JN
headshot of Jason Niebauer

Hello, I am Jason.

I am a software engineer and data scientist.

About Me

During the last several years I have completed numerous projects, worked alongside some of the most talented people, and have begun to venture into entreprenuership.

I have experience across multiple domains and have worked in several industries including payment processing, financial services, cybersecurity, manufacturing, publishing, and even social media.

Now I want to bring your projects to life.

Services

I am currently looking to take up freelance projects to work on in my free time. I am willing to develop desktop apps, web apps, machine learning apps, web scrapers & custom scripts. If you have a project in mind please feel free to shoot me an email

Web & Desktop Apps

Machine Learning

Web Scraping

Custom Scripts

Let's Talk

I am based in Dallas, TX in U.S.A. You can get in touch with me through the following means

jason.niebauer1@gmail.com

I enjoy building all sort of things. Have a project in mind? Get in touch

How I Got Into Programming

Believe It or Not

I was once an illustrator living in Hawaii. I printed an assortment of goods, such as limited edition prints, coloring books, comics, and zines. I would sell my hand-crafted goods once a month at the island event Art + Flea. I had much success selling to the locals and tourists alike, but I was missing a very crucial detail that would help me grow and sell abroad: a website.

In The Beginning

I chose to build my website using the Tumblr platform not only because it was free, but because I could leverage a pre-built theme and customize it to my desire. I had dabbled with HTML and a bit of CSS to build pages for music artists on MySpace, so I was confident that I could make the minimal modifications to achieve my desired goal. Over the course of a few days and countless research hours pecking around the internet, I realized I had modified the theme I had begun with entirely and was looking at one that was unrecognizable from the original. I was no expert, but with enough time and patience I had hacked together a new product, albiet a website, to showcase my illustration work. I feel a lot of people start out like this: choose a theme, customize here, then there, and before you know it you have done way more customization than intended and sometimes in the realm of needing further assistance.

I felt a new level of confidence building my own website and online store over the next couple of months. However, as I developed my website I started wondering how things worked under the hood. If I could customize the HTML and CSS of a site, could I not build one from scratch? I had no formal training in web development, but my eagerness to learn something new and the thought of solving a challenging task sounded rewarding.

To master web development I ambitiously decided to teach myself how to code using the online resources provided by Treehouse. Coming from a design oriented background I naturally excelled at front-end development. It wasn't much longer before I was venturing into making websites interactive with the use of JavaScipt.

Learning to Crawl

My introduction to JavaScript was rough. I had many questions and little structure on where to begin. I wanted to be able to do things past my beginner knowledge, such as pulling data in from external sources. I realized JavaScript had a steep learning curve than what I had been exposed to previously. However, this felt like real programming to me. There were functions, variables, math operations, events, logic, and more. At times I felt overwhelmed and I would soon learn that my unwavering committment to learn JavaScript would be put to the test.

I could build websites, web apps that run offline, retrieve and send data to external sources, but every time I would demo a new user interface there was something still lacking. People wanted whatever I was showing them to do more. That's not to say that is a bad thing. To hear praise from users is mighty nice, but they continued to push my skills by asking for more functionality. The only problem was that I was not sure how to deliver on their wishes. I had hit a brick wall, or in other words, the realization of the separation between front-end and back-end development. I was only one piece of the puzzle. It dawned on me that although I had built up a remarkable skillset, I had also ignored other skills that were beginning to influence the direction of my work. Cue imposter syndrome

I was at an impasse — which progamming language do I learn to get a foothold on back-end development? I gave both PHP and Ruby a go, but ultimately came to the conclusion that I could leverage my existing JavaScript skills instead of having to learn a new language. This allowed me to focus solely on the back-end side of things without having to also learn the syntax and semantics of a new language. It also felt like a safe bet since JavaScript was gaining in popularity and could be used across multiple platforms.

Up and Running

After a few years working as a full stack JavaScript engineer, I began developing a customer loyalty app for SMEs to track the spending habits of their customers. Today, this is still one of my favorite projects I have had the privilege of building. By utilizing eConduit's API I was able to integrate realtime credit and debit card transactions with the mobile app. That meant that as soon as customers swiped their card they could view the rewards on their smartphone instantly.

The "big ask" I received from the client was if I could unify the mobile app data with their cloud-based CRM. They were using Salesforce as the customer relationship management tool across their customer support and technical assistance teams. Since the mobile app was hosted on the Heroku platform that meant that I could use Heroku Connect to unify the data between databases. Now the customer support teams, the businesses using the loyalty app, and the businesses' customers all shared the same data!

One For the Bucket List

I spent some time helping a close friend launch a technology startup focused on networking and infrastructure. It was a blast getting my hands dirty learning something new, but I wasn't feeling challenged in the way that I had been before. I took some time to research emerging trends, although there was one that had been haunting me since my early days developing point-of-sale applications.

Mining. No, not like the coal covered, dark cavern you might have imagined below.

Cryptocurrency mining. With my network and programming skills I would go on to build a mining farm from the ground up; everything from acquiring the specific hardware to building computing clusters, electrical wiring, and even ventilation.

It was during the research phase of my crypto journey that I happen to stumble across a newly emerging trend amongst the larger mining farms. Some were beginning to or were evaluating switching their massive computing power from cryptocurrency mining to data processing and artificial intelligence. At the time I had not given it much thought, but as my mining operation came to completion I began to wonder how might I be able to use the computer hardware I had invested in towards a new use.

Python, Data, and A.I. — Oh My

As I researched machine learning and data science it was clear that I needed to use a programming language that could handle big data, so I took it upon myself to extend my existing skillset by learning Python. To apply my skills towards data science I began using the online resources provided by DataCamp. As I venture further into machine learning I plan to begin data mining and processing large volumes of data to solve questions and problems we have not been able to answer without the help of supercomputers. I'll do my best to keep this page updated with the latest progress of my journey.

In the meantime, if you are interested in learning Python you can check out my book Learning to Python.

Cheers!