Hello there! I only recommend reading this if you are suffering from extreme boredom. If you are a potential employer there is a link to my résumé at the bottom of this page. Anyways, here’s a breakdown of what I’ve done and the places I’ve been.
July 1993 - San Diego, California
I was born in San Diego to a mother, father and two older brothers. Six years later my sister would join us. I, generally, tell people that us siblings raised ourselves. We are more like each other than we are like our parents. Without my siblings my entire world would be completely different.
I’m not sure when exactly this would have happened, but when I was around 13 years old my Brother would have been around 20 years old. He’s created for himself an extremely successful career on his own, and I knew that I wanted to do what he was doing. The problem was that I didn’t have any idea what he was doing.
Later on, he handed me his Perl Programming book after I expressed interest in learning to program. I read the entire book while typing in programs on an HP netbook running some very early version of Ubuntu. I remember being over at my brother’s various apartments over the years going into deep discussion about language theory and playing video games. These are some of my best memories from my childhood.
Eventually, I would have written my own templating library, and when my brother saw what I was doing he introduced me to Template Toolkit 2 as well as the vast library that is CPAN.
At around the same time, Google App Engine was just released and my brother encouraged me to build out an app in Python. So, I did. It was a simple app that tallied votes for a Google Image search. It would randomize the images that came out of the search. For example, you could type in New York Pizza and Chicago Pizza. You would vote on which images looked better and after 10 votes it would reveal what you believe perceived to be better.
It was a stupid, but simple app that was my introduction to full stack programming. I learned vanilla AJAX, jQuery/DOM, Python, and databases. I made it responsive and showed it to people at my high school. Quickly, people were doing all kinds of voting on the app and crowds of people would hover over and debate on which images were better.
When I turned 16, I was eager to join the workforce and ended up in Fast Food and then child care where I ended up wasting a few years of my life until I turned 19. I really wanted to do an internship at a place where I could write software, but San Diego wasn’t the place for me. My grandparents offered me room and board if I went to school full-time so I went to go live with them in Las Vegas.
August 2012 - Las Vegas, Nevada
Once in Vegas, I enrolled in school to get a degree in Electrical Engineering. I felt that if I was to be engaged with school that I should avoid software, and hardware seemed like a good compliment. I got pretty good grades, and in the meantime I hunted for somewhere to write software.
A local man ended up finding my post on Craigslist and seemed interested in hiring me. I pestered him daily on what I could do to prove to him that I was capable to work on whatever project he needed me to do. He wanted to see that I could write a WordPress plugin. 12 hours later of pure focus and Mountain Dew, I ended up showing him what I could do. He called me over and on December 1st 2012 I started at my first Software gig. I was ecstatic. This job would end up changing my entire life as it was the first time I would be able to acquire relevant experience.
I worked long and hard hours for the next year. I was passionate about proving that I could do the work. Initially, I did some WordPress development, but my boss saw that very quickly I needed more work thrown at me. So, he put me on a team of 4 where we developed an MVC PHP web application that was essentially the MailChimp of Skype called Skysponder. After a few months of working on this project I noticed a lot of very bad coding practices from the lead developer at the time. After a couple of more months my boss removed him from the project and I was now referred to as the Lead Developer only after working on the project for a few months. To this day, I am very proud of the hard work I put into this project.
At school, we were forced to take a software class. My initial attempt was to test out of the class. The issue was that half of the questions weren’t about software. The other half were relevant software questions, but the answer key was wrong. For example, the answer key had the wrong delimiters on the for loop as well as the wrong answer for what the double type was. I believe there were other incorrect answers, but my memory is failing to remember what they were. I explicitly remember the for loop question and the double question because when I raised these issues with the teachers and told them I knew for a fact what a for loop was and what the double type is. Instead of a productive conversation it just turned into an argument. I tried to pull up documentation on the internet, but at the end of the day I was just a student and I didn’t know more than the teachers. I made an attempt to take the class, but what I noticed was the teacher wasn’t allowing anyone to be creative with code. It was either his way or it was wrong, even when it was right. I noticed a lot of other students were frustrated by this, so after the first day I dropped out of school.
At this point in time my brother was working at Google and living in San Jose. I looked around at rent prices and determined it was time to move. I packed all of my belongings into my car and headed to San Jose.
October 2013 - San Jose, California
My brother let me stay at his place for a week. I needed to find a new apartment and in the meantime still working on Skysponder.
Luckily, I was able to find an apartment in under a week. I was 20 years old at the time and was stoked that I could have my own place all on my own.
After about a month of living in San Jose, I decided that I wanted a local job and it didn’t take long for recruiters to place me at VentureBeat. I quickly surprised most of the team how good I was at tracking down bugs and getting projects done quickly. Unfortunately, my time here didn’t last long because VentureBeat was running out of money and they had to cut development resources. They really wanted me to stay on because they had projects lined up in the next few months, but I needed a company that could commit and I also had rent to pay.
After working with more recruiters they eventually placed me at Shipwire. I was shocked with the offer they gave me. My experience was very low, but I later learned that they were impressed by my drive and how much knowledge I did have even though my experience was minimal.
After starting, I felt like I had renewed energy. I wasn’t placed on a team, but was left in a mostly empty sandbox to rebuild their marketing platform. The best part of this job wasn’t necessarily the problem set, but instead the great people that worked here. I learned a lot of things from many people in my first year.
I knew that I wanted to live in San Francisco so after my lease was up I moved one hour north into the city.
March 2014 - San Francisco, California
The second thing that happened was I entered the first serious relationship of my life. Things moved quickly, and we wanted to move in together. I wanted to stay in San Francisco, but unfortunately I didn’t think my studio would be a great place to hold the possessions of two people. So, we found something more economical somewhere else.
March 2016 - Mountain View, California
After moving to Mountain View there are two significant events that happened in my life.
The first event that happened was that I was bored again. When I get bored I tend to find new work, but unexpectedly a certain individual at Shipwire left the company. I had been asking to be in that particular position and my company quickly moved me to fill the role of DevOps. I wouldn’t be working on Marketing projects anymore.
For me, this was pretty exciting. I had been talking about a lot of projects I would like to work on if I was on the DevOps team and now that opportunity was in front of me. I developed many systems in many languages using many platforms and frameworks. The learning experience on this team will always be valuable to me.
My relationship with my partner at the time was great up until it ended. I’m still not sure why it ended, but it did. Suddenly, I was single and heart broken and my brothers had ended up moving to Washington.
I had been working at Shipwire for 4 years and had a great support network to help me through the tough times. I kept hearing the same thing over and over again from some of the best friends I have had in my life. I ended up deciding that I should follow my family and go to Seattle.
March 2018 - Seattle, Washington
I’m not sure what it is about Seattle, but something just feels right. I enjoy being here every day.
I ended up transitioning to full time remote for Shipwire. I didn’t plan on leaving the company as I still had a ton of projects I wanted to finish before I was ready to leave. I subscribed to WeWork and was as passionate as ever about all of the new technology coming out.
Unfortunately, at the same time, some of the greatest people I’ve ever met were starting to leave the company. I knew I would miss those people, but I also knew that it wasn’t reason enough to leave as well.
Since thinking that, I’ve learned the valuable lesson of people mean everything. I didn’t have any clue how spoiled I was to have such a great management team until they were gone.
At the same time, I have had the realization that I want to help people. Not just people, but also the planet. I believe it’s up to normal individuals to do their part in making sure the decisions they make aren’t creating negative impacts on society.
With those facts in place I am ready for the next endeavor that can fill me with renewed passion.