My Story

This is what I consider my inaugural post to my blog. I have titled it the Reluctant Programmer because it explains my inevitable transition into software development and data science. I started working with technology in the early 80’s in the United States Air Force as an electronics technician on weapons systems. The systems ranged from cruise missiles, to radar, radio, and various aircraft to include B-52s and Pave Low Helicopters. The common thread with all these systems wasn’t just the black boxes, but it was the software that ran them. I kind of new even though I was hardware focused that it was the software and programs that made it all work.
While I decided to get out of the Air Force after 10.5 years, I felt it was time to do something different. I had completed my BAS in Electronics Technology and was then began working in the private sector on Telecom systems, phone switches, digital cross connect machines, routers, etc. I worked on and for Cisco, Blue Coat, Symantec, Sprint, etc. and computer networking. Still the common thread is the software.
In 2010 I transitioned from networking to data collection and analysis and application discovery and analysis. I also went back for a MS in Systems Engineering from Missouri S&T and completed it in 2012 with intention of going straight into a PhD program. But life happens and I wasn’t able to pursue that endeavor. I was also working for the government by this time and doing some research on routing protocols and net-centric systems. In that role is where began to become more software focused and doing some testing on Linux systems.
While working on my MS program, I took a course in machine learning and we used MatLab as the software. This has heightened my interest in software, data analytics-machine learning, etc. I have begun a journey in software that I am unsure of where it will take me. I have been learning python and refreshing my machine learning using Sci-Kit Learn. In addition, I am hosting my own website and trying to enhance my skills as well. This blog will be a discussion about my personal experience with various topics I am learning on Udemy, books, and other sources. My hope is that talking and writing about it will force me to reach for a better understanding of the material.