About

Learn more about my background. A biographical overview of my interests, abilities, experience, and education.

In a nutshell

Hello there! I'm Radison Akerman. I am highly skilled in internet. You might find me solving niche problems with full-blown web applications, out in the middle of nowhere with my camera, learning a random skill, or just cracking a laugh with my friends.

Where it started

When I was young, my parents were sure that I would become an engineer in some capacity. I loved working with my hands and seeing how things worked. Through middle school, this curiosity manifested into a more serious hobby. I led my team to win our FIRST LEGO Robotics League Sectionals in 2014, and I started to tinker with microcontrollers based on tutorials from MAKE: Magazine. I sought to become a "Maker" where I learned how to woodwork, carpenter, work with small electronics, and write my first bits of code. At the start of high school, I knew I wanted to pursue something related to programming, so I set my upcoming courses to match.

From 8th grade onward, I picked up computer science and ran with it. In my sophomore year of high school, I secured a Dev Ops internship with a corporate security systems supplier in my area. One day I would be the lead web developer on a cloud security solution, and on another, I would be knee-deep in networking cables below downtown Chicago. Here, my knack for CS blossomed; I gained years of knowledge, extended my skill set, and my drive to learn was pushed even further.

As I continued my internship through 11th grade, I pioneered a no-cost, weekly program in Rockford where teenagers learned the fundamentals of coding and information technologies. Every week I worked with about ten students, sharing my skills and expertise to further their understanding of CS. I took a similar initiative with Stanford's Code in Place in early 2021. I volunteered as a Section Leader to help instruct over 10,000 students worldwide on the fundamentals of Python and CS.

Even now, in my second year of straight A's at the University of Illinois Chicago, I've used that momentum from high school to help me reach my professional goals. At the start of the 2021-2022 school year, I've continued as a Web & Database Developer for UIC COE after interning with them this past summer. I've also started as a Web Security Intern for the US Department of Veteran Affairs where I examine and improve the integrity of government-hosted websites.

Looking ahead

Nowadays, I love leading teams that help shape the internet. For me, this follows two concentrations: cybersecurity and software development.

In the field of cybersecurity, I find it so engaging to find creative solutions to the world's toughest problems. The Think Different campaign by Apple Computer, Inc., in 2002 embodies my approach to securing the internet. People are always breaking stuff, including myself, and someone needs to be there to fix it. My innate ability to problem solve and get stuff done is what helps me architect 21st century solutions.

"Here's to the crazy ones ... because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do." – Rob Siltanen

Early on in my career, I found myself attracted to web development. I loved the ability to craft a unique user experience from the ground up. After learning all of the "stacks" of web development, I was creating sophisticated programs that can manage and automate anything from large races to warehouses. I hope to bring this passion and creative mindset to your ideas. Truly anything is possible with a web application.

Projects
Write the code. A list of my projects, applications, and tools as it relates to digital technology.

Capturing the moment

Let's switch gears a little. Photography. Cinematography. To me, a camera represents a lot of things. It represents a moment that cannot be explained in words. It represents the unity of people and ideas. It represents the person behind the lens. Through every opportunity I tell a meaningful story, be that from a still photo or a moving image.

Photography
Compose the shot. A summary of my personal and commercial photography services.
“Photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.” — Elliott Erwitt

I've also had a strange obsession with film production. Sure, I admire the actors that make a show real, but I found that being apart of and in a production is something truly awesome. It provides me an outlet to both express myself as an actor and learn about how a shot painstakingly comes together, start to finish. To date, I've been on a couple shows you might recognize: NBC's Chicago PD & Chicago Fire, Showtime's The Chi, The CW's Batwoman, Amazon's Paper Girls, Starz's Power Book IV: Force, Apple TV's Ripple Effects, and HBO's The Time Travelers Wife.


Interested in my capabilities? Feel free to contact me and we can get to work on something radical!