all-black uniforms. Mark Tareshawty, one of my best friends (and a great engineer), was dotting the “i” in Script Ohio.

On cue, 192 musicians flashed our instruments up and over, turning to snake our way through the Script in a tradition dating back 79 years. If you look closely in the photo above, you can find me on the 30 yard line in the side of the little “o”, closest to the sideline.

Script Ohio may appear to be an elaborate follow-the-leader, but each marcher has a specific spot for every beat in the drill. New members (and forgetful veterans) are tested on their “Script counts” before games to make sure they don’t miss a step, turning too early or causing a collision. In the crossovers, one person must pass through the narrow gap between perpendicular marchers every 417 milliseconds, so precision is paramount

Through four seasons in TBDBITL (The Best Damn Band In The Land, a name bestowed on the band by legendary Ohio State coach Woody Hayes), I learned to embrace the effort and hours memorizing music and rehearsing drill. Our payoff came every Saturday in The Shoe, and some performances went far beyond the field to become YouTube hits. In the band, I found a challenge, a team, and some of the best friends I’ll ever have. Those remain essential elements of my career today.

One night a dozen years prior to that Script Ohio, my dad dropped a stack of printed pages in my lap. They were the first chapter of the Logo programming language tutorial book and my earliest introduction to the hobby that became my career. After working my way through the book and rendering my fair share of boxes, spirals, and mazes, I discovered I could use this new “programming” thing to teach my LEGO robots to follow lines or wander their way around the house, bouncing off walls as they went.

Software appeals to me because it is so limitless – both in terms of what I can build, constrained only by my time and imagination, and how many different topics I can learn, constrained in this case by my time and patience. Imagine my excitement when I realized that I could pursue it as a viable career.

While in school, I spent a couple summers interning with one of the big west coast tech companies. I had a wonderful time, made some great friends, and shipped some cool code. But I always came home. Here at Drive Capital in Columbus, Ohio, I have the right combination of team and challenge, building software to help make us better investors and seeing the problems companies are tackling all around the Midwest. As I’ve said many times here, “I’m never bored.”

Brandon mills