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interstellar space pirate extraordinaire •

About Permalink to "About" section

My name's Vladimir and on the Internet, I go by "allejo."

I pretend to know what I'm doing as a developer solely because I can't live out my dream of taking part in interstellar space travel. I enjoy late night food runs, eating sushi, staring at my desktop legion, and occasionally playing on my PS4.

When I'm not building on BZFlag related projects or working on open source projects, I work as a software developer for Stack Overflow working on the Community Enablement team.

Communities Permalink to "Communities" section

Since I'm not busy enough and am an advocate for open source projects, these are the projects/communities that I'm actively involved in and dedicate a lot of my spare time towards.

Nov 2007

One of the first online games I discovered. I joined the community as a player and stayed as a developer.

  • Member of the development team for the game and the web infrastructure
  • Written several server plug-ins to introduce new game modes or help server administration
  • Hosted the largest North American community run game servers
  • Led the effort in launching a unified competitive league in the community
Jun 2015 - Jun 2018

I spent time on #socrata-soda on Freenode helping provide support for PHP users and general API help. Since I no longer use Socrata in the workplace or school, my participation in the community has diminished.

Places I've Worked Permalink to "Places I've Worked" section

It's not all just open source and games for me; just like most people, I have bills to pay too. These are the awesome companies and organizations that have helped me do so over the years.

Software Developer

Stack Overflow

Jun 2021 - May 2023

I was a full-stack developer focusing on front-end development, where I worked on the Community Enablement team. In this role, I contributed to improving existing moderator tools. I played a crucial role in revamping our JavaScript codebase by converting it into modules and rewriting portions of the website to enhance accessibility. Additionally, I actively contributed to Stacks, our CSS framework and component library, by providing bug fixes and implementing accessibility improvements.

In my previous role on the Community Products Engagement team, I participated in the long-term project of sunsetting Developer Stories and the Jobs platform. This involved enhancing our GDPR processes to enable self-serving options for the Jobs platform, refactoring tightly coupled code from our monolith application, and coordinating the deletion of related data across multiple databases.

Additionally, I was a founding member of two working groups, the front-end and accessibility guild, where I helped establish standards and guidelines for use across the organization. I designed and developed accessible UI components, including charts, character limit counters, draggable elements, and sortable tables. I unified the developer workflow for writing lightly interactive Stimulus components and heavily interactive Svelte components. My efforts significantly reduced the amount of JavaScript required by thousands of lines by introducing reusable Stimulus components.

I actively engaged with the Stack Exchange community, addressing bug reports and building valuable tools for site moderators. I was one of the three developers responsible for making Winter Bash 2023 possible; I wrote SQL queries for awarding hats, adding a fun and festive element to the community experience. Beyond my professional work, I volunteered as a mentor for Techtonica, a boot camp that supports women and non-binary individuals transitioning into the technology field.

Web Developer

California State University, Northridge

Jun 2018 - May 2021

I led the development of multiple projects and managed/mentored a team of student developers. My main focuses were open source, software architecture, automation, code generation, and accessibility. I actively maintained PHP, Python, and React (TypeScript) libraries/tools that could be reused across multiple projects and departments. I also maintained Drupal and WordPress instances for the main campus and individual departments.

By collaborating with a colleague, we successfully introduced the concept of GitOps into our infrastructure team's workflow and have completely automated the deployment of resources using a CI/CD process powered by GitHub Actions. We also established guidelines and practices for the deployment of new applications to be possible through Docker and Kubernetes.

Alongside the Universal Design Center (UDC), I worked on making CSUN's web presence significantly more accessible and researching new patterns for building accessible components, such as "mega menus" and chat interfaces.

For my team of student developers, I had them contribute to and build production-level web applications. We used GitHub and a pretty standard git-flow workflow using pull requests and code reviews. Through our code review process, I gave my students feedback on how to improve their code and also have them review other full-time developers' code; giving them the opportunity to learn how to work on a team of developers.

