Hey, I'm Zach. I'm a test evangelist, developer, healthcare enthusiast, chef, Type 1 diabetic, and lifelong learner. Right now I work at Jellyvision in Chicago as a Software Development Engineer in Test. I'm also currently enrolled in Udacity's Artificial Intelligence Engineer Nanodegree. I love gaining new tech skills in my spare time.
I graduated from Wesleyan University in 2013 with a degree in Philosophy and the Science in Society Program. I chose Philosophy because I like to ask big questions. I chose the Science in Society Program because, yea, science is great, but I wanted tools to be able to question science. And I still have that questioning attitude today!
Programming was a skill I picked up post-college at Epic. I was a Quality Assurance Analyst, and to excel at my job I learned Caché. With this new skill, I began to write small scripts to make testing easier. Next, I began to test at the API level. Soon after, I was writing unit tests. A year after starting at Epic, I was no longer intimidated by technical concepts. I was testing heavily technical areas like environment management, batch scheduling, auditing, indexing, etc.
I was hooked on programming. I decided to depart from Epic after working there for >2 years for 2 reasons: (1) I wanted to cook full time (I’ve always had a passion for food) and (2) I wanted to learn more about programming. I got a job as a chef with a new restaurant group called the Robinia Courtyard, working with a team of ambitious chefs from Chicago. In my off-hours I studied programming through Udacity.
But I'd say that only 30% percent of my skills came from Udacity. The rest are from a random assortment of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses), textbooks, podcasts, blogposts, stack overflow articles, meetup.com events, code documentation, and small projects. Self-directed learning is my thing.
And that's my favorite part of web development so far -- since the field's always changing, there's always so much to learn. I'm ready to rise to the challenge, leave my comfort zone, and code!