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Andrew Que

Andrew Que, September 2014
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Who am I?

I am Andrew Que. I have been a computer enthusiast the majority of my life. A self-taught programmer I work as a software engineer and write code for embedded systems (i.e. computers that are "inside" something—like your cell phone). I've been writing software since I was 12-year-old and professionally now for over 20 years. My professional career began directly after high school and I worked in the field for 10 years before starting any higher education.

I love computers and have played with them in all kinds of areas: programming, graphics, music, networking, hardware design, etc., etc.

I run DrQue.net—my personal domain, from which I host a variety of websites for myself and friends.

Background

I was born in Wisconsin, USA and lived here the majority of my life. After I graduated high school I moved into a little one bedroom house called The Garage (due to its small size) with 6 other people. It was here I found need good people around me all the time and have lived communally ever since (my entire adult life).

Late in the summer of in 2001 I moved into a friend's basement in Kansas City, Missouri. I called my work area the Dragon's Lair. From there I hosted DrQue.Pluvius.net on my friend Pluvius's domain.

In the summer of 2002 some friends and I moved into a rented two story house we called Park Place (as it was on Park Avenue). It had 3 1/2 bedroom, with a full basement. My room was known as the Dragon's Den. This is where DrQue.net first operated as my domain.

In late 2005, the small start up company I was working for began having serious financial trouble. In the following months, I ended up one of the last in a skeleton crew that was the company. Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best, I decided to move back into the Garage (the little one bedroom house I owned).

In the summer of 2006, the company was gone. I decided it was a good time to go ahead fully with my education. I started school full-time in the fall. I alternated between school and contract work until 2015. In 2011 I moved to Madison, Wisconsin to continue my studies. A group of us lived closer to downtown for a couple years at a place we called Rodney House. There I had the Kobold's Cave.

August of 2013, after a long search for a house big enough for our needs, we found a lovely old American Foursquare in Middleton, Wisconsin. We called our new house Elmwood Park (it is on the corner of Elmwood and Park). There I took a sizable section of the basement and made the Wyvern's Haunt. After living at Elmwood Park for a few years it was time to think about somewhere permanent. Everyone at the house liked our house so we approached the landlord and asked if they were interested in selling. To our delight the answer was yes. In February of 2018 Elmwood Park became ours.

Andrew Que

Andrew Que, July of 2003

Programming

My very first program was written on a Commodore VIC-20 and where I learned enough syntax to print things on the screen. That was about the extent of my programming as the VIC-20 I used had no non- volatile memory. So once the machine was switched off, everything was lost. I could not have been more than 9 years old.

Around 5th grade I was introduced to electronic project kits that demonstrated how to build a circuit like a radio. I learned how to read some basic schematics (resistors, capacitors, LEDs, batteries, etc). Although I really enjoyed designing circuits, the individual components cost more money than I had to work with. I was to find that writing software was much cheaper. Otherwise, who knows, I might have perused electrical engineering as opposed software.

Around 1990 I began to use a Packard Bell PB 500, and around 1991 was introduced to GW Basic. I started coding very simple projects. Graphic demos that could draw shapes or do simple animations, menus, and other simple utilities. At one point I wanted to make a program to suggest the size aquarium needed based on the what was going to be placed in it. This was my first introduction to what I would come to find was a state machine.

There was also a time where I had an algebra assignment students where asked to foil out an equation. There were a lot of problems assigned and since I understood the process I wrote a program where I could enter the values and have it print all the intermediate steps with the calculations done. While it likely didn't save any time, that may have been the first real-world application of my programming skills.

Soon I was asking questions the adults could not answer and began studying the reference manual. GW Basic taught me how to start thinking about programming, and I had dreams of one day being a computer programmer, writing my own games and other software.

When I was 14 my uncle gave me a tour of Lucent Technologies where he worked at the time. I was in labs full of computers parts and electronic test equipment. Circuit boards, oscilloscopes, ribbon cables that went from a bench up across the ceiling and into a large rack of test equipment on the other side. I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

My uncle also gifted me Turbo Pascal 5, complete with the manuals. This was my first structured programming language. I started with the example files and slowly started understanding the functions of syntax and the concepts of how to approach turning an idea into software. I used the reference manual so often I wore out the spine and repaired it with duct tape.

As a freshmen in high school I wrote my first commercial piece of software: a shareware ASCII editing program called ASC2Draw. Exactly one copy was sold. I started making simple games in 1995. By the time I was offered a computer programming class in high school my programming abilities greatly exceeded the instructor. He allowed me to work on any programming project I like after I finished my assignment. The assignments usually took no more than 10 minutes and I got credit working on writing my games in class. For my finial exam he had a professional programmer grade my test. While I don't recall the details any longer I do recall that after he looked over the answers he said "perfect."

Sometime in 1995 I started learning x86 assembly. My copy of Turbo Pascal also had Turbo Assembler and books. One could switch to inline assembly in Turbo Pascal 7 and it was a great way to maximize for speed. Midway through 1996 I found more detailed books on Intel assembly language at the library which included x87 floating-point operations. That book showed me how Reverse Polish notation worked and came to understand hardware assisted floating-point.

