With a passion for all things tech, junior Tyler Vandenberg has created an entire brand around what he loves to do.
In 2005 a small video sharing website started called YouTube through which many people have found work, including GS’ very own tech support junior Tyler Vandenberg.
“Seventh grade is around when I started the YouTube channel TylerTech,” Vandenberg said. “It was over the summer and I was watching some YouTube videos of some tech YouTubers, and I thought that I had the same knowledge so why not make some videos?”
While his inspiration was through YouTube, Vandenberg’s interest in the technological world started at a young age.
“The first thing I remember was in third grade,” he said. “It was bring your kid to work day, so my teacher brought her kid to work, and he hid all of her desktop icons. I had to try to figure out how to get those back.”
His work has certainly taken a step up from hidden icons. Today, TylerTech provides a variety of different items for GS.
“I’ve done software for the school,” Vandenberg said. “I’ve done different live streams for different school groups. I do the basketball live streams too. I’m just kind of here as the unpaid version of CCL.”
CCL (Computer CenterLine Technologies) is a company based in Greensburg that provides information technology solutions to schools. Vandenberg’s knowledge of technology is used by many people in the school because he completes some of his work during school.
“Most of my tech stuff happens in third block, that’s my programming class, and even though it’s a programming class I don’t always just do programming,” Vandenberg said. “I’ve done [things like] set up 3D printers in there, stuff like that. Throughout the day I have teachers asking me questions, sometimes I’ll do my own research during class on different tech stuff to keep up to date and to improve my knowledge.”
Despite using his class time to complete research and work for his business, he isn’t particularly worried about the outcome.
“I probably shouldn’t do this, but I put my tech stuff at a priority higher than school,” Vandenberg said. “I know that in the future, that’ll probably be more important. It’s not that hard to balance [school and Tyler Tech]. I just say I’ll do the schoolwork later.”
While Vandenberg may occasionally put his tech research above schoolwork, he devised a system to help other students complete their work or get help in classes.
“Last year, Dr. Maluchnik came to me and said that they wanted to make an Excel spreadsheet to track where kids were,” Vandenberg said. “They wanted every teacher listed in there, and they wanted every advisory teacher to put where they were. I knew that wasn’t going to work, but I made it anyway and showed him, and I said ‘This works, but there has to be an easier way to do this. If you give me a week, I’ll find it out.’ This was around Thanksgiving last year, so over Thanksgiving break, I threw together a prototype that sort of worked, showed it to him, and he liked it. Then I got the list of all the kids and I made a database of all the kids and their advisory teachers. The program searches for that advisory teacher, and sends it out.”
The student database is one of the ways that Vandenberg has attempted to improve GS with the use of technology. By starting TylerTech, he hoped to upgrade people’s technological understanding.
“My goal is to help people with technology and improve how people use technology,” Vandenberg said. “[Starting a YouTube and building a website] seemed like steps I could take to improve what I’m doing”
Mr. Matthew King, the high school video production teacher, uses the student database.
“I use it as often as I have students request to come to my class and to travel to other classes,” Mr. King said. “I still use the traditional sign out sheet, [but] I find the app to be very helpful to notify people when I want them to come in. Even if it’s the afternoon before, I’ll submit a request.”
Along with using Vandenberg’s attendance system, King has also had him in the classroom.
“I only had him once, [in] his freshman [year],” King said. “He did very well. Coming in, he had a lot more skill than most students do because of his Tyler Tech channel on YouTube, and his website and so on. I haven’t had Tyler for class since then, but I know his video skills are, I would say without being able to see them first-hand, above what most of my second [year] students have.”
On his quest to help improve people’s understanding of technology, he has had to research to improve his knowledge.
“What I did to get started was I just started researching on my own,” Vandenberg said. “You don’t really even need a starting point, just start learning as much as you can about computers, and look for ways to get involved where you can get involved.”
Vandenberg has managed to get involved in the school by providing the live streams for many different activities, but the business offers more than just that.
“The things [TylerTech] offers are different live streaming video [and] software design,” Vandenberg said. “I just haven’t had anyone but the school use my services.”
Even though TylerTech is a business, Vandenberg says he doesn’t make any money.
“So technically TylerTech doesn’t make any money,” Vandenberg said. “That’s why I’m allowed to call it a business legally because I never registered the name TylerTech, but it doesn’t make any money so it doesn’t matter.”
Though TylerTech may not be a registered name, it was the original name of his YouTube channel.
“My experience with YouTube early on helped me,” Vandenberg said. “I think that also kind of built the brand name TylerTech because I don’t think I’d be called TylerTech without that YouTube channel.”
As many YouTube channels do, TylerTech also has the option to buy merchandise with the company logo on it.
“The merchandise part of it was whenever I saw that other YouTubers were doing it so I just found a way to make it and sell it,” Vandenberg said. “I just kind of added different features so that I could learn how to do it if anyone else needs help adding features to their website. I can make that a business option, stuff like that just so I gain the knowledge.”
Throughout the school year, students can be seen walking the halls with the TylerTech logo emblazoned across their shirts.
“It gives me a good feeling [to see people wearing TylerTech merchandise],” Vandenberg said. “I feel like if they’re wearing a TylerTech shirt, they’ve had a good experience with the business or with me in general.”
Despite having his own business, Vandenberg is just a teenager and may be looked down upon by outsiders for his age. Technology seems to be one business that people think is better dominated by the younger generation.
“I haven’t ever had that happen to me,” he said. “I think most people know that the younger people know more about technology than them most of the time. They’re usually open to kids helping.”
As Vanderberg broadens his horizons, TylerTech continues to grow into what could one day be a successful business.
“I think there is an option for TylerTech to become successful, and that’s what I want to do,” Vanderberg said. “I think software design is probably what I’m going to try and do for it to make it a real business because you can make a lot of money and it’s easy to get started in that.”