Hey, I'm Ben. Glad you're here. There are a few paragraphs about me below if you're interested.
I'm currently studying Computer Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville with an expected graduation date of December 2019 for my Bachelor's degree. Afterwards, I plan to follow on through and acquire a Master's with UTK's five-year BS/MS engineering program. This isn't a resume, so I won't go into grades, achievements, and all that.
Over the years, I've accumulated quite a bit of experience. I started programming in elementary school, but just basic web development mostly. I did a little bit of game development in C#, but nothing really worth speaking of. I started to actually program when I picked up Java in middle school and started creating various mods and tools for a game called Minecraft. You may have heard of it.
I started co-op'ing during my second semester of sophomore year at OSIsoft in Johnson City, TN. Co-op'ing at UTK is basically an internship through UTK that alternates semesters with classes. OSIsoft develops the PI system, a data historian with some analysis capabilities. I started off on the PI Square Analytics team where I maintained and added new features to an internal analysis website for the outward facing customer forum. Primarily, I designed and implemented a service called UVSync which synced their external PI Square forums hosted by Jive with their external feature request forum hosted by UserVoice with minimal supervision. At the end of the semester, they were pleased with my work, and I was moved onto the Asset Framework (AF) Team.
On the AF Team, I was given the opportunity to write code for one of their principle products. The AF Server is a server on top a PI Server that acts as a layer of structure and abstraction for the organization and analysis of a plethora of data. Don't quote me on this, but I'd say it's their second most popular product after the PI Server itself. During my two semesters on the AF Team, I started out writing tests, fixing bugs, and developing some internal tools. By the end, I was improving the performance of and implementing features for the actual server that were officially released to their customers. I learned a great deal about writing performant SQL and working on a development team, and I am so thankful for that and the experience as a whole.
I had a fairly easy life growing up in a suburban, middle-class home. There were a few more difficult times with family and relationship problems (to put it lightly), but overall, I got through it just fine with a good education, moral basis, and drive to succeed. I've had a lot of friends to help me along the way, and without them, I'd have had a much more trying time. My childhood friends from around the neighborhood. My DnD group and Annual Staff in high school. My church family at Emerald. The friends I made through Minecraft. My coworks from Halls Cinema 7. My fellow engineering students at UTK. The interns at OSIsoft. The wonderful people at the ETSU Wesley Foundation. Without all of them and my family, I don't know what I would've done. I am very thankful.
Over the past year and a half especially, I've grown a lot. I moved out on my own, picked up piano and composing, started cycling and playing tennis, began drawing again, worked more on my game development projects (primarily Overmorrow), gotten closer to God, and just focused on intentionally being the best me that I can be.
On Saturday mornings, I volunteer down under the I-40 overpass in Downtown Knoxville with Metal Mission of Knoxville. We give out food, water, coffee, and whatever else we can get together, and try to minister to anyone willing to listen. We're just there to show love.
I'm also on the Worship Arts committee at Emerald Avenue United Methodist Church. Most Sunday mornings, I'm there running the screens and sound with the presentation (including song lyrics, annoucements, and such) I made earlier in the week. It's mostly pretty straight-forward stuff, but I've also had the opportunity to set up the microphones and monitors and such, as well running the sound board, for actual concerts. I started out not knowing anything about sound equipment or production but have slowly learned to reason my way through it, gaining experience over the many years.
Updated Oct. 26th, 2018.