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Edward Ceaser ’07 has been a software engineer for TiVo and Twitter. He is hopeful that Fauna, Inc., may join them someday as a household name in the technology industry.
Ceaser recently left social networking giant Twitter with two other engineers to develop Fauna, a company that builds software to power social networking features for other tech companies. The new firm is headquartered in the Berkeley, California, home of one of its founders. “Fauna is a start-up and definitely a risk,” Ceaser said, “but it allows us to help other companies build something as profound as Twitter.”
A Kenyon connection at TiVo with engineer Gabriel Schine '05—now with Google—landed Ceaser in Silicon Valley, where he acquired the experience and expertise to start his own company. “I wanted to work in a place that was meaningful to me, so Twitter was a natural fit,” he said. “I enjoyed the product and what it stood for. But as Twitter continued to grow, I missed working closely with people I also considered friends.”
Playing video games in his youth sparked his interest in computers—an interest that, at Kenyon, he took far deeper, and wider, by majoring in mathematics and also undertaking the interdisciplinary concentration in scientific computing. “The types of problems I am solving in the tech world today are similar to the problems we solved in my math classes at Kenyon. The way we learned was very much like the way we work as software engineers, with plenty of room for creativity, experimentation, and trial and error.”
Ceaser solved problems outside the classroom as a Helpline consultant, providing technical support and troubleshooting to students and faculty. The job helped him think about computers from other people’s perspective; it was just one more experience in a broad-based Kenyon education that has served him well in the tech world.
“The best people I’ve worked with have come from liberal arts backgrounds because they know how to communicate their ideas and work well with others. That’s most of what we do as engineers.”