I haven’t posted an update or anything in many moons. Hopefully this book helps fill that void while I get back in the groove of posting.

Graduation from NDSU

As of last week (05/16/2020), I graduated from North Dakota State University with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Engineering and a minor in Computer Science. This is super exciting! I completed a major milestone and I am looking forward to the next chapter. As of this writing I’m still waiting on receiving final grades which are due Tuesday (05/19/2020) and waiting for my diploma to be mailed to me.

Pictures courtesy of Abigail Vetter who encouraged me take graduation pictures.

This past semester has been interesting but I think it reflects my time at my NDSU. Below I talk about how Covid-19 has impacted my life and final semester. From 2016 to 2020 my life has been defined as a student of NDSU pursuing a degree in engineering. Now I am an engineer (as stated by my job title)! More on that below.

From Freshman year to my Senior year I have met so many of great people, done some interesting things, and have truly grown as a person. I gained many new and amazing friends. I want to say I met a majority of my life long friends Freshman year in Sevrinson hall or in Bison Robotics. In those 4 years as new relationships grew, old ones faded. I lost contact with friends from high school and the same thing happened as the years went by with some of my friends from freshman year. As people grow to understand themselves, they grow their understanding of those they want around them. I loved and had relationships fail, all while being sounded by amazing teachers, friends, and family. I hope not to forget the friends, teachers, faculty, and mentors that made me the person I am today.

I worked on many different projects over these 4 years. I will never forget Thor Hanson for introducing me to Linux and open source software. Linux and open source software has been a resounding theme in my projects and interests along with also focusing my career decisions and goals. I have worked too many hours on robotics project as member of Bison Robotics. Bison Robotics for me was a community. It allowed me to learn and collaborate with people that shared common interests as me. The friends and classmates I worked with showed me more than I anticipated. I learned how to work in a team of people that didn’t know how to work in a team. Work with limited resources, managed budget, and communicate previous decisions to new members. To other projects like my Real Time Spectroscopy, or the FLL Competition I organized, I learned from great people like Ryan Striker or Dr. Scott Pryor.

Looking back the classes have sucked and what I retained from lecture was limited but the rest of the time was great. To the parties with friends, the sleepless nights before a test, and the various adventures, I hope I never forget my time as a student.

The Future

What is next for me? I’ve been trying to answer that since before I started college. What is the career I want? Where do I want to live? Who do I want to work for? These are all questions that you are asked constantly when you are in college and now that I’m transitioning to my full time career I start pondering what I want to do with in the next 5 years. I’m always looking for the next milestone.

June 1st, I am working at John Deere Electronic Solutions as Software Design Engineer working in the Displays and Telematics group. I will be designing and developing software and the operating system for the various displays produced at JDES. I hope to learn a lot and grow my career.

As for personal goals and plans, I intend to write on this site more. I’d like to post about twice a month. There are various areas of this site I’d like to improve. For example: add an RSS feed or fill in all the projects and things I haven’t mentioned on here yet.

I also want to take the Fundamentals of Engineering test so I can someday become an official engineer. Play around with open source software like peertube or ZFS. I want to learn how to play the ukulele and learn how to develop device drivers for the Linux kernel.

We will see what I accomplish. Check back on this site to find out what’s new.

Covid-19 Impacts

With the recent (is it recent if it started in December?) Covid-19 outbreak and the effect it has on everyone, I figured I could add how this has impacted me.

First off, I’m relatively disconnected from the new/media because there is a lot of junk that I don’t want to sift through. So I started to hear/read rumblings of this outbreak in February, I believe. At the time I didn’t think much of the out break. I was dismissing it like it was another flu season.

Then March roles around and it starts impacting stuff in the US. NDSU goes on a 2 week online class break after spring break. Then to say a week later there will be no more in person classes for the rest of the spring semester. Thor gets married but has to drastically cut back the reception and the guest list, which is a shame.

With classes going online for the rest of the semester. This means my senior design project is canceled because we can’t get into the lab. This means my easy classes become even easier. I don’t have to wait awkwardly between classes and waste some of my day with those hour breaks. This enabled me to work more hours at JDES as an intern. So thanks to Covid my classes got easier, I was able to work more hours, my schedule got simpler, and then my commute was reduced to 5 ft.

There are cons to the situation like all the thousands of people dying and the impossible economic impact that is hurting millions. The cons that impact me directly are working from home, going to out with friends, and traveling.

I don’t like working from home because of the lack of separation from work and home. Working in the office provides a nice boundary for where I think about work. Now with that boundary gone I feel that my mind is always on work. I miss spending evenings with friends and having parties. I am still seeing a couple friends occasionally which is unwise. I wish the world was in a better state right now so I could go traveling while I have some time between school ending and my job starting.

These are all first world problems but I will keep living with them because it’s the only way to help.

These past couple of months have been crazy and the next couple will continue to be crazy. Let’s see where life take me!!