This website is whatever I want it to be about, but I want it to be about technology. Ideally, it will not include information duplicating basic tutorials, well-trodden algorithms, or other blog posts: no noisy repetition, just signal.

I currently live in San Francisco, and the Bay Area is known as a place where you are defined by technical accomplishments and brevity is appreciated, so I will start with the bottom line up front before getting into my mere human characteristics.

what I've done: technology

For a taste, take a look at my projects page and Github profile. These pages don't list all my projects; I have a Bitbucket account full of private repositories from the past couple years, projects from work which cannot be made public, a few ancient projects on a shared host or backup drives from before I learned version control, and even more ancient C++ projects from college.

I believe in having a project which you strongly identify with and continue to build on over time. I have a couple nonpublic projects at various stages of progress which might fit this, but they aren't ready for primetime yet.

I talked about my nontraditional path into tech in this podcast episode.

what I've done: otherwise

My LinkedIn page covers my professional background, but at the risk of repeating myself: I spent six years as a public servant in Alaska enforcing insurance consumer protection laws. Insurance is boring, but risk is sexy. I got the inside scoop on complex actuarial models, contract law, and sometimes conducted field investigations using statistical auditing techniques. I was the only person on the team who knew how to program, and automated various tasks with Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) and later Python.

In the meantime, I volunteered in interesting capacities. I served as a trustee and fiduciary to a health trust with over $130 million in assets and revenue.[1] I advocated on the behalf of foster children in court, and later served on a statewide advisory committee on the child welfare system, culminating in a report on the Alaska child welfare IT system.[1:1] I also served as a financial expert and corporate secretary to a notable environmental advocacy nonprofit.[1:2] Currently, the only volunteering I'm doing is trying to keep up on my Wikipedia edits (total > 10,000) and serving as a nonvoting community member on the Wikimedia Foundation Audit Committee.

who am I, though, really?

When I got my undergraduate degree in philosophy, I found these types of questions really interesting. But I swore off philosophy after college: I'm focused on the real world. Currently in the midst of a life transition, I am now trying to find my proper place in the Lower 48. The following quote from Theodore Roosevelt runs through my mind every so often:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

  1. Southeast Alaska Conservation Council ↩︎ ↩︎ ↩︎