Meet Joshua, the tech virtuoso at Ascendion who’s not your typical engineer. He is a Senior Associate Engineer at Ascendion. Joshua is happily engaged to his high school sweetheart for 13 remarkable years, sharing their life with two quirky rescued cats, Risky and ‘Little Dove.’ When he’s not deciphering the code at Ascendion, Joshua is on a quest to craft his own MMO game, learn Japanese, and nurture a burgeoning garden filled with watermelons, carrots, and pineapples. His friends sum him up in three words: smart, Boba tea aficionado, and Starbucks enthusiast. Join us as we delve into Joshua’s world of code, culture, and caffeine-fueled creativity in the Ascendion adventure!
Joshua: The Multitalented Engineer
It all began when I was just a young lad. My father introduced me to the world of technology through video games. My passion for technology ignited with one of the most popular games of the 90s: Super Mario World. As I progressed through life, I gained access to one of the standout online games of the century, Runescape. It was this game that I
discovered my love for programming in Java, during the challenging days of high school.
I went to the University of Houston, Clear Lake to pursue a degree in Computer Engineering because I was curious about how programming languages interacted with electronics. After graduation, I endeavored to enhance my expertise in C# by creating an application to automate gameplay in a video game. I dubbed this creation “The Automated Game Player.”
While I achieved the initial set of functionalities, I continue to revisit the project periodically, incorporating new methods, features, and improvements to the user interface and experience.
Fast forward to 2021, I joined Ascendion as an Associate Engineer, where I have received multiple awards for my work. Within two years, I even earned a promotion to Senior Associate Engineer, thanks to my peers who aways recognized the value I brought to the projects.
Joshua’s work screams ‘Impact’
I currently work on Ascendion AVA, a platform that uses AI ML to help clients. I have a passion for coding efficiently and creating innovative solutions to problems. This where being a jack of all trades pays off. I can perform various tasks, such as developing UIs, front and back ends, and DevOps work. It was incredibly satisfying and fun working on various modules of Ascendion’s AVA.
Most of my work contributed to the efficient performance of these modules. Some of the notable ones are –
- I created a PDF library that can do lots of things like adding paragraphs, banners, and combining different PDF
pages. We can save these PDFs on Amazon’s S3 buckets or AZURE’s Blob Storage.
- Set up a system that uses the JSch library to automatically access an AZURE Virtual Machine using Secure Shell
(SSH). This helped us save important data about our work.
- Made the AZURE cloud cost scanning in the ICE Platform faster by 91%. Also, added a feature that lets us rescan previous days easily. Previously within the ICE cost usage there was an Algorithm that was limited to 1 minute per execution because of the rate at which you can send API requests to Azure. Modifying and optimizing the Algorithm brought that down to about 5 seconds. This brought the extraction times down from about 3 hours per resource group to 14 minutes.
- Changed Flask APIs in the IAF platform to Java SpringBoot REST APIs. This made database operations 20% faster. By using Java and Springboot’s Hibernate ORM instead of Python’s Flask APIs ORM. The switch to a more low-level language ‘Java’ from ‘Python’ which is an interpreted high-level language, allows for dealing with copious amounts of data in a faster and efficient way, allowing scans to complete more quickly.
- Made an API for AVA’s Evaluation platform to grade user feedback.
- Improved the IAF and ITA AVA platforms and did tests to make sure our code was good.
- Created a service that uses a Readability REST API and the Jsoup Library to figure out how hard it is to read a website.
- Managed Kubernetes helm charts for lots of big platforms.
What makes my job spicy?
One of the challenges I face at work is researching unfamiliar topics. This includes finding solutions for cloud-based analytics technologies and processing data using various algorithms to stay ahead of the game. I often turn to resources like Stack Overflow to gather information before beginning the development and implementing solutions for customer issues.
Additionally, locating information on Azure APIs can be difficult, as there is limited information available for most of the DevOps tasks we undertake. My main challenge is piecing together all the necessary information to make everything work seamlessly.
While I conduct most of my research alone, I do seek assistance from Krishnendu and Jeffrey when necessary. Jeffrey is my go-to for DevOps, like Docker and Kubernetes. Krishnendu is my Java expert. They’re like mentors, guiding me when I’m stuck or facing problems in solving issues and implementing services.
Why Ascendion and I are a match
At Ascendion, we all feel like a big family because they genuinely care about their employees. Working remotely provides me with a good work-life balance, as it allows me to pursue my interests outside of work. As my introduction mentions, I am particularly interested in gaming, and during my free time, I am actively working towards my goal of becoming a game developer. I am currently developing my own MMO using C++, C#, and Unity, and I am excited to see my creation come to life.
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