Software Engineering Personal Statement
- date: 2020-05-12
In light of COVID-19, and because my career goal is to contribute to a community of creative individuals (e.g., meteorologists, musicians, or applied mathematicians) I intend to take a position developing software and manipulating exotic datasets beginning Fall 2020, rather than returning to complete my Ph.D. at CU Boulder.
My immediate qualifications include
- a year of professional software engineering experience at the National Center for Atmospheric Research;
- background in mathematics and data science that drives me to produce high-quality software; and
- domain-specific enthusiasm for exotic data, copyright law and the distribution of creative works.
While I am well-equipped to work independently, I am new to software engineering as a collaborative process.
At NCAR, I worked independently under Tom Cram1 and Matt Mayernik on the reduction of meteorological data from binary image files using Python and SQLAlchemy. I designed a metadata schema and ingest system for a ~60 TB collection of scanned documents to reduce each ~6 MB image to about ~2 KB of metadata.
For collaboration and project management, I’ve used
org-mode, git issues, and kan-ban style boards. Though I have only a few months’ experience working with teams to plan and prioritize a backlog, I am endearingly hopeful to have more soon.
Doing mathematics, I learned how to have problem-solving conversations with myself and others; doing data science, I learned additionally how to describe and implement a solution in its domain-specific language.
I am confident that I could both “create and sponsor new concepts” and “proactively investigate and solve technical issues”. For example, I happy toggling between object oriented and functional programming paradigms.
Having been a student and an amateur DJ for as long as I can remember, I suppose I have done just about everything described in Daft Punk’s Technologic to every MIME type of data described in the RFC 6838.
At least I have the decency to know I’ve plagiarised2
nothing. But, in all seriousness, aside from successfully implementing a RESTful API, I have wielded
pandas, NumPy, etc. to create, acquire, modify, deliver, and destroy digital content and its metadata. Specifically, I used
pandas, and NumPy in the image processing workflow at NCAR. As an example of how I might use these otherwise illicit skills for good, I am confident that I could “monitor content delivery processes and queues” while “troubleshooting and resolving issues” arising therein.
To be explicit. A subset of the tag cloud of technical tools I am confident using professionally looks like:
I would need to “book up”, but I could also use:
Java, and Amazon Web Services.