Recruiter FAQ

My elevator pitch

I want to be the absolute best at what I do and work only on important problems. I am on a trajectory for both (went from "unhireable dropout" to a startup exit as hire #3 and working on perception at Uber's self-driving car project). I have a diverse set of background experiences (security, DevOps, software eng, data pipelines), an obsession with focus and productivity, and desire to break unimportant rules (like "you must finish college") but not important ones ("you should be kind, patient, and empathetic"). Contact me if you want someone who works obscenely hard, takes ownership, and gets shit done on things that matter.

Read on for more.

What is your background?

In a few words - "self-taught, nontraditional, and focused". After 4 years of undergrad (but not enough CS classes to graduate), I dropped out and moved to the Bay Area. I spent the following 5 years working on different problems (mostly at startups), putting a lot of time into self-education outside of work and gaining experience in DevOps, infosec, data engineering, and software development. I joined Uber's self driving car project (then called "ATG") in 2018 and have been there since.

What are you doing with your career?

At present, I believe that there are only a few "actually important" problems in technology. In this sense, "actually important" means either "will radically alter the future, similar to the invention of the airplane" or "will create new markets and forms of commerce". Most people aren't working on these problems. My plan for my career is to stay focused on these "actually important" problems and not spend my time on anything else. A non-exclusive list of these are:

What kind of work do you want to do?

I see myself as a "generalist software engineer" and reject the idea that I have to silo myself as a particular type of engineer. I know that's not very helpful (see my resume if you're trying to figure out what roles to recommend), but the most important thing to me is the problem, mission, or goal of whatever I'm working on - I want to stay focused on that rather than "do machine learning" or "write code in C++." As long as I'm pushing towards the end goal in a meaningful way, I don't really care how. My entire life revolves around my craft (software engineering) and my self-actualization manifests in career success, so my time is extremely valuable to me and I want to waste none of it being "off-course."

What kind of work do you NOT want to do?

This usually depends on a case-by-case basis, but nothing that obviously makes the world a worse place or flagrantly more unjust (e.g. don't ask me to build robots that hunt down undocumented migrants).

I have a role I want to pitch to you. Should I reach out?

Yes, please! Worst comes to worst, I'll just let you know it's not a good fit. I won't bite your head off (and I actually really hate it when engineers are jerks to recruiters). :)

How will you fit into our company's culture?

People-related principles I value:

Engineering principles I resonate with:

Other fandom categories I tend to fall into:

Where are you located? What is your status to work in the US?

I am a US citizen living in the San Francisco Bay area. I am willing to relocate for the right reasons.

Are you interested in temporary/contract work?


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