I love to optimize, and am constantly seeking the best ways to
make every process more efficient and simply "better." There's
rarely a duplicate situation in process optimization, which makes
each opportunity an exciting and enjoyable challenge. Programming
ties right in, since the single biggest reason we have computers
(and programmers) is to make processes less tiresome, more efficient,
and better – and that's what I do.
Among my friends, I've developed something of a reputation for my BASH "one-liners" – some of which are a few hundred characters long. Despite that reputation, I try to always use the correct tool for a job. I've even been known to use Java and Python on occasion. Neither, however, was a pleasant experience.
May '14 –
May '11 – April '15 – Software Engineer — In this position, I was responsible for many of the technical aspects of the acceptance and integration of new data sources into the central RP system. Over my four and a half years there, I focused on optimizing the Data Intake process, reducing unnecessary manual steps, and making the entire process more efficient. I managed to improve throughput of new data feeds by over 200%, and some of the enhancements I suggested in my time there are still in the process of being implemented. I also wrote all sorts of scripts to identify issues with the data, as well as coding enhancements to the process itself.
Sept. '10 – May '11 Analytics Coordinator — The Analytics team at Return Path works with huge amounts of email data, and my position on the team included many different interactions with Big Data – everything from one-off data requests from account managers, to creating an entire automated report-generation system based on Hadoop, Perl, R, and Gnuplot.
Sept. '08 –
May '09 Systems Administrator — At the University of Colorado, I provided sole support for 20-25 faculty and staff machines. I was responsible for all aspects of functionality assurance, security, user questions and resolution of problems. I also created scripts to automate weekly user management processes and help maintain good system functionality.
Aug. '07 –
June '08 ResNet RCC Technician — On a team of 7-10 students, I supported internet services for over 7000 on-campus housing residents. I was responsible for troubleshooting, diagnosis and resolution of hardware and software problems registering and/or connecting to campus internet and cable TV services.
January '06 – December '06 Accounts Payable Assistant — At Teen Mania, I wrote programs and scripts to automate office processes, sorted and recorded incoming invoices, and prepared invoices for payment. I also handled payment for over ten American Express card accounts.
June '05 – December '05 Page — I sorted and shelved books, provided patron assistance, and researched/produced materials for the library's childrens programs.
November '04 – January '05 Clerk, Researcher, & Lister — Performed all functions relating to eBay sales including customer service, inventory, item research, photography, and computer maintenance.
August '02 – June '04 Computer Support Tech & Assistant SysAdmin — Even though I was only in high school, I assisted with sysadmin duties (helped maintain 26 computers), hardware/software upgrades, and user support. Teachers would often pull me out of other classes to request my help in the computer lab — and I was always able to answer their questions.
(Attended Sophomore & Senior years, GPA: 3.87)
Member of Phi Beta Kappa & Gilman International Scholarship Program
(Attended Junior year, GPA: n/a)
(Attended Freshman year, GPA: 4.0)
Programming is fun. Growing up learning QBasic (and later Perl), my mind learned to think procedurally. Over the past few years, Lisp has been stretching my mental processes in whole new ways as I've learned to think of "code" and "data" as being exactly the same thing, and to design my programs with that in mind.
Real Time Strategy, RPG, Puzzle, and particularly old-school adventure games (think King's Quest). Baldur's Gate (I & II), Nethack, Alpha Centauri, Caesar (II & III), Dwarf Fortress, Age of Empires (I, II, III), the Dr. Brain series, and Portal/Portal II (to list a few). I like my computer games the way I like my jobs: challenging, fun, and rarely brain-numbing. Give me a good RPG (graphical or text-based) or puzzle game and I'll be happy. I also spend a good bit of time on Aardwolf both playing and serving as an Immortal administrator.
By "languages" I mean both human and computer. Ever since I was young I've been picking up languages like a downtown lamp-post picks up stickers — I've studied Spanish, Hebrew, and Quechua; dabbled in Russian and Indonesian, and spent a year in Taiwan studying Mandarin Chinese. Next on my list (in no particular order) are Arabic, Swahili, Turkish, Ukrainian, and some others I don't actually remember off-hand. I've also constructed a language called Gorkoth, and used it to write one letter and a short story. Oh, and I also consider Morse code most excellent and worthwhile (though it's not truly a language).
I read mostly fantasy and science fiction, with a few outliers here and there for variety. Some of my favorite authors are Tolkien, Heinlein, C.S. Lewis, and Douglas Adams. I also enjoy writing fantasy — I'm currently working on two novels and have written a number of short stories. Gorkoth (the conlang mentioned above) has had a rather significant influence on one of the novel's worlds, and now has a fairly extensive history behind its origin and development. I even produce poetry on occasion, but I generally don't release it — the world's got enough problems without my contributions. I've recently finished reading Peopleware and On Lisp. I've also recently finished Harry Potter and the Methods of Rationality ... but don't tell anyone.
Okay, so that's a fancy way of saying "Tinkering". Anyway... As a logical extension of my life-long enjoyment of taking things apart and putting things (back) together, I discovered at some point that it's a lot of fun to combine electronic components into projects that do things. I even won a prize for an Arduino/Twilio/Morse Code project at a hackathon one time!
Thanks go to db48x for this template and helpful comments/suggestions.