Rules to live by
- When you're chucking a danish, everything's a cop car.
- When in doubt, go left.
- When in doubt, buy double.
- Birthday: April 3rd
- Hometown: Concord, MA, USA
- Current Region: SF Bay Area, CA, USA
- Favorite Number: 3
- Favorite Color: Blue
Who am I?
I'm a software engineer in the San Francisco Bay Area. My software contributions are mostly closed source for my professional life or low profile. I have a handful of small projects and things to be found on GitHub (gwax). These days it would probably be best to describe myself as a "data engineer" but, in the past, I've worked at just about every level of the stack.
|||I often prefer to avoid the term "data engineer" because I feel it is often conflated with the concept of a DBA or a hands-off software "architect" role. Personally, I view a data engineer as just another hands-on software engineer that happens to spend more time dealing with data and backend data management than anything else.|
Long ago, I graduated from MIT with a degree in Materials Science and Engineering (course 3 to fellow alums). During my time at MIT, I had a pretty strong focus on structural materials and computer simulations of material behavior. Subsequent to graduating, I spent a number of years taking increasingly software-focused jobs but always trying to keep my focus on math, science, or the like.
|||Along the way to accepting that I was a software engineer, I took a brief detour to law school. I only made it through about three quarters of a year before I decided it wasn't for me. As such, I feel it's really more of a footnote issue than a body content matter.|
I spent a number of years at a (now defunct) company called Archimedes, Inc. writing software and simulating clinical trials. During that time, I managed to develop a passion for healthcare technology. I've come and gone from the healthcare technology field a few times.
|||There are a lot of startups trying to operate in the healthcare technology space that do not have viable business models. A lot of the companies think they have viable business models but are wrong, very, very wrong.|
Eventually, I ended up at Google as a Datacenter Software Engineer and couldn't really keep up the illusion that I was a scientist that wrote software. It's for the best really, I like the practicality of engineering. Working at Google was an enlightening experience but, ultimately, there is a ceiling on the interest I can muster for tracking networking equipment parts in a datacenter.
As of now, I am back in the rich data world of healthcare, working for Clover Health, a startup health insurance company, that also happens to be a technology company. We are trying to fix healthcare for old people by bringing 21st century technology to the data, operations, and managed care. It's hard, but I would love if we could do even a little something to dent the massive problem that is modern healthcare.
If you want more professional details, there's something close enough to my résumé available through LinkedIn. If you happen to want a proper résumé or other details, you'll have to email me.
Non-professionally, I have a wife, a daughter, and a son, all of whom I love to a degree that exceeds my writing ability to describe.
I am an avid player of Magic: the Gathering and many boardgames.
I also fancy myself an amateur mixologist.
Some day, I hope to master the Mai Tai.
The best way to contact me is by email: waksman (at) google's email service.
I am active, to varying degrees, on a number of online services:
|||My Internet "social" activity is generally pretty low everywhere other than GitHub and reddit.|
To quote Yamamoto Tsunetomo
Book 1, 79. -- There is a lesson to be learned from a downpour of rain. If you get caught in a sudden cloudburst, you will still get a drenching even though you try to keep dry by hurrying along and taking cover under overhangs of roofs. If you are prepared to get wet from the start, the result is still the same but it is no hardship. This attitude can be applied to all things.
|||Yamamoto Tsunetomo, Hagakure, trans. Alexander Bennett (North Rutland, VT: Tuttle, 2014), 83|
To quote an old Dell SCSI array manual
- A small arctic whale. The male has a long tusk.