087 – Games and Politics with Jay Obernolte

087 – Games and Politics with Jay Obernolte

Games and Politics with Jay Obernolte

If there’s one message [about learning to be more social], it’s that anyone can do it. It’s an acquired skill… I’m proof positive of that. –Jay Obernolte

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087 - Jay Obernolte-Table Top Inventing Podcast

[In This Episode][Guest Bio][Additional Notes][Text Transcript]

In This Episode

  • What is it like to write a video game from code in a printed book?

  • Can techie kids learn to have good people skills?

  • How does a computer game programmer become a politician?

You’ll have to listen to today’s episode to learn the answers to these fascinating questions.

Hi, this is Steve, “The Mad Scientist” Kurti, and today’s guest on the Table Top Inventing podcast is a first for us. We’ve had game-changing researchers, game-changing teachers, game-changing investors, and other game-changers on our podcast including other programmers.

obernolte_campaign0717_editHowever, we’ve yet to have a game-writing politician. Today’s guest has experience as a programmer and coder right down to the assembly language level, but he has also started a small company and has now crossed over into the world of politics.

As a tech person myself, I was curious what would drive a successful programmer and business owner to step into the political arena. The path is an interesting one as always.

Let’s welcome our first public servant to the podcast, California Assemblyman, Jay Obernolte.

Jay mentioned my favorite concept on the podcast toward the end: life-long-learning. I have always wondered what causes someone to leave a successful career to try something new, but learning and trying something new is a great reason in my book. As a perpetual learner myself, I am always interested in challenging my skills against some new idea or task.

I also understand what Jay said about moving from coding into managing people. My personal experience with starting a business has hit multiple roadblocks as I try to navigate how to understand the social world of marketing. Tech folks like us often choose computers, engineering, or science because at some level it is simpler to understand than people.

However, there is no shortcut in life to success that doesn’t include learning to have great relationships. That’s why in our Inventor Camps we always have students work in teams and show off their work at the end. Talking to other teammates and presenting our work to others are crucial skills for any professional in today’s world.

Subscribe to the Table Top Inventing podcast to hear stories of other world-changers to equip yourself and your teens for the rowdy world of innovation.

Parents AND students both tell us, “We can’t believe how much learning happened in just 4 days!”

We want to help you and your kids create the future!

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Guest Bio

Jay has over 25 years of private sector experience as one of the nation’s leading high-tech innovators and has served as a public servant for nearly a decade. His unique background led to his selection as the Assistant Republican Leader of Innovation and the New Economy. In this capacity, Jay serves as the leading voice of the Assembly Republican Caucus on policy goals that encourage growth and opportunity within California’s vibrant innovation economy.

As a junior in high school, Jay discovered his passion for computers while creating his first commercial computer program. Jay earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Engineering and Applied Science at Caltech where he also founded his business out of his dorm room. He went on to receive a Master’s Degree in Artificial Intelligence at UCLA. Today his company, FarSight Studios, employs 25 local residents and develops video game technology for Sony, Microsoft, and Apple.

As a public servant, Jay was first elected to the Board of the Big Bear City Airport in 2005 where he served three terms as President. In 2010 he was elected to the Big Bear City Council and was elected Mayor in 2013 and 2014. Jay also served as Chairman of the Big Bear Lake Fire Protection Board and a member of the Big Bear Fire Authority. Regionally, Jay has served as a Director on the Mojave Desert and Mountain Integrated Waste JPA Board, the Mountain Area Regional Transit Authority Board, and on the League of California Cities Desert-Mountain Division. In November 2014, Jay was elected to represent the 33rd Assembly District.

In addition to Jay’s dedication to public service, he has a number of other interests including martial arts and aviation. He holds a fifth-degree black belt and believes martial arts instills the virtues of discipline, hard work, and mental fortitude. Jay has also flown light aircraft for 24 years. He has an Airline Transport Pilot’s license—the highest category of pilot license—and volunteers with the Veteran’s Airlift Command to provide transportation to injured and disabled veterans.

He and his wife Heather have two sons, Hale and Troy, and have made the 33rd Assembly District their home for 19 years.

Jay Obernolte-Table Top Inventing Podcast

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Jay Obernolte-Victor Valley College-Table Top Inventing Podcast

Additional Notes

Connect with Jay

Additional Links: 

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Text Transcript Coming Soon!

“If you ever get home at the end of the day and think, ‘I really didn’t learn anything today,’ then maybe it’s time for you to think about doing things where you will learn… because I think we all have an obligation to be the best that we ourselves can be.” –Jay Obernolte

“If there’s one message [about learning to be more social], it’s that anyone can do it. It’s an acquired skill… I’m proof positive of that.” –Jay Obernolte


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