My first internship was at a science project called Nemaload in the summer of 2013. The goal of this project was to model the functioning of the nervous system of the C. elegans nematode worm.1 The proposed method of doing this was the study light-field microscopy of genetically modified nematode worms. My main role here was to develop a visualization platform for the imagery, which I did with Meteor and AWS. I also got my first exposure to the Go language. of This project did not successfully achieve its goal. However, I had a chance encounter with Nick Winter that summer which lead to my next role.2
I did an internship at CodeCombat from January to August 2014. I was the first employee and am now back! I worked on various parts of the website and infrastructure. I also had many interesting experiences that summer. I wrote a comment to the FCC about net neutrality and then met the FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler at the Stripe offices. I also got to listen in on a phone call about game design with the creators of Magic: The Gathering.
I was an instructional assistant for the University of Michigan’s operating systems course during the spring of 2015. I decided to go back to school in the fall of 2014. After the fall semester, I was invited to become an instructional assistant of my operating systems class, which I accepted. In September of 2014, I interviewed with Facebook for a summer internship position3.
From 2015-2016 I had a brief stint at Segment building distributed systems with Go and AWS.
After that, I went back to Facebook from 2016 to 2022. My last role was keeping the Meta products (FB/IG/WA/etc.) up. My proudest moment was diagnosing the root cause of a near-total outage of Meta’s products. Before that, I was the leading expert on the reliability and performance of Facebook’s internal tools. My first role was building internal tools for advertising customer support.
I’m a signatory of the Giving What We Can pledge, committing at least 10% of my income to organizations that I believe are the most effective at improving the lives of others. I currently support GiveWell. In the past I gave directly to the Against Malaria Foundation, where I bought malaria nets for 22,000 people in Africa and Papua New Guinea. If you are interested in effective altruism, I suggest to start by reading the book The Life You Can Save by Peter Singer.
I’m not a religious person. However, I find many of the teachings of Theravāda Buddhism useful in my life.
During the final days of Nemaload, I had a chance encounter with Nick Winter which led to my next internship. I had used his app Skritter to study Chinese, and I had a few encounters with Nick over email. He posted that he was in SF on Google Plus and asked if anyone was interested in hanging out - I messaged him and we met up in June 2013 at The Creamery. He basically said that he was working on a crazy idea of making a game to teach kids how to code, and that if it was successful I should come work for him. I thought it was crazy, but it did end up working out. I took a leave of absence from university from January to August 2014 to go work at CodeCombat. ↩︎
My girlfriend at the time suggested I do this. I was confident I couldn’t pass the interview, but thought I’d use it as practice. Best decision I’ve ever made! ↩︎
There are a few reasons why I left after about half of my university education. I’ll write about them someday. ↩︎