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About me

Hi there!

I’m Darren, and I love to learn, and help others learn along with me.

Software development

I’ve been programming since I was twelve. I liked playing games, and I later on wanted to run my own game servers and build my own community.

It was super fun- like lego on steroids. In elementary school (2005), I would be excited to come home waiting for replies on forums for people to correct me with why my script-kiddie copy-pasted code doesn’t work. Ah, those were the days!

Formal education

I finished my Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science in 2015, and my Master’s Degree in Computer Science in 2019.

Yu-Gi-Oh! Duel Monsters - Wikipedia
May be found at the following website: https://www.amazon.co.jp/dp/B00005HM1V/, Fair use

My undergraduate research (2015), entitled Real-time Markerless Finger Tracking, involved computer vision, augmented reality, and distributed systems.

Of course, this was driven from interests on games, anime, and the fascinating early ideas of augmented reality and human computer interfaces.

We performed image processing of a person’s single hand to determine the tip of a person’s finger. This was performed by four different mobile devices, and their predictions were then combined into a single prediction using a consensus algorithm.

After my first degree, I decided to explore in a different domain of machine learning and AI. My master’s research (2019) was entitled Discovering Guidelines from Short Text, which involved natural language processing, a dash of linguistics, semantic analysis and parsing, and ontology building for a bit of meaning representation.

I learned loads and this master’s degree was super fun and I definitely grew a lot from this research-heavy experience.

Private sector

For more of the historical facts of my professional growth in the tech industry, my LinkedIn profile might provide the more appropriate, sequential overview. I’ll give a brief summary below, and then talk about the fun software development challenges I found myself wrestling with!

Summary

In 2015, I had development experience building commercial mobile apps for 7-Eleven, a major convenience store here in the Philippines. A few months later, I was working in a small 4-7 person healthcare start-up called SeriousMD, and worked with them closely until late 2019. With that same start up, I worked on various other projects and loans applications for one of the more prominent banks in the Philippines.

I spent loads of time with my beloved team here in SeriousMD, and this is where I learned a lot about software development and the various roads that I found myself exploring, expanding my skillset.

In early 2020, I participated in building RapidPass, a nationwide pandemic-response technology to enable our essential workers and healthcare front-liners to safely and efficiently ingress and egress in Metro Manila.

Since then, I’ve joined US-based financial inclusion venture builder Talino Labs as a Full Stack Developer (2020) for DINEIN. Since then, I’ve transitioned as Lead Architect (2021) for BayaniPay, an emerging Neo-bank for Global Migrant Workers.

Challenges

I have quite a few topics I want to share with you, that I can probably expand as separate blog posts.

Lined up for writing:

  1. Image processing and machine learning (2015).
  2. Building something like JSON Forms Schema, and a corresponding Angular component implementation framework (2018).
  3. Ruminations on research (2019).

I’ve expanded a few already, which are no longer in the above list. They can instead be found in the reflections blog post category.

About the Sapalo.dev

I love thinking, and reflecting. It’s a big part of learning- to pick what to learn first and to do transfer learning (1) to leverage the existing schemas and ideas you’ve already built up.

Honestly, I was very hopeful at first with writing frequently on my blog, but I found myself settling for a once-a-month posting schedule. I found this, too, as a reliable metric for evaluating whether I’m able to reflect enough- or if my workload has been too extreme.

I’ve mostly been active in more public spaces like Twitter and also my Discord channel where I chat with new acquaintances and friends alike.