When I was 18, I began living out my programming dream. I was offered a job at Electro Cam Corp., an industrial controls manufacture, writing test software. Soon I transitioned to making custom fetcher to their products and maintaining source code to all their product lines. While I had learned the basics of what it took to write a piece of software, it was my mentors at Electro Cam who taught me to be an embedded programmer. Skills such as basic electronic circuits, reading schematics, using an oscilloscope, and importantly, how to write good code as opposed to code that merely works.

Sadly my first company that I loved so much was stagnant and was having difficulties deciding on what projects to do next. In 2000, I was offered a contract position at a new start-up based in Pennsylvania. I would be able to work for home and have complete control over the software I produced. I took the job and worked there until the company collapsed due to the large capital required to take on projects and mechanical issues in our product. That job taught me how to work long and hard. I once worked for 28 hours straight, and put in 100 hours in 6 days of work. Being in the field at 2:00 am was not too uncommon. And timeline I thought should have been 6 months were required in 2. There I had to prove I was a programmer. However, I successfully designed a complete fuel injection control system for large stationary engines.

At this point I had worked 9 years as a computer programmer, and had been writing software for about 16, but I had no formal education. So I decided to go back to school full-time. I found I often disagreed with things taught in the programming classes (many poor practices) and didn't learn much new material. However the math classes were very useful. Up to this point I didn't really have more than very basic algebra. I found I loved algebra and trigonometry as I was able to apply what I learned to old problems I had encountered as a programmer.

During my school years I alternated between being a full-time student and a contract software engineer. I found my experience spoke for itself and took several contracts ranging from 3 months to over a year. I was introduced to mission critical software when I took a contract position at the aerospace flight controls company Rockwell-Collins. There I found that being meticulous and writing clean code wasn't just a luxury but a requirement. I could take the time to make software I was sure was flawless. Fixing bugs wasn't just about treating the symptom—one had to completely understand the bug. What caused the error, why the symptoms were being demonstrated and why the correction made fixed it. I actually really enjoyed the work, but making airplanes for wealthy businessmen wasn't terribly satisfying.

To find a field I felt I could do something more productive I started searching for jobs in the medical device field. I was offered my first medical project at an engineering firm called BB7. There I work on a variety of projects: medical devices, scientific equipment, research tools, and even software design reviews.

What do I look like?

Really want to see what I look like. Look though my pictures!

I am a dude about 5'10.5" (179 cm) tall and about 150 pounds (68.0 kg). My hair is brown/sand blond, completely shaved in the front, and over 35" (89 cm) in the back. I keep my hair in a tightly bound queue.

Miscellaneous

I sleep in a box; read scientific articles— especially when related to physics and the cosmos; consume a lot of history; do most of my reading via audiobook; bicycling several thousand miles a year; roller skate; and drink milk.

Boring generic info

Name

Andrew Alexander Que

Date of birth

June of 1978

Sex

Buy me a drink first, and we'll talk

Race

You'll probably win, I don't run all that fast

Height

5'10.5" (179 cm)

Weight

150 lbs (68.0 kg)

Eye color

Hazel—although like many people with hazel eyes, the color sometimes changes with lighting.

Hair

Brown in a long queue.

Social security number

Just pick 9 numbers at random—that's what I always do

Yearly income

Yep.

Job status

Full-time software engineer. Yes, you can hire me. Contact bb7 and tell us about your needs. (View résumé)

Religion

Atheist and secular humanism

Place of residence

Wyvern's Haunt, Elmwood Park, Park St., Middleton, Wisconsin, Midwest United States, United States of America, North America, Earth, Sol solar system, Local Bubble, Local Interstellar Cloud, Gould Belt, Orion Arm, Milky Way Galaxy, Local Group galaxy cluster, Virgo Supercluster, observable universe, universe, multiverse.

Sexual preference

Unfortunately, I'm heterosexual. Oh well, no one is perfect.
Random trivia

Favorite foods

Indian, Asian, and Italian

Favorite music

Electronic, punk, and classical

Favorite color

Red

Favorite animal

Blue Whale (pictures | facts)

Favorite land animal

Koala (picture | facts)

Favorite fantasy creature

Fire Dragon

My vehicle

2004 tan Toyota Corolla named Eve Liberty

Languages I know

C/C++, Pascal, x86/PPC/ARM/Atmel assembly, Python, PHP, Perl, JavaScript, SQL, XHTML/HTML, CSS, ladder logic

Languages I can read

Basic (all forms), Java, Fortran, COBOL, Ada, various assemblies and most English.

My geekcode

GCS d---(+) s: a? C+++ UL+++ P+++ L++>++++ E---- W+++ N-@ o? K w--- O M-(+) V? PS+++ PE Y++ PGP+++ t+ 5? X-- R(++) !tv b++>+++ DI++ D++>++++ G e>+++++ h++ r->++ z**

I So, there you have it... hope that answered all the questions you had about who I was...

Enjoy the site!
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