Last update: 2019-07-31
My passion is to create, and execute ideas either at the whim of my thoughts or a serious endeavour that requires way more time. My skills lie in the speed and efficiency of my execution of any idea and the necessary problem solving. I create with not only my mind, but through the body, manifested through bboying and TSMMA.
My code knowledge comes from a combination of just being curious from when I was in high school (visual basics, c++, html, and flash), and throughout college with C++, and Matlab. After getting my bachelor's of science in Mechanical Engineering and working in the industry for 2 years, it became stagnant and the least bit challenging.
What I enjoyed most about Mech. Eng was the robotics courses, AutoCAD, SolidWorks and ProEngineer. Basically all the rendering software you can think of and I was very good at it. The fascination in being able to create digital renderings really hit in me and is what drove me towards code, in particular the web development.
This fascination has never left since, and starting out as a self taught developer was very challenging, but I persevered as it allowed me to create things from my mind's eye. Actually seeing the feedback come to life right in front of me (my screen at least) was amazing. Fast forward after a lot of freelance / contract work and attending tech meetups, I was also inspired by my brother who immersed himself at a dev bootcamp called Generalassemb.ly (a startup at the time) about 6 years ago. This was my intro do GA and I seeked out a job there, and slowly working my way in the tech scene there. I worked in various departments, the A/V team, student experience, event coordination (photography, video, professional headshots for linkedin). Which led me to hone in on my web development knowledge by being plugged into the ed-tech scene there. Taking part-time dev bootcamp classes after work and a few online bootcamps (Udacity & CareerFoundry).
This is also where I met the love of my life at General Assembly, Stephanie Del Rio who was studying UXD (User Experience Design) there. I realized early on that life is a journey, to enjoy the journey (a constant reminder to myself, as well as it being tattooed on me) as much as possible. I have this insatiable passion to create in every medium possible, and may times I setup myself up for disappointment because of my own pressure to be the best (nature of an aries, which Steph and I both are). My subconscious driver is my upbringing, the adversity I faced growing up and the "prove you wrong attitude" of my life has me determined. Never let anyone say what I can and can not do (except your significant other).
A brief aside, I was born and raised in Brooklyn (eldest of 3), 1/3 of my life was also in Jersey, by Chinese (Beijing / Shandong province) migrants who immigrated to New York in the late 70s. This story is not a new migrant story, but it is a story that echos with many ABC's (American born Chinese) and migrants in general. The struggle with identity, culture, learning english, learning chinese, learning about racism, and dealing with racism, not being American enough and not being Chinese enough, wtf? Yeah ... and when I say, "Hip-Hop Saved My Life" the song by Lupe Fiasco is exactly what happened growing up in the hood of prospect park (it's nice now, don't worry).
One of the four elements of Hip-Hop is Bboying, which had captured my very heart and soul, it is the very thing that saved me from all the adversity of growing up as being a type of outcast. Bboying to me is not just being able to perform "cool" moves or staying fit, but it's an identity (runs deep). This art form has no restriction on you, no age limit, no judgement. You take your thoughts and everything you've bottled up from formlessness into a form of expression. This expression is rebirthed into art that can be recognized by others as your "style" as you progress. One can see your story through your expression, the true and unfiltered style you have created.
Technology is the future and the future is now. Coding to me is the medium between my mind, body and what we consider reality. It allows me to work remotely, and in order to reach the ability to work remotely is to always be on your toes, learning new techniques, algorithms, efficiency, communication, ultimately being "a company of one". People don't believe the type of schedule I have and freedoms it allows, but you have to put in the work and sacrifice. I will tell you that you have a choice (obviously), a conscious choice to do the same, to let work revolve around you. Collectively we are pushing technology and engineering forward towards automation (as leat I am, responsibily 'white hat'), so that it can free us up to do the things that we love.