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Youngest NYC Terrorist Victim Was A Promising Software Engineer

Nicholas Cleves, one of the eight victims of Tuesday's terrorist attack, worked for solution provider Unique Digital Group and was hired thanks to his quick grasp of the latest software engineering trends, the company's president said.

The IT channel lost a promising software developer in Tuesday's terrorist attack in New York City.

One of the victims, Nicholas Cleves, was a software engineer and analyst at Unified Digital Group, a Saratoga Springs, N.Y.-based solution provider specializing in enterprise-scale software development.

Eight were killed on October 31 when Sayfullo Saipov allegedly drove a rented truck into a bicycle path in Manhattan near the World Trade Center. Police said Saipov's vehicle entered West Side Highway bicycle path at Houston Street and began driving southbound, striking a number of pedestrians and bicyclists along the route. Cleves, 23, was the only Manhattan resident and the youngest of the victims.

[Related: Solution Provider Global Account Exec Killed In Las Vegas Mass Shooting]

As a 2016 graduate of Skidmore College with a major in computer science and minor in physics, Cleves was hired in January 2016 by Unified Digital Group as a software engineering intern. After five months, he became a full-time employee of the solution provider.

Alex Silverstein, president of Unified Digital Group, on Wednesday posted a blog on the company website in which he called Cleves a "light of his generation: a brilliant, humble, compassionate young professional."

Silverstein wrote that Cleves was "immersed in the technological zeitgeist of our era," and was at ease with advanced computer science topics "from A.I. to game theory, cryptography and Bitcoin, programming patterns and the latest engineering happening at Tesla."

Cleves learned new skills quickly and was willing to take on new challenges, and at the same time had wonderful people skills, with a "rare capacity for emotional IQ in an often-stoic professional milieu," he wrote.

"He was composed, accepting, and open to all," Silverstein wrote. "It pains me greatly to reflect that we can no longer experience his unique gifts. A growing light has been senselessly extinguished. Yet these recollections, and the positive influence they continue to bear, remind me that I was truly blessed to call Nicholas Cleves my colleague and friend."

Unified Digital Group was unable to respond to a request for comment by press time.

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