Jacob Koger: Taking the High-Tech Road

Conway High School senior Jacob Koger has already launched himself into a high-tech career and yet he doesn’t graduate high school until May.
Even before he was offered technology classes at school, Koger was seeking out knowledge about computers and technology. But now, with Arkansas and Conway High’s encouragement, he is gaining all sorts of knowledge and experience through his AP Computer Science A, Computer Engineering, Networking, and Video and Image Editing classes.
“AP Computer Science A fits right in with what I want to do with my life. I also took Computer Engineering and Networking, both of which are highly beneficial for anyone wanting to work in the hardware side of things,” Koger said. “I also have a passion for video and image editing.”
His recent internship has also moved him forward along this high-tech path. Jacob interned this past summer at Metova, Inc. under David Jones, Lead Developer. The Conway office, open since 2015, is located in the downtown Halter Building. Metova launched the Arkansas Coding Academy and an on-campus internship office at UCA in 2016.
Koger explained how he got the internship as a high school student. “Josh Smith, Metovo’s Chief Strategy Officer, heard about my passion for tech and asked me to come in and see what I could do. I went in with very little experience in development, but I had a very wide range of knowledge in technology.”
Jones’ development team specializes in Android software, creating user-facing mobile apps. This Android team allowed Koger to dive right in and learn through doing. This is how he was able to design and develop his own app.
Koger’s app provided greater capabilities for an online game called DoTa2 (Defense of the Ancients), created by Valve Corporation. The multiplayer game involves a match-based system of play. Numbers measure how good, or bad, the player was compared to their competitors.
Using Valve’s public data servers, Koger created a way to pull and view all this game data on his phone. The project has already allowed him to learn so much, tbut it is just the beginning for him.
“At this point, I don’t have the capability to expand the app without expending lots of time and money. So, it is on hold while I further my education and work on other projects, said Koger.
Koger plans to attend the University of Arkansas and pursue a degree in Computer Science after graduation. He has already made plans to use the interim time to focus on deciding exactly what he would like to do in this high-tech field so that he can tailor his future studies toward that goal.
“I am very passionate about what I want to do, diving fully in and gaining as much knowledge as I can about the broadest part of the subject,” explained Koger. He loves to read, something he says he got from his mother, and his father has been involved in technology his entire life. His parents have both been very supportive of him following his passion.
“I feel like they both like knowing that I am doing something I love and that I have a way to do it. They also both benefit from having their own personal tech guy!” Koger said.
Koger’s father has always enjoyed traveling and exploring the world. When Koger was eight, his father told them they were moving to Dubai. They lived there for ten months.
Koger said, “I had the opportunity to live and go to school in Dubai. It gave me a whole new perspective on how big our world is. The number of people, from anywhere you could think of, was incredible. This experience really shaped my view of the world and the people in it.”
Although school and work take a lot of his time, Koger is involved in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Last year, at the national FBLA competition in Anaheim, California, he competed in Network Design. This year he will compete in Coding and Programming, hoping to again compete nationally.
Through FBLA, he has also done volunteer work, packing food for Feed My Starving Children’s Mobile Pack program, and doing other service projects. Until recently, Koger played soccer. He recently made the Conway High School Bowling team. He had this to say about why he was nominated for iMatter:
“I feel like I was nominated due to how passionate I am about what I want to do. I feel like people are too scared and limit themselves. They wait until college to find what they want to do, but the earlier they start, the more proficient in that field they can become. I prove that point.”