At 12, he often went to his local computer store in Denmark to write BASIC code on an eight-bit Sinclair ZX Spectrum. In 1993, he stumbled across Mosaic, the first graphical web browser, while aimlessly cruising the UNIX command line on a university computer. He quickly fell in love with the web, and found a job as the webmaster for AltaVista, a pioneering search engine.
"In the very early days, you really had to figure it all out yourself," Braendgaard says, in an accent that floats between Danish and American. "All of us who were developing back then, we had to learn everything...there weren't good libraries. There weren't good developer tools."
The web has matured since then, but Braendgaard has moved on. Today, he's writing distributed applications, or "DApps," for Ethereum—a cryptography-based technology that's as green a field as the 1990s web once was, offering the same tingle of novelty and a similar chance to make an impact.