Life update (pictures)

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It’s been a while since I last posted, and a lot has happened over the past few months. Here’s a quick recap (with pictures!)

Switched Companies

I am now working as a Software Engineer at Expedia on their Media Solutions team. The team is small, only around 20 engineers total or so split between Bellevue and Chicago, so it kind of feels like a startup inside of a larger organization. I’m focusing on front end development, but since the team is so small we help each other out as necessary. Over the past 6 weeks since I joined the team I’ve learned about Backbone + Marionette, React, the SpringMVC framework, Docker + Microservices, Scala, how to conduct a technical interview, AND I have the privilege of working with a ton of really friendly and talented people. Since Expedia HQ is in Bellevue, Washington (close to my hometown of Woodinville) I’m hoping I’ll get to travel back home more often (I’ve already gone out once). A great fit thus far.

Moved Neighborhoods

I’ve swapped the Blue line for the Brown, as I’ve moved from Logan Square up to Ravenswood. It’s a quieter neighborhood with a ton of really great restaurants and food options. Plus, commuting to work on the Metra is unbelievably convenient: the train literally drops me off inside of the building in which I work.

Bachelor Party on the Pacific Crest Trail

My good buddy Alex Wilson is getting married in August, and the bachelor party was last weekend. We ditched going to Vegas in favor of a 3 day backpacking trip in the Ansel Adams wilderness out near Mammoth California. It was a challenging weekend: lots of blisters, loud tents, slow water filters and mosquitos. It was really rewarding as well, and I had a blast spending time with good friends from College. Check out the pictures below.

The Gang: Eli, Me, Alex, Doug, Kevin, Aaron

Above was taken at the end of the trip. The Mammoth ski resort turns in to a downhill mountain biking course during the summer months. It’s also packed with day hikers checking out Devils Postpile and a some easily accessible mountain lakes. Our hike spanned a 25 mile loop along the John Muir and Pacific Crest trails. Our packs averaged ~40 lbs a piece including food, water, and tents, and we camped above 10k ft both nights.

Destination for the first day: Ediza Lake

The first night invovled the most elevation gain, but we eventually made it to our destination: Ediza lake. Our campsite looked like it could have been taken straight out of a backpacking magazine top 10 list for most idyllic campsites.

The campsite we had could have been out of a backpacking magazine

There were a TON of mosquitos the first night that were apparently immune to 98% deet… we were all eaten alive (particularly Doug). There was an awesome sunset that night that made up for it, though.

Brilliant Sunset (picture courtesy of Steinfeld)

The second day was another up and down hike to Thousand Island lake. This lake was much larger than Ediza lake, and was a bit more crowded as well, but NO mosquitos and we found another awesome campsite! We swam in the lake (which was surprisingly warm), listened to country music, and saw a bunch of prairie dogs and marmots.

Man and the Mountain: Second day at Thousand Island Lake Campsite

On the third day we hiked mostly downhill on the Pacific Crest Trail and made it back to base camp. After lunch in Mammoth at a local diner, Alex and I drove back down to Santa Barbara while the rest of the crew drove to SF.

It has been a busy 2 months, but I’m hoping to get back in the blogging mindset. I’m learning a TON at work, and am currently taking a Functional Programming course in Scala on Coursera that is taught by Martin Odersky (creator of the language) that is really excellent. I have a few learnings already that I want to write about, so look for those coming soon to a TIL near you!

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