Wow, this place has been around a lot longer that I though it was. (Considering this thread started back in March.)
My name is Jason Charney, I often go by the handle JRCharney on most of my social networks, and I’ve been following HackerNoon for as long as I was on Medium.
I was first introduced to Logo and Basic when I was in elementary school. Nothing to deep. They were just letting us have computer time there but a few things stuck with me.
In middle school I started using ClarisWorks and Microsoft Office. I think the first computer program that I made was a program that solved matrix equations in ClarisWorks. Later on, I would start to play around with formulas in Excel. It did not help me that at the time, everyone was saying “Macros are bad! We won’t accept files with Macros because they may contain a virus.” So that set me back.
I’m a graduate of Maryville University St. Louis class of 2007 with a Bachlors of Science in Computer Science. I’ve run my own website since about 2003, though for about the past few years, I have no idea what to do with it since I do a lot of my writing on other websites.
I’m a high functioning autistic person who is a blunt disability advocate especially since it is rather difficult for a lot of people with a disability to get hired. (I don’t do pity parties. You hit a wall, and you try to break through.) I don’t think I got my first real job after college until about 2016 of which I’ve done a lot of stuff in my spare time that didn’t count towards “professional experience” ether because I was self taught or I wasn’t in an office. I don’t blame my disability for why my resume isn’t a long list of companies. I graduated in 2007, right as the recession imploded the economy, and it really didn’t help that some employers used that as an excuse not to hire. Then came that whole “entitlement” phase where everyone though millennials were selfish brats thinking the world owes them a higher up position. I just wanted to get my career started in an entry level position. I don’t know where this “young and egotistic” nonsense came from. So life has been really difficult for me for the last 12 years.
Aside from that strife, I attempted to complete Cisco Certified Networking Academy over the past couple of years, managed to get 3 or the 4 required classes done, still haven’t taken that big exam where they run you through a metal detector to make sure you don’t cheat at some exam you have to take again a few years later. I attempted to do the security class. Didn’t do so well.
I started really getting back into the local coding scene in 2014. At the time I didn’t have a laptop. I was completely broke and decided one Friday afternoon after going to the doctor to go to some coding event downtown instead of home. I managed to work with a group of folks to work on a code project over the weekend for Code for America.
Between 2014 and now, I have slowly but surely worked my way from the bottom to somewhere that I’m impressionable to other people…just not to people wanting to hire me or pay me money form some reason.
The last couple of jobs I had were at this startup incubater called T-REX in St. Louis. The folks who run the place are awesome, it’s too bad the people I was working for when I was there were not as awesome.
Despite all that I started learning more about Raspberry Pi. Then I learned what some Raspberry Pi people were doing with their Pis and making Hacktops out of theirs. If anyone remembers the Motorola Atrix, there was an accesory where you could plug this phone into a Lapdock and it would become a netbook. Sadly, their was no mass market appeal for the Lapdock, but enthusiasts were picking them up on eBay for like $100. At that time the Raspberry Pi 2B was still the Raspberry Pi Foundations best computer, and with some searching on Amazon and eBay I managed to find the adapters to plug in a Raspberry Pi into the Lapdock to make my first Hacktop.
Around that time I was going to events like Code Until Dawn (which has been disbanded and replaced with a new event called Code Till Dawn locally), bringing my Hacktop, working on Raspberry Pi stuff. I learned about other Single Board Computers such as the ODroid, which for a little while I used to mount onto my hacktop, but it require a separate power supply despite being a mini-performance powerhouse. So I decided to just stick with Raspberry Pis.
That same time I started tinkering around with Software Defined Radio (SDR) because it was cheap. (You can get an RTL-SDR V3 for like $35 with the antennas and whatnot on Amazon.) I was really impressed when I saw SDR being used in the movie Nightcrawler with Jake Gyllenhaal.
I mostly just hang out at home because I don’t make as much money as I used to. I got an interview coming up, but so are feeling of imposter syndrome. I feel like I should be delivering like a whole bunch of Angular/React crap, when honestly I’ve never used Agile Development mostly because I could never seem to get a job where I could be on a team or retain friends mostly due to my social awkwardness and the fact that I must be the only computer geek from North St. Louis County some times. (I mean, it’s not like anybody ever comes over to do some pair programming or offer to carpool to work.)
So I’d really like to find my posse here. Make some new friends. Find some old ones. Start cracking the networking whip. It was hard for me to make and keep friends as a kid. It’s even harder to do that as an adult when so many other people are starting their own families or changing careers or moving to greener pastures. I don’t get that feeling of belonging from hanging out with these folks who say they want to help people with disabilities find jobs, but what they really mean is they want guys to fold towels for a living. It’s like “screw that, I went to a 4 year college”. A lot of them seem to think we have TV commerical slogans memorized or that we just stay home and watch Jerry Springer. (I got a Netflix account, tyvm. I could care less about TV.) I grew up working on technology. I wanted to work in a career dedicated to technology. I though I’d break even having said career in technology. It only works if other people get what I’m talking about.
Maybe I’m just sharing too much information about myself. There was a lot to unpack here.
I’m really hoping that now there is a new community, there is a gateway to entry once again to promote myself, to tell others about what I’m good at, and to obliterate the perceived stereotypes people have about people with disabilities.
Lately, I’ve been trying to set up my Hacktop to use ArchLinuxARM (ALARM) for a RaspberryPi 3B. The activity I’ve been writing about that subject has been quite fluid the past few months.
I’ve been spending way too much time in front of my computers, and when I’m not doing computer stuff, my mind just things about all sorts of high level math (vector calculus, multi-integral calculus, partial derivatives, etc.) and how to explain all that geek trash into English that and make it fun for what ever normal person who can’t stand STEM stuff, even if they say that they like it. (You can’t fully appreciate it unless you get bored one summer and do all the stuff that most high school and college professors won’t even touch.)
When I’m not doing that, I’m into gardening (preferably potted plants or hydroponics), riding my bike (if my tires weren’t flat at the moment), hanging around with my cats or being an awkward adult who like to watch cartoons like Adventure Time, Steven Universe, Rick & Morty, and even that new She-Ra animated series that came out this past year. I’d do a lot more stuff if I wasn’t broke.
And so end my LOOOOOOOOOOOONG post introducing myself.
I look forward to contributing.