Humans of Computer Systems: Dalecooper


How did you learn to program?

Two MOOCs: "Python for Everybody" on Coursera, and University of Helsinki's Java MOOC.

Tell us about the most interesting/significant piece of code you wrote.

Decryption processor for use in Apache NiFi

Who did you learn most from about computer systems?

The Internet

Who is the greatest programmer you met, and what is impressive about them?

My co-worker. His ability to hold onto macro concepts and think about systems as a whole while coding, instead of tunnel-visioning and focusing only on the "micro" aspect of implementation, is impressive. 

What do you believe are the most important skills to be successful in your field?

Communication, critical thinking, and problem-solving (the latter two often going hand-in-hand).

What quality or ability do you value most in a computer systems person?

Strong communication skills


Which of your work/code/accomplishments are you most proud of?

Creating a decryption processor for use in our data pipelines

What comes to you easy that others find hard? What are your superpowers?

Finding and quickly absorbing technical documentation/information that is relevant to the problem at hand.

What was a blessing in disguise for you? What seemed like a failure at the time but led to something better later for you?

Rejections at companies from my hometown. They were a blessing in disguise because I would not have received the mentorship or the same opportunities for personal growth/development at those companies that I have had at my current company.

What do you feel most grateful for?

Being in a field where the desire to learn and grow is all you need to get ahead.

What does your perfect day look like?

Solving a tough problem that teaches me something new.

What made you most happy in the last year?

Getting converted to a full-time employee.


What was your biggest mess up? What was the aftermath?

Haven't really had any big mess ups.

What was your most interesting/surprising or disappointing interaction at work?

When I was working with a coworker I hadn't worked with before, I had to deal with him constantly explaining technical concepts that were not new to me. It was disappointing to see that he had just assumed I didn't know those things.

What do you like most about your job/profession?

Getting to solve interesting, challenging problems 

What do you dislike most about your job/profession?

In my current job, I dislike that we have to pair program all of the time. I wish it could be optional or more occasional.

What would be the single change that would improve your work environment most?

Not being forced to pair program everyday 

If you enjoy reading this seriesconsider taking 10 minutes and submitting a response. All questions are optional. You can skip most, and tell a lot more on other questions you choose.


Popular posts from this blog

Foundational distributed systems papers

Your attitude determines your success

Progress beats perfect

Cores that don't count

Silent data corruptions at scale

Learning about distributed systems: where to start?

Read papers, Not too much, Mostly foundational ones

Sundial: Fault-tolerant Clock Synchronization for Datacenters


Using Lightweight Formal Methods to Validate a Key-Value Storage Node in Amazon S3 (SOSP21)