I was born and raised in Napa Valley, California where I spent the first seventeen years of my life enjoying the consistently warm weather, abundance of wine-related agriculture, and underdeveloped suburban communities. Upon graduating from New Tech High in 2004, I enlisted in the US Air Force at the age of seventeen. Those four years of my life were the richest in life experiences, enculturation, maturing, travel, and religious exploration. I was fortunate enough to have a job that allowed me to go to school in my down time, enabling me to complete two associate degrees before concluding my four-year enlistment. Despite my overall positive experience, I decided that a lifetime career of military service is not what I ultimately wanted to do.
During my transition from military to civilian life, I gained a newfound passion for digital imaging, specifically (but not limited to) photography. I began photographing concerts for local bands, and teaching myself everything I could about photography through books and forums. When my enlistment was up in 2008, I chose to move back to my hometown of California with the intent of planning out the next chapter of my life. While deciding upon higher education, I began doing freelance photography for friends, family, and eventually for businesses and word-of-mouth clients as well. The first business that I consistently photographed for was Five Star Events, an event company that specializes in planning and decor in a variety of venues for corporations, fund-raisers, weddings, as well as the world-famous annual Napa Valley Wine Auction. My two years of photographing for them opened up many opportunities for other photography experience and connections to which I am extremely grateful.
In 2009 I began a bachelor's of science degree in Visual Communication Design at San Francisco State University, in one of the most interesting, cultured, and unique cities in the world. Upon completing my degree in 2011, I decided to stay in this exquisite city to continue my education in a new direction: Computer Science. I first started building my skills at City College of San Francisco, where I earned a certificate for LAMP Fundamentals, and decided that computer science was a career that I wanted to pursue.
In 2012 I began my Master's Degree in Web Science (CS without OS, architecture, or compilers) at the University of San Francisco and started working at eBay. I started as a courier for eBay's service, eBay Now, but over the course of two years I worked my way up to graphic designer, web designer, and ultimately software engineer. For my master's project at USF I worked with one other classmate to develop an experimental open-source project supervised and hosted by OpenDNS: OpenResolve.