As a software engineer in America's largest city, I've been building web, mobile, and scripted projects for over 5 years. I've worked with a wide variety of languages and frameworks, including Rails, NodeJS, Django, and writing Native code for Mobile. There's still so much to learn and I'm always looking for the next challenge.
Currently, I work the most with Ruby, Rails, and React. As a full time professional engineer, I build applications that help small businesses grow through HR software tooling. Specifically, software that handles payroll and insurance operations. When I'm not writing code professionally, I enjoy writing code as a hobby — breaking out of my comfort zone to learn new things I wouldn't be able to leverage in my day job. Some of the things I get most excited about is building backend API's, refreshing my Python Deep Learning skills, and leveraging TypeScript to publish and maintain mobile apps with React Native.
As a professional engineer, I've built a variety of projects for my employers. One of my favorite's is automated reporting system through csv and excel generations based on the Payroll Protection Program — a Covid-19 US government rescue plan for small businesses. These reports allowed business owners to easily see how PPP was impacting their business, based on payroll reporting and a timeline - with the end goal being loan forgiveness. This feature was built to handle the robustness of the U.S. payroll system, including properly counting contractors, salary, hourly, excempt, and non-excempt to name a few.
When we needed to improve our customer success workflows, I was tasked with integrating our platform's product data with our Zendesk instance. This resulted in a feature-rich API integration with Zendesk so that our platform's company and member data continuously stays refreshed, maintained, and up to date on the Zendesk instance. The integration is ran asynchrounsly with properly handling and retries for when API's fail or limits must be throttled back. This resulted in a large increase in throughput for Zendesk ticket responses, creating less work for our service representatives, and a better client experience.
The End of Year process for businesses can be daunting, with all the taxes, reporting, and filing that has to be done. To handle make this process easier for our clients, I worked on a team to rebuild a task list to provided an easy way to manage their yearly responsibilities, all within our platform. This project had heavy emphasis on coordinating with other teams to ensure legal, tax, and payroll documents were securely collected and managed. The task list was a key component as it was the source of truth for maintaining communication with thousands of our clients' progress on an individual level.
Most recently, I've implemented an error catching system for our Workers Compensation Underwriting to preventatively catch and handle WC errors before they were able to reach payroll. These Workers Comp errors were previously going under the radar until payroll was exectued; causing headaches for payroll and the WC teams. With the new event-driven system, WC errors would be caught and handled before payroll, alleviating the pain caused by faulty WC data. In addition, fault tolerance was added to the payroll system itself to automate error resolution - completely eliminating WC errors from our payroll system.
I've contributed to modularizing a monolith Rails application. Breaking up our massive codebase into granular pieces has proven to increase developer productivity. Mostly driven by the Packwerk's packages paradigm, I've been able to abstract out and encapsulate domain-specific code - exposing only what's necessary in public APIs and contracts. This system has paid dividends for code maintanence, developer quality of life, and scalability.
I started Fordham in the Summer of 2016, right after transitioning out of the US Army, and I immediately fell in love with the classroom. I mostly attended classes at the Manhattan, Lincoln Center campus, occassionally going up to the main campus in the Bronx. We focused on C++, studying OOP paradigms and proper software architecture for scalable systems. Computer Science became my passion; one of my favorite courses was Operating Systems, how the hardware integrated with low-level software. I was able to graduate with a Bachelor's of Science in CS in December of 2018. In less than 3 years, I was able to achieve something I'm proud of to this day - going from Soldier to Software.
Before I finished my undergraduate degree, I did some research into possibly extending my academic career. My GI Bill, which covered 100% of Fordham tuition, was still in effect. In fact, I had about 13 months left on it. With this in mind, during the Summer prior to finishing my BS, I applied to Fordham's Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Specifically I wanted to study the field of Data Science, and improve my skills in Python, linear algebra, and the expanding field of Deep Learning.
I started my graduate program immediately after my undergraduate, in January of 2019. Despite my knowledge of Computer Science and programming, Data Science was a challenge - it's conjoining of Mathematics, Computer Science, and Statistical Analysis. I had to be on my game - after a year's worth of hard work, I graduated in December of 2019 with a Master's of Science in Data Science. Some of the most interesting topics I've ever learned are in this field; specifically, the use of Neural Networks when applied to Deep Learning.
I'm proud to be a graduate of Fordham University, and I visit often from time to time. Especially whenever I'm around Lincoln Center or on a trip to the Bronx Zoo - Go Rams!
Before I became a professional Software Engineer, I served on active duty as an Ammunitions Specialist in the US Army. My time of service lasted from 2012 to May of 2016. I'm grateful for my four years of service, the lessons I've learned, and the man that it's made me today. Specifically, how I grew to become a leader, stood in the face of adversity, and learned that the whole is greater than the sum of it's parts; teamwork and a clear objective is the key to tackling enormous obstacles.
There was so much to learn in the Army, and it snowballed into a deeper curiousity to learn. My passion to learn was reignited, and it motivated me to get back into the classroom. My experience in the Army led me down the path to Software development. When I realized I wanted to make a career change, I took everything the Army had taught me and applied that discipline to my next challenge. I'm proud of what I accomplished in the military, and it was the best stepping stone I could have asked for to catapult me to greater heights.
I was well travelled in the US Army, and I was able to visit a number of places around the world and contribute along the way. After training in the Carolinas and Virginia, my first duty station was Camp Casey in Dongducheon, South Korea. This was specifically meaningful to me as my grandfather served in the Korean War. Korea is such an amazing country, and even after spending a year there it doesn't feel like it was enough time.
After Korea, I came back to the States and got assigned to Fort Bliss, Texas. This base is located in El Paso, so I got a lot of exposure to the American Southwest, a place I really enjoyed. It has a lot of unique history and culture, and I was even able to improve my spanish speaking a little bit! But after only four short months, my battalion shipped off to the Middle East.
Our first stop in the middle east was Camp Buehring, Kuwait. This base was a staging point for shipment north into Iraq; there wasn't much here except a lot of training exercises. I was able to take a USO trip to Kuwait City, however, and learn about Kuwait and it's culture. Kuwait City is beautiful, modern and filled with great people. After a couple months in Kuwait, we shipped up into Iraq to deal with ISIS. My Brigade at the time was aviation, and my battalion specifically had Apache attack helicopters. While in Iraq, we had to deal with some perilous situations - but knowing that these "flying tanks" were above us, I never felt too insecure.
I came back from the Middle East in December, 2015. I knew my US Army contract was up in about 6 months, and I started to think about what I really wanted to do with my life after the Army. I had some ideas but now was the time to really make a decision. I began to get stuck with the idea of Software Development, and learning how to code. Over the next few months, I started to read articles, take online courses, and absorb all the knowledge I could - something told me this journey was gonna be unlike any other.
Once I knew for sure I wanted to write Software, I hit the ground running. I planned out my new life back in New York City, got accepted to Fordham University, and studied as much material as I could get my hands on. When I finally left the Army, it was bittersweet - all the friends, the memories, the places I've been, and the life I had had changed overnight. I still keep in touch with old buddies, and we're all proud of our service - we're better for it.