My name is Matt Drennan, and I am 30 years old. I have an Associates Degree from Lake-Sumter State College (Leesburg, FL) and a Bachelors Degree in Computer Technology and Software Development from Valencia College (Orlando, FL). I love my community and have a passion for keeping it safe. I'm currently employed as a Law Enforcement Officer. In my free time, I volunteer with Makaze Squad of the 501st Legion. The 501st Legion is a volunteer Star Wars costuming club, who depict the bad guys of the Star Wars trilogy. I have four different costumes: A New Hope Stormtrooper, First Order Stormtrooper, Darth Revan, and Spec Ops Shadow Scout. I volunteer just about every weekend at local events, children hospitals, and Give Kids The World. My other passion in life is computers and technology. Since I was 13 years old, I have been programming and playing with computers.
I could sit and program for days on end, it brings me the greatest joy. I started out by downloading open source software projects online. I would remove, add, and edit code to see what happened. One day, I found myself staring at the running application window of a game project I downloaded. I thought to myself, "I could make and create anything I want, even my own world." This is when my interest in programming suddenly sparked.
My first programming projects were simple, such as a basic PHP web forum that allowed the website owner to integrate the forum into any exisiting database. The website owner only had to modify three variables in the config file. I've created simple flash games (Flash Zoo Builder, Trail of the Dead), and even a Xbox 360 Controller Emulator Software. The software allowed anyone to control the computer with an Xbox controller using the Microsoft XNA library. I knew I was onto something when a random stranger donated $25 (which was a lot to my young self) to support my web forum software.
In 2009, my father was having a really difficult time with my sister's behavior during my parents divorce, so I came up with an idea. I created a website hosted on my WAMP home server that allowed my father to set my sister, Megan, to naughty or nice, and give a reason why. To my surprise, my sister never caught on that I made the website, and she would check the list multiple times a day. I was so excited that the idea worked, I immediately began work on a prototype for the public. I recruited my friend, Rielly Donnell, to help design the website, while I did the coding. Before we knew it, we were on the local news and paper for our site (videos below)!
I started my law enforcement career in 2015. My goal was to serve my community and to bring my love for technology to law enforcement. In 2019, I was asked to become a SWAT Tech Officer and to assist our SWAT team with all tech needs, such as networking, equipment, cameras, live streaming, robots, and sUAS. The sUAS segment became the most used element of my job function, which then translated to assisting other units, such as road patrol. Due to the immense success of utilizing UAS, one year later, my position turned into the UAS unit, where I am the lead pilot. I have flown over one hundred (100) missions and have hundreds of flights logged.
In 2020, I created Troop Tracker for the Florida Garrison of the 501st Legion, using PHP and jQuery. Troop Tracker is web based app that allows troopers to sign up for events and keep track of their statistics. Troop Tracker is open source and subsequently, other garrisons of the 501st have begun to utilize it for their needs.
In 2021, I created CricketBoard, a mobile app for Android and iOS, which allows cosplayers to utilize a minimalist setup for a soundboard. The user presses a small Bluetooth button and the button presses get translated to a corresponding sound. Due to some limitations with the Bluetooth button, I created a custom Arduino based PCB and programmed it to overcome the minor limitations.
In 2022, I completed my bachelors degree in Computer Technology and Software Development at Valencia College. For my senior project, another student and myself, were tasked with leading a software team to create an environment map for the City of Orlando. The project was a pre-existing barebones project from a previous semester. We were able to complete the project, which was developed with Java and JSP.
I am continuing my journey with tech and I look forward to what comes next!
I'm currently working on several projects and countless ideas that come to mind everyday. No matter what I do, or where my life takes me; I know I will always be programming and making my ideas come to life.
I do freelancing, contact me about it!
Star Wars Celebration - 2011
Featured in the DailyCommerical.
My Xenomorph costume from the movie "Alien."
My Darth Revan costume from the video game "Knights of the Old Republic."
My FOTK costume from the movie "Star Wars: The Force Awakens."