Wow what a crazy year.

On a personal level, I’ve been so fortunate to have experienced living in 4 different states this year. I’ll have to update our tiny house lifestyle blog with the full scoop.

But this is my more technical and career oriented blog so I’ll focus on that instead.

New Skills Learned

Mastering Ruby & Ruby on Rails (sort of)

2018 was the year where I would say I’m fully productive in the Ruby language and using the Ruby on Rails framework. For the longest time I was perfectly happy with using Laravel and PHP.

It took me about 6 months to become proficient, and then another 6 months to fully get into the “zen mode”.

Data Science Bootcamp

Another bonus, I completed the Data Science Dojo bootcamp. It was an intense 5 days of in-person training. Each day I was getting up at 6 a.m. to beat the Seattle traffic and not getting out of class till 6 p.m.

Then when getting home I still had about an hour-ish of homework for the next day. Yea, it was a gauntlet.

However, I did finish in the top 10 of our class Machine Learning Classification competition. Our group included representatives from the Deparment of Defense, Microsoft, Google, AMD, Pizer, The Bank of Singapore, etc.

So, it wasn’t first place but I am still proud of that achievement. Especially because I don’t have a math heavy background.

Projects Completed

PHP to Ruby (

As part of mastering Ruby after years of using PHP, I decided to share my knowledge with a series of blog posts. After a few months I released PHP to Ruby.

That’s the longest form of writing I’ve ever completed. It’s about 40 posts in a rational consecutive order.

It really reinforced what I learned at work, but it also helped me identify gaps in my knowledge that I didn’t realize were there.

Projects in Progress


My buddy Kolin and I were frustrated with Meetup’s missing map feature. Out here in Seattle, 5 miles could be a half hour in traffic. Because you can’t view meetups in a map view it’s very difficult to see what’s drivable from where you were.

So we’ve been working on a project called MeetupMap to solve that problem. It’s still very much in beta but we’ve got a demo server at

Published in Data Driven Investor

One of my articles: Anti-Fraud, Spam Filters, & Anti-Virus Systems will never be as Accurate as Facial Recognition — and that should raise some concern was published in the Data Driven Investor.

Yea it’s a long title, I realize that now. But hey, it was published somewhere.

2019 Goals

I have learned a whole different language this past year and dabbled in a new field of computation. I’m re-appreciating the usefulness of SQL & statistics.

I’ve also realized that I’m learning much more about the Software Design Lifecycle (SDLC). There’s so much more to software engineering outside of coding itself.

In this next year, above learning new technical skills - I hope to become more empathatic, a better listener, and a better team player than I was in 2018. I hope to share more, and to be open to sharing.

I’m wary of putting quantity based goals for my personal learning, but I think an attitude for learning & building will naturally foster results.