Week #16: Josh Meets Computer and ODSC

May 6, 2018


So I have some semi exciting news! Over the past two weeks Andrew has been putting in a big push for web development. He decided to build out a portfolio website for me, and this week marks the initial launch of Josh Meets Computer!


As a result, much of the early part of my week has been spent publishing content to the website — notes, letters, and a couple project write-ups. The content is still a bit work-in-progress, but I figured it’s good to get something up there.

I lalso earned earlier this week that there are two data-focused open positions at this remote-only company called Gitlab. They’re looking for a Data Engineer and a Data Analyst. My best friend Mike got a job there recently, and he encouraged Zach (also a S Whitney alumni and one of my closest friends) to apply. Andrew decided he wants to try to work for Gitlab, so he’s applying. So, I figured I might as well hop on the bandwagon! I can’t imagine how unbelievably cool it would be to work entirely remotely with three of my best friends.

This letter is my writing warm up, right after this I’m going to put together a compelling cover letter and get my application out to Gitlab.

Earlier this week I went to a career fair at the Open Data Science Conference (ODSC) in Seaport. Seaport is on the complete opposite side of Boston, but the weather is finally warm and some lubricant on Jesse’s bike (I’m holding on to it up in Boston) made it ready for some almost-summer-city biking. Even though I’m about to leave Boston probably for good, I was thinking I would go to the career fair and get a pulse of what the market is looking for when it comes to A.I talent.

It was kind of worth going — I mingled with Amazon Alexa recruiters and TripAdvisor for a bit. I would have liked to get a chance to speak to a technical hiring manager, instead it was mostly HR and recruiters. When asked what stands out to them when it comes to candidates, most of the recruiters just said something along the lines of: “we like to see that you’ve worked on projects”, which is great, because I have. Though I would have liked to have more insight as to what projects I should specifically focus on.

There’s this trade-off between research-focused projects, where I take a clean dataset and try to develop algorithms, and applied-ML projects, where I take an already developed algorithm and try to engineer a use-able tool out of it. The former gives me some solid Machine Learning skills, the latter gives me solid Engineering skills. The recruiters have told me they like both, and it depends on the role and team. Pretty vague advice, but I think at the very least I’m still on the right track.

I have my room rented out for the week, so I have been spending a lot of time in Somerville crashing at Andrew Takao’s place. Andrew said he is probably going to spend some time in Tokyo this summer, so he might end up joining me and Andrew (Wilson) for a few weeks. He’s been getting involved in mobile app development and took a contract job with this start-up in Boston.

I started packing up my stuff from S Whitney this week. Fortunately all my clothes fit in one large bin. I was hoping Nate (roommate) who got a job at Apple in California would be able to drive my car across the country, but turns out he decided he’s just going to fly. I’m pretty set on moving to SF, so on the bright side he’ll be able to bring a lot of my stuff over with him. Though I think some time in the winter I’ll have to make a drive across the country.

I bought the IKON ski pass, which is a super popular season pass that just came out this year. It seems like everyone is talking about it. I was working out of CIC last week and overheard two random older people in conversation about the same pass. I don’t think I’ve ever overheard anyone talk about any sort of ski pass ever. It must have been a sign. The pass gives you access to like 40 different mountains around the US. The fact is that I now have access to ski mountains across the US, and I need to get me and my car from the east coast to the west coast. So, I’ve been thinking it might be cool to do a ski tour across the country, hitting as many of the mountains on the ski pass as I can.

I could maybe rent a little tear drop trailer to fit behind my car and be a ski bum through and through. Spend the winter chasing snow, keeping the car parked outside the resorts and get first track. Being on the road as a ski bum probably would be a bit too much isolation for me, but if Andrew takes the bait and drives across the US with me then it might be a cool trip.

Speaking of skiing, I put together a little montage of my winter season with all my friends. I feel like these sort of memories are like fine wine — they will most certainly get better with age.

Sugarbush 2018

Until next week, Josh