Jonathan Tomek is the CEO of the cybersecurity firm MadX, LLC, and the co-founder of Thotcon, Chicago’s biggest hacking event. In this episode, we have a wide-ranging discussion about tinkering, hacking, and how to remain curious about the world around us.

Jonathan’s company, MadX, LLC can be found at

And the hacking conference Jonathan co-founded is Thotcon (which stands for Three-One-Two) NFP can be found at

Amanda Hudgins is a game designer and the creator of the Thousand Button Project, many other awesome alternative controllers, and is the managing editor of Unwinnable. Amanda’s game projects have been featured at events like Bit Bash and at many other events — I had a really fun time with this interview! Enjoy.

For more on Amanda’s work, check out
Visit Amanda on Twitter @ barelyconcealed

Other Notes from the show:

Joe Spanier is one of the co-founders of River City Labs — a Peoria makerspace. He’s also a co-founder of Midwest Maker Fest, a previous employee at Aleph Objects (the company that makes Lulzbot printers), and Caterpillar. Joe and I have a wide-ranging talk about tech in education, his enthusiasm for making and tinkering, and more.

A note: The audio for this interview may be off in parts. The recording software that I use had some issues synching audio up, and so this was done manually.


Sasha Neri runs the Harold Washington Library Maker Lab in the Loop of Chicago, Illinois and runs Chicago’s yearly Maker Summit. This is the fourth and final part of our educational makerspaces series, and I’m happy to have Sasha on to talk about how makerspaces work in a library setting, and the benefits they have for the broader community of patrons that libraries serve.

Terry Steinbach is an Associate Dean in the College of Computing and Digital Media at DePaul University, and Betty Shanahan is the Associate Vice President of DePaul University. Both have been instrumental in building makerspaces and spreading maker-centered learning at DePaul University, and come on the show this week to talk about how to make a makerspace work in higher ed. This is the second part in a series of interviews about makerspaces in education.