Disclaimer · Last updated June 15th, 2019.
I've been interested in computers since I was very young. The first computer I used was a Dell running on Windows 98 and I remember playing
learning games (I was about four). When I got a bit older, I started playing various video games on a newer PC. It wasn't until maybe age thirteen or so that I was introduced to the world of programming.
I was pretty self-driven as a child, and I had founded a gaming community called Crosswind. This required me to hire Lua developers and do some (very) basic coding and configuration myself — it also happened to be the project that made me realize I love entrepreneurship. I was able to work with others on a project that I was completely invested in - both emotionally and financially. Luckily, with over $500 in donations from patrons of the community, I was able to cover the expenses of running our servers ($52/mo) on OVH.
A few years passed, and I founded a few business projects. The first was a clothing line called APXGoods and I used Shopify. For this I only had to do a bit of CSS styling but it was very minimal and not-so-technical.
After this, I developed a (somewhat fleeting) obsession with machine learning and artificial intelligence — honestly, it was just because I thought the movie Ex Machina was really cool. But, good things did come of it. I bought a big book on artificial intelligence, read about some fundamental concepts, researched neural networks, decision trees, random forests, and a bunch of other things. When I was seventeen, I ended up developing a convolutional neural network in Python with Keras and Tensorflow. By piecemealing toegether various snippets from tutorials, documentation, and my own Python knowledge — I was able to create a cool program. With relatively low epoch/training settings, it can classify and delineate between two different types of images (ie: a rabbit and a squirrel).
It wasn't until the last year or so (2018-19) that I have learned and shipped products in Ruby on Rails, or done backend work for that matter. I've gotten very good at it, and I recently started a company called Synthate as a result. Here, me and a couple of trusted peers provide web development services for a flat subscription fee. I hate the feeling of getting ripped off, or at the very least being held at the whim of someone else — and that's part of the reason why I created Synthate, as a flat subscription fee tends to align incentives a bit better. Plus, people know what they are paying at all times. In addition to doing client work under Synthate, I release various independent projects and products under Synthate, LLC (we're a Delaware Corporation for tax and funding reasons), and I code a lot in my freetime — probably too much to be healthy.