Complicated systems fascinate me. Perhaps that's why I was drawn to programming. In college I studied non-deterministic atmospheric models. I operated a supercomputer cluster before computation became a commodity. But since nothing compares in complexity to humans interacting with each other, I now plan, build and manage online communities.
Community & Site Operations Manager | January 2020–March 2021
I evaluated a mature community, proposed next steps (including migrating to Discourse) and worked with the entire company to revive the CC community. I became the community dynamics and software expert for the company. Product managers, developers and designers consulted with me about how to manage the forum software. In addition, I managed a small team of community specialists.
Among my accomplishments:
- Organized community testing of the beta Discourse site and answering community questions about this major change.
- Edited updated forum rules.
- Formed student groups so that our primary audience had their own space on the forums.
- Introduced CC's refreshed brand.
Stack Overflow/Stack Exchange
Community Product Manager | July 2013–January 2020
I learned how to cultivate diverse communities and mentor community leaders. With 176 Q&A sites, Stack Exchange was a perfect laboratory for understanding how online communities thrive or decay. Even though I had "manager" in my title, the work was more like planning and tending a garden. It required both strategic vision for the entire network and tactical execution for mentoring, mediation, and communicating change.
I worked on several major projects, including:
- Streamlined our user support system.
- Winter Bash 2014.
- The 2017 Developer Survey.
- Stack Overflow Documentation.
- Represented the community on the Developer Affinity & Growth team.
- Wrote starter questions on Stack Overflow for Teams.
Technical Lead | June 2001–August 2013
I was part of a team that designed and implemented the Science Investigator-led Processing System to process Tropospheric Emission Spectrometer algorithms. From launch in the summer of 2004 through its end of life in 2018, the ground data system received a constant stream of data that needed to be stored on tape, converted into interferograms, spectra, vertical profiles and, finally, global maps for a variety of atmospheric properties. As a result, I managed a high-performance computer system that produced more than a terabyte of data each month.
Systems Engineer | June 1999–April 2001
During the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission, I was part of the ground support team. Both before and after the mission, I helped design and test the software that formatted the radar data to produce 3-dimensional maps of the Earth's surface. During the mission, I monitored communication with the astronauts and waited for downloaded samples of instrument data, which was quickly processed in order to provide images for the press. I was responsible for the demux step. I also designed a simple report to help my colleagues anticipate the next downlink slot.
National Weather Service/Hughes
Programmer | Summers 1994–1997
As a summer intern, I was asked to code an algorithm that converted one-minute sensor output into hourly reports of cloud heights and coverage for the Automated Surface Observing System. Over the course of the next three summers I took on algorithm development, design and coding for serial devices, configuration management, weather observation, and database management.
Atmospherics Sciences | May 1999
One of my favorite classes required me to learn FORTRAN in order to build atmospheric models. A math class introduced me to Mathematica. I learned the SPSS statistics software from a cultural anthropology class. As much as possible, I took history and philosophy electives. This is also when I entered the world of online communities via Usenet.