Hey, where's Perry?
Well, he's currently finishing up his final semester studying computer science at the University of Michigan. Prior to that, he held positions at Mozilla, Rocket Loans (a subsidiary of Quicken Loans), Over (via iXperience), and Ford in software, data, and research roles. He plans on returning to Mozilla as a full-time software engineer working on Firefox’s DOM in San Francisco. While he doesn’t have long-term career plans, Perry would like to start out in software engineering, try out silicon valley, and anticipates staying in the tech industry.
1. What are you working on now? Tell us about an exciting project that you’ve recently completed or are currently involved with.
I would say I’m currently involved with two projects.
One is my senior capstone – we're making a mobile app that uses machine learning and information retrieval techniques to recommend clothing of a similar style based on a user’s photo capture or image upload (and the image must have clothes or someone wearing clothes in it). Imagine taking a picture of someone whose outfit you find interesting, but you might be hesitant to approach strangers and ask them about their clothes – this application would process the image and find clothing products that are similar (or an exact match if possible) to the ones detected in the picture.
Another project is one I have just started on. Given a document, we’d like to be able to automatically summarize it in natural language without the need of a human reader. For example, we’d like it to “read” a news article and provide a one or two paragraph summary comparable to how a human reader would summarize it.
2. What do you enjoy most the Full Stack industry?
Many technologies used in full stack are rapidly evolving (which can also be a bad thing), and this means people are constantly trying new things and pushing out new, innovative products. The full stack industry is also very huge, and while I won’t be involved doing full stack web work myself full-time, I’ve been involved before and I see many opportunities in the industry.
3. What are your career goals? How are you planning to achieve them?
I’d like to start out as a software engineer and naturally proceed from there. I don’t have any hard plans, but I think I’d like to stay in the tech industry and give the silicon valley area a shot. I may look into project management roles after gaining some more software experience, and I think I can achieve this by constantly learning and involving myself in more projects.
4. What are you looking forward to about iXperience this summer?
I’m looking forward to meeting new people, learning new things, and exploring Cape Town. I also think teaching is something that is inherently enjoyable itself, and it’s exciting to see how far students can go.
5. How do you see the Full Stack industry changing in the next 10 years? What skills will industry professionals need to have?
I think the introduction of many new technologies, such as WebAssembly, could fundamentally change the skill-sets people need to have. There will also likely be improvements and expansion in web standards and hopefully privacy. I think industry professionals, just like now, will need the ability to learn quickly and become familiar and comfortable with “hot” current technologies like machine learning.
6. What’s one piece of advice that you have for the iX class of 2018?
While there are no grades in the classes, I think you get the most of out the learning experience by giving maximum effort to assignments and classroom time, and addressing any confusions or misunderstandings as quickly as possible. Also be sure to have fun.
7. What would students be surprised to learn about you?
I attended iXperience in 2016. I actually was in the Data Science course instead of Web Dev (which I believe is what Full Stack used to be called).
8. What are your ‘desert island’ books or movies?
My desert island movies would be Momento, Triangle, Shutter Island, The Machinist, Mr Nobody, and other similar mind-bending movies.
If you're interested in gaining a practical toolkit in Full Stack development and applying it in an immersive internship afterwards, then be sure to get your application in before our final admissions deadline for this year.