Alumni Profile: Dylan Butman

Dylan Butman

Dylan Butman is native of New York and earned his Bachelor of Arts in Computational Aesthetics from New York University. He works as a programmer, designer, and fabricator, building web-based applications, experimental user interfaces, interactive data visualizations, and creative coding installations. He’s the engineer for Populace, a tool designed to bring people closer to community programs.

What led you to Blue Ridge Labs?

I’m inspired by the potential of software to connect people, industries, and practices that would otherwise be unable to collaborate. Blue Ridge Labs has a deep understanding of the potential role technology can play in transforming the lives of all Americans, while simultaneously encouraging sustainable business models and responsible development practices. Their user-centered design process facilitates software development from the right direction – the bottom up. I’m excited to be in a place where the people come first!

What was your biggest takeaway from the fellowship?

It’s been deeply rewarding to be able to connect with so many people and be given the opportunity to listen to their struggles. Approaching technology from a user-first perspective is an inversion from traditional startup development, where products are often envisioned in meeting rooms for theoretical target audiences. By engaging directly with the people and organizations we’re trying to serve, we’ve had our plans and ideas formed, invalidated, re-directed, and finally met with great enthusiasm. The process hasn’t been easy, but I’m confident that our resulting product and mission is in line with the goals and desires of our users, and that we only have room to grow.