Web Developer

CSUN Associated Students

Jan 2014 - Jun 2018

I worked as a part of the marketing team as a web developer maintaining the Associated Students website up to date with coming events and information about the services we provided. I did front-end development for the main website and built static websites for special events using Jekyll or stakx. I made sure that all of the organization's web pages were accessible and followed Section 508 requirements.

I built internal Symfony based tools and websites used for linking together different webhooks and APIs to our project management software; this allowed our team to use different services depending on our needs but were still able to use a single project management tool. Some of the components I built for these projects were made open source such as PhpPulse, a library for interacting with the API. These projects allowed us to have transparency with our clients as we gave them to ability to view the status of their project and communicate with the team more freely.

Web Developer Intern

City of Santa Monica

Jun 2013 - May 2018

I was a part of Santa Monica's web development team where I worked on building and maintaining city websites; additionally, I contributed to several of their open source projects. Some of the bigger projects I worked on was building search functionality for the Historic Resources Inventory database, publishing our website analytics, redesigning the BigBlueBus website to be mobile responsive, moving all Team Foundation Server repositories to Git, and getting automated previews for pull requests against our static websites.

During the summers of 2014, 2015, and 2016, I worked with the community broadband division and helped run the Youth Tech Program where I wrote the web development curriculum and served as the lead web development instructor. I covered topics such as, Git, GitHub Pages, and using Bootstrap to build mobile-responsive websites.

Student Representative, Associated Students

Classroom Technology Committee

Sep 2014 - Jun 2015

The Classroom Technology Committee (CTC) is an ad-hoc working group reporting to the Advisory Committee on Academic Technology, comprising stakeholders and individuals with an interest in ensuring the effective use of classroom technologies.

Talks Permalink to "Talks" section

Even though hearing the sound of my own voice weirds me out, other people like hearing me talk about things I've managed to accomplish.

Student Success: How our Students were Pushing to Production

Cal State Tech Connect

Jul 2021

Student success is something every team on campus strives to achieve but that doesn't mean they achieve it. During my 2.5 years tenure on the web development team, I managed nearly a dozen students; mentoring them and teaching them how to work on real-world applications.

I talk about an "unorthodox" view of student success and why it's impactful to students in the field of technology; because let's face it, a lot of adults don't remember what it's like trying to get their first job. I also talk about what I learned on what worked and what didn't while managing students.

Streamlined Deployments with Terraform and GitHub Actions

Cal State Tech Connect

Jul 2020

California State University, Northridge has finally joined in the fun of modern development practices! Here we talk about how we're using the following,

  • CI for running unit tests, linting, and security scans
  • CD for deploying from Git branches automatically to our staging and production environments
  • Terraform for automatically creating and updating our infrastructure in AWS

Building DevOps With Kubernetes

Cal State Tech Connect

Jul 2020

California State University, Northridge has started to see the evils pains of managing hundreds of VMs. We talk about how we have stopped waiting weeks for other teams to create VMs for developers and how we're using Kubernetes to make applications incredibly easier to maintain.

Accomplishments Permalink to "Accomplishments" section

I occasionally take part in code related competitions whenever I'm invited to do so. Here are some notable mentions of competitions I've participated in and the work I did during the said competitions.

Docker Docs Hackathon 2017

2nd Place

Mar 2017

I participated in Docker's Docs Hackathon to help improve their documentation website. I'm not familiar enough with Docker to be able to update/write documentation so I participated in a way I could still benefit the community: I submitted pull request #2860, which improved the responsive behavior of the website and reduced the redundancy of certain aspects of the site's Jekyll code. This single pull request fixed several known issues that existed and several issues that hadn't been reported yet.

AppJam 2015

2nd Place

Apr 2015

I participated in CSUN's first annual AppJam event with a team of friends to create Coral Finance—a sandboxed financial stock application. The goal of this app was to expose students to the stock market risk-free by simulating purchases of real stocks to show profit or losses. I created a fake stock market, accessible through an API, which moved at a quicker pace than the real stock market to see quicker results.

  • Branding, UI/UX - Raymond Barrios
  • iOS Developer - Kyle Shaver
  • Motion Designer - Danilo De Leon