What do you do for work?

I'm not working at the moment! However, I used to work at Google Research. There, I developed machine-learning applications for the weather. A lot of the time this involves making weather data easier to work with, if not specific datasets. If you've Googled the weather and saw a bar that told you how soon it was going to rain, you've used my old team's main product. Before this, I used to work on the Arcs project, a system to protect user privacy in the AI era. I've been lucky so far that a lot of my work involves contributing to open source. Before joining Google, I've had a mix of software engineering and machine learning roles.

Where are you from?

All over California, really. I grew up in San Diego (north county) and went to college there, too. I lived in Oakland for a few years, then in the Santa Cruz / Monterey area. During the pandemic, I found myself in the central coast near SLO. When things cleared up a bit, Cam and I moved to LA for a year to help support family. Hey, maybe one day I'll end up in Chico or Mt. Shasta.

What kinds of things do you do for fun?

I used to fret this question. Especially its corollary: "What are your hobbies?" For the longest time, I felt like I had no hobbies, despite my best intentions at starting playing music or creating art. There never seemed to be any time. Then, one day, my father-in-law dropped a bomb on me: Travelling is my hobby. Until he said it, it never clicked that time spent planning, packing, and unpacking for trips amounted to something!

I really enjoy traveling. I definitely got the travel bug while coming of age. I visited my (then) college girlfriend while she studied abroad in New Zealand. On this first major international trip as an adult, I saw NZ (north island only) and Tonga. We've used to do at least one major trip per year once we started working, as folks do. I once took a wonderful family trip to Havana, Cuba – we snuck that in during the brief window when it was allowed for Americans! When I got my last job, I started traveling internationally for work (primarily to Sydney), which only gave me more of an apptetite to see more places.

Cam & I took a break from this, of course, during the pandemic. When travel became safer, we started to explore domestically. We moved all around California and visited friends & family around North America. We would jump to new places even with the flimsiest of excuses.

Right now (most likely, who has time to update FAQ pages?), Cam and I are on a yearlong trip around the world. We quit our jobs on Friday the 13th of October 2023, to finally see the world to our heart's desire. You can read about where we went or hear about where we're going to be on our newsletter.

What kind of music do you like? What have you been listening to recently?

Why, thank you for asking! In a world of streaming music, it's common to say that one's tastes are eclectic. This certainly is true for me, however, it doesn't really speak to the shape of my preferences. Let me show rather than tell what I like (with the help of everynoise.com):

Neat website. How's it made?

Thanks! This website is mostly generated HTML and CSS. In an effort to keep things simple, my generator consists of some shell scripts that invoke pandoc (Check out the source, or consider making your own shell-powered website). I thought I would have to replace my hacked-together solution with a "real" static site generator until I found this awesome project for generating an RSS feed! It seems like I'm not the only pandoc obsessed developer out there (there are dozens of us!). I guess the allure of creating a website in PowerPoint too strong to let this go...

If you find any part of it that is not accessible or generally unusable, please reach out to me, and I'll correct it.

Do you have any advice for becoming a software engineer?

Yes – but that depends a lot on your situation. Please, email me (or reach out some other way). I'm happy to give you my 2¢.

I'm a UCSD undergraduate.

Awesome. I get messages from UCSD undergrads from time to time. One day, I'll write an article with general advice for students like you. Until then, would you be interested in connecting with me on TritonsConnect? From there, I can learn a bit more about you and provide commensurate advice.

Do you actually get asked these questions frequently?

Like, not really.