I graduated university with a degree in English. My thesis advisor had a research focus in China and I became interested in the country, so after graduation I moved to China and spent a couple years learning the language.
After that I worked for Johns Hopkins University as an admin in a Chinese-speaking role for 3 years.
During this time I also operated a media startup called Buy Buy China covering consumer-facing Chinese tech businesses with a good friend. We parlayed that business into strategy consulting for tech startups, specifically in the mobile messaging space (this was in 2014-2015).
In 2016 I attended a software bootcamp (Zipcode Wilmington) and started a software engineering role at JP Morgan.
I worked at JP Morgan for 2+ years across two teams. I did mostly backend and ops, the former in PHP, Python, and Java and the latter re: load balancers, Cloud Foundry, and Splunk.
In March 2019 I went on sabbatical in London, where I wrote a bunch of code and got into chess.
I've done contracting since; Flask services for Capital One (risk rating) and BNY-Mellon (infrastructure automation).