Computer Science & Technology
How can God be glorified in the code we write or the apps we create?
James Armstrong grew up in Leonia, NJ, a suburb a New York. He graduated cum laude from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science. While an undergraduate, he attended Princeton Evangelical Fellowship, started Athletes In Action on campus his junior year, played on Princeton’s soccer team all four years, and was a member of Cap and Gown Club. After earning his PhD in electrical engineering from Purdue University, James returned to Princeton, NJ to work for Sarnoff Corporation. His project and team were soon spun out of Sarnoff and became Sarnoff Real-Time Corporation which was bought four years later by DIVA Systems. During these years, James was a guest speaker at the Athletes In Action group at Princeton, got married (Karen, Gordon College `88), served on the Board of Cap and Gown and saw the founding of Christian Union on campus. James also served actively at Carter Road Bible Chapel in Lawrenceville, NJ in teaching roles to both young people and adults. In 2002, James moved to Los Angeles to join another startup, Movidis, Inc. While in LA, James picked up surfing and served on the board of the inaugural San Fernando Valley International Film Festival. In 2006, James left Movidis to join Symmetricom, Inc in San Jose, CA. He held the position of EVP/General Manager of its Communications business. James joined Spirent Communications in 2014 as the EVP/General Manager of the Networks & Applications Division. He resides in Los Gatos, CA with his wife and four daughters and is active at Hillview Bible Chapel in Cupertino, CA. He remains involved with Christian Union and other ministries on Princeton’s campus. James recently completed his two-year stint as Chairman of Christian Union’s Princeton President’s Council and agreed to continue for another two years as an active member on the council.
Mark Sears is founder and CEO of CloudFactory, an on-demand workforce for routine and repetitive digital tasks. Many of today’s top enterprise and startup tech companies rely on CloudFactory for their data work including everything from audio transcription to image tagging to document processing. The company has raised $5.7 million and connects over 3000 cloud workers in Nepal and Kenya to meaningful work. Mark is passionate about joining God in the renewal of all things - especially the intersection of business, technology and work. Originally from Canada, he is a Computer Scientist and Software Entrepreneur who took a 2 week vacation to Nepal in 2008 with his wife and ended up staying for 6 years. A tech startup and 2 beautiful kids happened along the way :-)
Find out more about Mark's work with CloudFactory here.
Julie Silvestri grew up an atheist near Cleveland, Ohio. She attended Harvard College where she concentrated in theoretical mathematics and met Jesus, then her future husband, Mark Silvestri. After school, she completed one year at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and then joined Mark in Chicago. In Chicago, Julie sought a job to counterbalance Mark's medical school, and ended up in the world of computer programming -- a hobby she had picked up in middle school, but had never imagined for a job. She was pleasantly surprised to find that programming with others as a job was fun! Since thin, Julie has worked for a variety of companies, from a startup of 10 people, to a growing company of several thousand. She has managed a large multi-national team, worked with contractors abroad, and world remotely herself. Currently, she works part-time for Zearn, an edTech company focused on elementary numeracy, and spends the rest of her time raising three young children and serving the community. Julie is grateful for the ways God has sanctified and blessed her through her work, and has enjoyed encouraging her co-workers with a love only the Lord can provide. Outside of work, Julie and her husband Mark are passionate about bringing the Gospel to New Haven, from intense mentoring of children in foster care to helping to found Bridges of Hope, a collective of New Haven pastors whose mission is to mobilize ministry and to transform the city for the glory of God and the common good of its people.