Aaron Hillegass's Hobby Shot

Aaron Hillegass

Founder and Chief Learning Officer

Aaron founded the Ranch in 2001, just one highlight in a glowing career that began in childhood. He began programming at the ripe old age of 10 in the basement of the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry. At 19, he started doing it professionally, in the Advanced Signal Processing Lab at the Mitre Corporation. There he wrote the data structures library for Tower Eiffel, before leaving to work on Wall Street to help create mortgage-backed securities (a device that would, fifteen years later, bring our entire economy to its knees).

But Aaron is no stranger to having such a huge impact. He wrote the book widely regarded to be the bible of Mac development: "Cocoa Programming for Mac OS X." It is now in its fourth edition and has been translated into French, German, Korean, Japanese and Chinese.

In November 2012, Aaron, who had been CEO, decided to merge the Ranch with Highgroove Studios, a web service firm headed by our current CEO, Charles Brian Quinn. He has now returned his focus to doing what he loves—coding, teaching, mentoring and writing—while the Ranch he created is run by someone equally as visionary.

Aaron’s list of impressive accomplishments goes on and on: he’s a triathlete, a co-author, an accomplished and widely sought-after public speaker, he’s developed popular software, created apps for Fortune 500 companies, he could eat a gallon of flan, and he can touch his tongue to his nose.

All this and so much more is why MacTech consistently names Aaron one of the top 25 most influential people in the Mac community.