I’m a software developer and I’ve been with GCA for a couple of years. I have a B.A. in Physics/Mathematics and a Masters in Computer Science. I came to GCA because Andre Ludwig, the former Chief Technical Officer at GCA, who I worked with previously, mentioned I might enjoy working here. The experience that I have gained through my career has given me a unique set of skills that are perfect for attempting the things that we do here at GCA. My past experience includes being a co-author on a number of patents relating to distributing secure digital content, doing programming for NASA, developing a Trojan horse for the Naval Research Laboratory, designing hardware and software for IoT devices, and leading the successful programming project involving the first use of computer controlled CD-ROM to store the Library of Congress database. I also developed all the hardware & software for a virtual tour of a high-end Beverly Hills development that was written up in the New York Times.
In addition to the good career match Andre felt GCA would be for me, he also believed that the work at GCA would interest me personally, which has definitely turned out to be the case. The flavor at GCA matches closely with the experience I have encountered previously when working at a startup: working hard and intelligently, a minimum of red tape, trying to do things to push the boundaries of what is possible and doing some good for the world to boot. I really enjoy working with the other members of the development staff, I can honestly say that they are all nice, smart people. I can also say that about the rest of the GCA staff too, though I don’t have the opportunity to interact with them to the same degree.
I have been involved with several major projects at GCA, including Quad9, which I consider as one of GCA’s early successes. Using Quad-9 automatically blocks a user from going to malicious web sites by using GCA’s white and black lists. My effort was to modify the dnsdist software to allow it to utilize GCA’s black and white lists. There was a high level of difficulty in accomplishing this as the software really was not designed to do this and had to be extensively modified. I am currently developing the Proxy-pot, which is a honeypot to collect information on internet attackers exploiting known vulnerabilities of IOT devices.
I’m really glad I was able to come to GCA and make a difference.
Who inspires you?
Elon Musk. He has accomplished so many things that many people have attempted, but never actually achieved. You have to respect someone who has succeeded in ventures that have caused others to lose fortunes.
What is the last book you read?
Caravans, by James Michener. It’s a historical novel set in Afghanistan in the 1950s. He skillfully combines fact and fiction, using his own experiences there during the 1960s. You can understand much of the current events in Afghanistan today by reading this book.
What is on your bucket list?
I’d like to drive up the West Coast of the US. I haven’t done it since the 1980s, so I’m sure it looks much different today. The countryside is very beautiful and probably still less developed than the East Coast!
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I enjoy operating amateur radio. I’ve played with it since high school and still dabble in it when I have time. It’s a great community of friendly and knowledgeable people. I’m interested in utilizing the power of modern computers to do digital signal processing. Many things are practical today involving radio and computers that were not until fairly recently. I also love to walk around the museums here in DC with my wife. There’s always something interesting and new to see. It is one of the big benefits of living here.