Hello!

I’m a software engineer and tech entrepreneur. I’m excited by opportunities that let me develop elegant solutions for obvious problems where there are no obvious solutions. I believe in automating wherever possible, and leveraging existing technology to quickly bootstrap solutions. My mantra is trial and error, which I apply to both building a startup as well as living a fulfilling life.

I live in Washington DC. I have a full time job and a side hustle. I’m a government employee by day, tech entrepreneur by night. I’d like to make my side hustle my main hustle. In my spare time I like to read programming books and write articles about programming on Medium.

Here are some details about me:

Work Experience

  • I’m a founder of a startup called LooseLeaf, which is a web app that disrupts the higher education industry. Read more about what I’ve done so far.
  • I helped a friend create the first mobile apps for NumberShapes that teaches little kids essential math skills and number sense. Read more about what I did at NumberShapes.
  • I’ve worked at Naval Reactors as a product manager since graduating college in 2013. While working at Naval Reactors, I was also an active duty Navy officer.
  • I’ve completed various programming side projects for fun, sharpening my skills, and to improve the lives of myself, my friends, and co-workers. These side projects include building a React Native mobile app to help me and my friends plan an upcoming trip to Japan.
  • I enjoy technical writing, especially blogging about programming topics that I’m still learning. I enjoy the process of putting complicated things in simple terms, drawing analogies and illustrating the concept with clarifying examples. Best of all, I think trying to explain what you think you know could lead you to discover knowledge gaps, which motivates more learning.

See My Resume for my skills and experience or see below for a summary of my employment history.

LooseLeaf

Startup Founder
Jun 2015 -

  • Product Development
    • Developing an isomorphic/universal web app incorporating both server and client side rendering capability using full-stack JavaScript (Node, Express, and React).
    • Using git/Github for version control and documentation.
    • Leveraging Heroku and Github free hosting for development web apps.
    • Leveraging frontend build tools (e.g., Webpack HMR, React Hot Loader) to maximize speed and effectiveness of development.
    • Designing the isomorphic web app and development environment to enable front-end and backend for the isomorphic web app to be developed and tested independently.
    • Deployment of Production Website via AWS S3 and EC2
    • Developing REST and GraphQL APIs.
    • Using git/Github for version control and documentation.
  • Marketing and Design
    • Prototyped SPAs to present at two startup conferences TechDays in DC and Los Angeles) for user research and feedback to revise product design.
    • Created marketing material such as banners and flyers for startup events using vector graphics and Adobe Illustrator.

NumberShapes

Co-Founder
Jun 2014 - Mar 2015

  • Product Development

    • Created iOS apps (100K+ downloads) for a gamified early math education experience
    • Created a single page application website using Node.js, Express, and AngularJS
  • Entrepreneurship

    • Presented NumberShapes at TechDay NY with Co-Founder
    • Advised the development of mobile apps and business plan by Co-founder subsequent to my departure as a Co-Founder for NumberShapes

Naval Reactors

Product Manager
Jan 2014 - Dec 2018

  • Led the design, development, testing, and deployment of software building blocks to support diverse systems integrations.
  • Developed software functional requirements to user specification and effectively communicated software design to non-technical stakeholders and users.
  • Spearheaded transition of legacy version control and build tools to modern enterprise and open source solutions.
  • Oversaw major effort to refactor legacy code to enable automated unit testing.
  • Side Project: Created a server-less web app for knowledge management on the Intranet using React and D3.
  • Facilitated collaboration between engineering teams and engaged customers throughout the iterative development process for new products to close expectation gaps and identify areas of improvements.
  • Worked with developers and customers to identify low- or non-value added work for termination or automation.
  • Side Project: Created, popularized, and maintained a knowledge repository for the company’s Intranet and an user friendly interface for the knowledge repository.

Education

  • I studied Electrical and Computer Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.
  • I got a B.S. and a M.S in 4.5 years through an integrated bachelors and masters program.

My Super Power

My super power is my extreme attention to details without losing sight of the big picture and I always challenge my assumptions and continuously critique everything I do to make adjustments as necessary. I recognize the importance of details in affecting the final outcome, as accumulation of small mistakes leads to failure. Being result-driven, I’m dedicated to working out these details even if they are not so glorious or interesting. My ability to prioritize helps me work strategically and smartly applying resources.

Trivia

  • I have the honor of serving 5 years of active duty in the military at Naval Reactors. I commissioned in 2013 through the Navy Reserved Officer Training Corp (ROTC).
  • Here are some words that describe me: Love learning, independent, pragmatic, inquisitive, adaptable, good communicator, diligent, attention to detail.
  • I have a little dog called Ollie. He gives high-fives.
  • I’m an immigrant. I moved to the US from China in 2002. I became a citizen in 2003.
  • I’ve always lived in cities. The cities in which I’ve lived include Shanghai, New York, Pittsburgh, and Washington DC.
  • When I was a college student, I spent a summer abroad studying German at the Goethe Institut in Bonn, Germany. During my stay, I traveled and couchsurfed alone all over Germany and Western Europe. It was a transformative experience. I learned so much about myself and gained a lot of confidence based on my experience being out of my comfort zone.
  • I love traveling and enjoy couchsurfing. The best cities I’ve visited are Berlin, Brussels, Copenhagen, Vienna, Edinburgh, Oslo, and Tokyo.

PS: If you are wondering how I built this website, I’m using Hugo for the static site generator engine and the beautiful tranquilpeak theme. I’m hosting it from github. I wrote a blog post about this.