Ty Brooks Knows a Good Story – as Both English Major & Senior Software Engineer

Written by Meg Seitz · Photography by Julia Fay

Ty Brooks has an English degree. And he now works in tech.

It takes natural senses of wonder, curiosity, and a love of learning to use one degree in an entirely new way.  That’s Brooks for ya.

His charmingly real LinkedIn summary reads like a short story and explains his circuitous route to get where he is today. {Continued below}

Originally from Panama City, Florida, Brooks attended the University of Florida where he earned his English degree in 2007. Like many of us at that point in life, he wasn’t entirely sure what he wanted to do after graduation; he joined friends in California who were living in a co-op in Oakland. It was there on the West Coast that he started working in technology. For all intents and purposes, he taught himself tech. A natural reader, he started digging into technical books and online courses; he spent extra time working on projects outside his comfort zone.

The hard work paid off. He’s now a Senior Software Engineer with VigLink, a mid-stage, mid-size startup based in SF.  Founded in 2009, VigLink is responsible for managing a publisher network that includes over two million sites and apps, as well as an advertiser network of over 70,000 brands and merchants.

Brooks describes it well: “We help people make a living off the things they love.” In layperson-speak, that’s affiliate marketing – which means, hypothetically, if you’re a blogger who includes a link in her blog for for a reader to click, VigLink will help you get paid for that reader’s  click on that link. Fashion is a popular vertical for affiliate marketing as is consumer electronics.

Brooks manages general engineering work for VigLink on both the front end and the back end; it’s not necessarily the shiny, sexy work in tech – but it IS the work that keeps everything moving. Without prompting, he notes that his non-tech background helps to inform that work.

“There’s definitely a parallel between how we structure code and how we write [or speak] in that they are both language-based,” he says. “As with the written word, the most important process is writing [code] in a way that’s both legible and easy to analyze.”

“As with the written word, the most important process is writing [code] in a way that’s both legible and easy to analyze.”

Today, Brooks does his work with VigLink from Hygge’s Camp North End; he and his wife relocated to the QC from California almost two years ago when she was accepted into a fellowship program with OrthoCarolina to further her work in occupational therapy specializing in hands. The two met in Florida when Brooks was home from California for the holidays one year. Without knowing all the details, it feels like the kind of experience you’d expect from an English major who appreciates moments that turn into stories.

A natural question for a guy like Brooks – what’s his favorite book right now?

He recommends Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino without hesitation. Written in 1972, Invisible Cities explores – quite literally – the depths of our imagination through prose poetry. It captures conversations between explorer Marco Polo and the emperor Kublai Khan and describes over 50 fictitious cities.

“It’s an exceptional book,” Brooks notes. “It’s just thought-provoking and filled with wonder.”

We think that describes Brooks, too.

Meet the Author: Meg Seitz is the Founder and Managing Creative Partner of toth shop, an agency with one goal: Elevate your brand’s content through powerful writing, creativity, and strategy. She also serves as an Adjunct Professor with Queens University and Founding Partner of the children’s book series, “Bea is for Business”.

She’s an English major with an MBA, so she can talk Homer’s “The Odyssey” just as well as she can talk sunk costs – though she’d much prefer the former.

Meet the photographer: Julia Murray, owner of Julia Fay Photography, feels most at home behind a camera with a story to tell on the other side. Her business began during her sophomore year of college, while majoring in radio and tv broadcasting. Now residing in Charlotte NC, she primarily shoots weddings and other local small businesses like her own. Her favorite part about her job is the connection it brings between art and people.