I hold a Masters degree in Computer Science from the University of Illinois-Springfield, where I primary focused on security, operating systems, systems programming, and networking. I really enjoy learning about the kernel of an operating system.
I enjoy learning how the tech works from a top-level as well as under the hood.
In my free time I enjoy weight lifting, playing basketball, singing, cinema, watching hockey & baseball, going to concerts, listening to Metalcore music, and keeping up with the latest Linux, BSD and other security related news.
I am passionate about digital privacy.
1989 – Born in Winfield, IL. Grew up in Warrenville, IL.
2003 – Started taking voice lessons
2007 – Graduated from Wheaton Warrenville South high school
2010 – Internship for a business development position in Chicago over the summer.
2011 – Graduated college with B.S. in Marketing from Illinois State
2012 – Installed Linux for the first time and became a full-time user.
2014 – Worked at a computer-phone repair shop for a year.
2014 – Graduated college with M.S. in Computer Science from University of Illinois-Springfield
2015 – Started working at my current company, Dealer Inspire, as a Developer.
2018 – Joined the Systems Engineering team at a Junior-level. Exploring contract work.
2019 – Promoted to Systems Engineer
2020 – Transitioned to Cloud Infrastructure Engineer
2021 – official titled adjusted to Software Engineer II and became officially employed by Cars.com
2022 – Promoted to Software Engineer III, still concentrating on cloud infrastructure.
2023 – Promoted to Senior Software Engineer I, concentrating on cloud infrastructure & system tooling
Many Career Paths
I’ve always thought I’ve been interested in too many things to choose from as as a career, from singing to computers to teaching something. I try my best to limit my interests for sake of brevity, but want to keep an open-mind in order to not feel like my hobbies are dull over time. It’s a balance really.
Growing up I wanted to be an Astronaut, then I enjoyed drawing maps from scratch so thought about Cartography, my parents put me in choir at a very young age so thought I might do something in Music, I enjoyed pretending to commentate on sporting events so thought an Announcer would be my thing, and I ended up going to college with the intensions of becoming a Teacher but that changed to general Business Marketing and after I graduated I pivoted to Computer Science, specifically working with Linux servers, from Web Developing a little bit and then doing System Engineering today. And I am happy with what I ended up on.
We only get one life, so let’s make the best of it. I believe in constantly improving my life by trying new things and by maintaining the habits that are proven healthy. I define my life purpose. I consider myself an Optimistic Nihilist.
I approach life in a serious-yet-silly-way. I come up with my own ideas and don’t subscribe to following any predetermined or outlined quality of life that others preach. I stay aware of what is going on in the world, but at the same time do not let it affect me. We are all unique individuals so need to come up with our own way of life along the way. I gain a lot of these ideas from the philosophy I read, especially from Stoicism. And I gain additional insights from the music I listen to, mainly Metalcore and various other genres including Indy Rock and Post-hardcore.
Life should not be complicated. We only make it that way. Simplify it and be happy. Be nice to yourself, and more importantly to others.
Recently, at our company Summit we did an exercise to determine what motivational factors influence us, here‘s my list.
I have to intentionally set time aside to just be with myself. This allows me to organize my thoughts, think critically and prepare for our mostly-extroverted society that is constantly on the go. I need to mentally prepare.
I don’t want stuff. When you clutter your environment, you get distracted and overwhelmed. This applies to how I approach my physical world, mental state and my tooling for doing stuff on the computer.
I tend to perhaps think a bit longer than the next person; but then again, in today’s society we are all moving too fast. I appreciate taking a step back, breathing, slowing down, and thinking about something before I act on it. I also think I am a slower reader. All of this is probably why I enjoy baseball so much. It forces me to slow down in our insanely fast-paced modern-world. I appreciate the little things.
I’m always questioning why topics, music, art, things in general are so popular. I find solace and comfort in stuff that is more independent and not mainstream. To me, it is always more about the art than the popular counterparts that are usually biased due to the fact that they will make money.
I keep up on the alternative technology that give the power back to the people and not the corporations. I don’t want my data being harvested by companies to be sold to the highest bidder. Not only does this feel creepy and dirty, this causes concerns for artificial price alterations in the market since companies can manipulate how they get their goods & services in front of the consumer. It also negatively effects our emotional state of mind, our democracy and is just overall distracting. I’d recommend reading this which discusses how online advertising is pointless. I don’t use social media (I do a little, but have come a long way to minimizing it. At the time of this writing I still do have a Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, but I have enforced habits and self-control for myself). I utilize many tools at PrivacyGuides.org, I primary use FLOSS, I usually use a VPN, I don’t use Google applications, I self-host or find secure managed services, and I run Linux on all my machines. I take the time to understand the tech we use from a business, privacy and technology perspective before making a decision to use them. For this reason some services I do not use are: Spotify, Uber, Airbnb, SnapChat, WhatsApp, etc. You can find a list of my Android applications and phone set-up here. I use GrapheneOS.
I try to keep it simple, but I am constantly pushing myself to try different and healthier foods while consistently making it to the gym to workout. I enjoy playing basketball and weight lifting. I also meditate from time-to-time to keep the brain loose. I hit the gym most mornings and my morning routines are very important to me.
I try to do so with open-source code and bug reporting. I enjoy answering questions that others have and in return I just ask for them to pass that knowledge along. I also believe that I should leave any area I leave better than how I found it. It must be a Boy Scout thing. I’m not the physical volunteer type though. I feel too constrained. I like to volunteer on my own time and within my own space. I am also a proud Associate Executive Producer of the No Agenda Show and you can hear my first donation note on episode #1170. What is this No Agenda thing? Find out more info on my Podcasts I listen to page.