The first line of code I ever wrote was back in 2011, when I was a sophomore in high school. I took a class there where we learned C++, and I liked it a lot. So the next semester I took the school's advanced programming class where we learned Java. In that class, we played around with the GridWorld project, where I wrote one of my first Java classes ever. The feeling of creating something with code that didn't exist before was exhilarating, and I held onto that feeling when I went to college.
I started college in 2015 at BYU in Provo, Utah. When I got there, I wasn't quite sure what I wanted to study. After trying out a few different things, I decided to major in applied math. Math was my favorite subject in school growing up, and I knew that applied math involved writing code, which I remembered liking in high school. The applied math major also required us to minor in a non-math discipline, so I minored in computer science.
My combined love of math and coding steered me toward a potential career in data science. While at college, I worked for a math professor researching machine learning. I was fascinated by the different ways we could use math to teach computers to learn. On that job, I learned about algorithms like Naive Bayes, Random Forest, and even wrote a neural network from scratch. I still love math and machine learning to this day.
Unfortunately, as I neared graduation I realized that most of the really exciting jobs in data science require a PhD, which wasn't something I wanted to do. I had had enough school, and was ready to move on with my life.
Because of that PhD barrier, and because, through my computer science classes, I came to love software development, I decided to pursue a career in software development after college. A company based in Chicago came to recruit at BYU and eventually offered me a job. After talking it over with my wife (I got married in 2016), we decided we wanted an adventure, so after I graduated in April 2019, we moved out to Chicago where I began my career in web development.
Both my wife and I loved living in Chicago. It's a great city and it was fun for me to experience a new place, especially one that was so different from where I grew up in Utah. I'll always cherish the time we spent there.
After working and living in Chicago for a little over 2 years, I decided it was time for a new job. My wife and I both wanted to stay in Chicago longer, but I was somewhat unexpectedly offered a job by a company in Salt Lake City called Objective. As is often the case, life doesn't go according to plan and we decided I would take the job and move back to Utah in September 2021.
Now, I'm working for Objective and trying to get involved in open source in my free time. Currently, my favorite OSS project is Remix, which I've been keeping up with for the last year. I'm hoping that as I discover more problems that need to be solved, I'll get an OSS project of my own out there.
Thanks for reading. 🙂