I am beginning to settle in to a new life in the greater Lansing, MI area, and a new position as Software Engineer at Vertafore, Inc., having started in December 2017.
Thank you to all who spoke with me or assisted during this long job search and significant relocation. I appreciate every one of you.
In my life, I have survived a couple career changes. I have gone from math instructor, to Scouting executive, to software engineer. Through it all, I have worked alongside people in many fields. I find that most people enjoy their work, but everyone has some tasks that are a bit more repetitive or tedious than the rest. They need tools and materials to help them out.
That's where engineers come in. Need to attach pieces of wood to other pieces of wood? Ancient engineers gave us the hammer and nail. Need to frequently cross a river while also allowing boats to pass? Some civil engineers will build you a bridge. Need to track thousands of bill payments received monthly, credit them to the proper accounts, and highlight delinquent accounts? A team of software engineers can design and code a system to do just that.
Drawing comparisons between hammers, bridges, and software is unusual. The common thread is to identify a need, discuss with those in need the exact nature of the need, then use the sum of your knowledge to satisfy the need. For a bridge, you must know the quantity and weight of the vehicles that will cross over, the size of the boats that pass under, and the geology of the area. For software, the questions and answers are vastly different, but the cooperative effort is similar. Together over time, all stake-holders strive to develop the best solutions.
Those solutions will differ as the process blends science and art. Consider dovetail joints or a pneumatic nail gun. Our ancestors had stone arches as the only option, now we can do cable-stayed carbon-steel suspensions. Early programmers relied on assembly instructions fed via punch cards, while today we have multiple programming languages, APIs, frameworks, IDEs, version control, server set-ups, and agile methodologies.
With these as my tools and materials, I've helped banks, universities, manufacturers, not-for-profits, and others create their own tools, in turn helping their employees and customers. If you have recently made a mortgage payment, advanced in Scouting, purchased diapers, spent paper currency, or opened an investment account, maybe I've been indirectly able to help you do that. Thank you for the opportunity.
To see more details, please read my resume, my Coast Guard Auxiliary and Scouting histories, and my list of projects.
Outside of my own pages, you can connect with me on LinkedIn, or explore some of my personal projects at SourceForge.
Here is an explanation of my Achievement of Arms shown above.