I'm a full-stack developer, data scientist, DevOPs enthusiast and game modder! As you can probably tell, I have a lot of eggs in a lot of baskets, but I'm just so interested in the entire scope of software development that that's sort of what happens! I got started learning Java back in 2011 to learn how to mod Minecraft (which I still do!), and since then I've learned more advanced systems, languages, paradigms and architectures that have gotten me to where I am today!
I graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in May of 2020 and have since started a position at Base Camp Health. Here I've developed a COVID-19 preparation platform written in React (FE) and Express (BE). You can find this and all of my other work experience on my Experience Page, my other projects on my Portfolio Page, and my education on the Education Page!
Otherwise, on this page you'll find a list of my talents and skills as well as some software tools I'm familiar with.
Since 2017, I've had experience of using Python for various computer vision tasks, ranging from detection via CNN (including YOLO). I'm quite familiar with making models using Keras + Tensorflow, and am reasonably comfortable with using CUDA for graphical acceleration (such as CUDA-accelerated CNNs, CUDA-accelerated FFMPEG for real-time decoding, and more). In addition, as part of my college research program at CUIP I learned how to design and integrate YOLO with other algorithms such as object tracking and even near-miss detection!
In my time at Base Camp Health I have used my Python Data Science skills to combine my Pandas knowledge with my interests in scalability and parallelism. By combining several public data sources with private, anonymized Blue Cross Blue Shield AL data, I was able to expand their provided dataset to include information on other non-medical factors (SDOH, or Social Determinants of Health) which helped describe if/how members were able to receive their care as well as their day-to-day living situations such as whether they live in a food desert, a high-poverty area, etc..
Once I joined at Base Camp Health, I was forced to finally sit down and learn a frontend UI framework (which up until then was overkill for the types of frontend work I had been doing). Once I got the hang of it, React has become one of favorite frontend frameworks for dynamic content and to this day several of my websites have been rewritten from Vanilla JS + DOM to React for the sake of simplicity and future maintenance.
In the last year of graduate school at UTC, I began to learn backend frameworks in order to translate frontend data into database entries. I had already gained familiarity in MongoDB from my research and MySQL from school, so that wasn't a challenge. However, learning how to use ExpressJS and use the Mongoose MongoDB wrapper was challenging because at the time async/await was still an unfamiliar concept for me.
Within about 2 months of learning and exploring backend development, I began to see how the server's relationship with the client, and the database's relationship with the server, were all unpredictable from a timing perspective. This finally allowed me to understand how async worked and why certain contexts were asynchronous and why it was necessary to await them.
So it's funny, this is actually what got me into development in the first place! I originally started my pursuit for higher education in 2011, where I decided I wanted to get a degree in Digital Animation but never wanted to work for Pixar or Dreamworks 🤔. After a semester of this, I took some time to reflect and couldn't come up with anything interesting even in the slightest, until a friend of mine convinced me to try modding Minecraft - everyone's favorite block-based sandbox.
We spent the entire winter break on 12-18 hour Skype calls, and ended up making a terrifyingly awful (at least, in hindsight) mod for Minecraft. While I had no idea what I was doing (and wouldn't for another 4 years), I enjoyed the ability to manipulate things we use every day with some code. I still make mods and recently hit 10 Million Mod Downloads via the most commonly used mod hosting platform. I still can't believe my content has come this far, but with practice and dedication I've been able to refine my mods to levels I could've never imagined!
I use VSCode for everything!! I'm preferential to it because the entire package size of it, along with the extensions I use, is still smaller than any single JetBrains IDE. Even VSCode won't hold your hand through some languages, I find this to be a good thing since I'll have to be more mindful of the specificities of that language (GO and Java in particular!).
If I'm in a remote environment, I primarily use Nano. I know how to use VI/VIM, but while many people argue that "VI[M] is always on every machine", most modern machines also ship with Nano nowadays too 😀
I prefer ZSH + OhMyZSH, though I regularly use Bash for remote machines like EC2 instances.
For deployments, I used to manually stand them up and use NGINX for routing and
executing, but recently I've been learning and deploying using Docker. While I know how to use
Kubernetes and have used it at Base Camp Health, it's always been overkill for my small websites.