If you even notice the lucky guy on the left, that’s me. The beautiful face on the right is my wife, as you may have guessed. There I am, software engineer, and student of foreign language – perhaps it helps to put a face with the name.
By day, I am a software engineer. For 3 years, I scaled ILL‘s technology infrastructure from 3 to 18 languages, then jumped on board with COOKPAD for 2 and a half years to work on some very cool projects. COOKPAD is Japan’s largest recipe site (and largest Ruby on Rails shop, afaik), while there I learned a lot about Japanese culture, food, and of course Japan’s easier to learn language – Ruby. These days I’m working with a fast growing technology-driven company in the life sciences sector: Medidata. My role is still an engineer, working on a lot of very cool R&D projects using Ruby and Rails that will hopefully help make the world a better place.
Outside of work, and when I’m not playing basketball, I experiment with new machine languages, study to improve my natural languages, read the latest research on the psychology of happiness, and spend many enjoyable hours raising my daughter. My schedule seems a bit daunting at times, but I’ve been avidly fighting ignorance since ’82 and don’t want to give in just yet.
To keep up the good fight, I read a lot, and love to try things myself. My favorite books include: The Seekers, Stumbling on Happiness, Design Patterns, Differentiate or Die, and The Pragmatic Programmer… just to name a few.
recent accomplishments include: graduating Magna Cum Laude with my BBA in 2005, winning the IBM/PHP i5 Innovation Contest (see link on right “i innovate”), and completing my MBA. Professionally, I’ve enjoyed a good range of experiences. Employee to employer, small one-man ISV, consultant, contractor, hiring manager, team leader, startup partner and business owner, salesman, farm-hand, and I’ve even managed a few restaurants over the years. Many fond memories and perhaps even a few that aren’t so fond but that changed my character for the better nonetheless.
But now, I’m at an interesting crossroads in my life here in Japan. Culture and language barriers are challenging me in new ways; I look forward to learning many new things. Daniel J Boorstin penned one of my most favorite quotes when he wrote the excellent book “The Seekers,” and it is still true to my life today: “The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance, but the illusion of knowledge.”
Well, enough about me, it’s not as interesting as the many topics I hope to cover on this site.
*although a few faces are missing above, this is one of the best photos of our group