My Journey

Michael T. Andemeskel I was born and raised in Ethiopia, moved to America as a refugee and grew up in beautiful but unpredictable Oakland, California. I came from mid wives, outhouses, corrugated tin roofs and arrived on these strange shores with wide eyed amazement and curiosity; I was captivated by computers instantly. My resume and linkedin.

My Work

In short, I make things.

Maggie – Baby Translator

In college, my friend created a model that could take baby cries and translate them into English using deep learning classification. He needed an Android developer to deploy the model in an app, he reached out to me and a few months later we had a working alpha. I didn’t believe it was possible but it worked. Through this app, I learned about deploying, training, and optimizing models. Collecting and labeling training data in the wild – the app, with user consent, collected each cry it translated and the user’s response. I used Kotlin and Java to build the app. The app eventually got a hundred plus download and dozens of surprised but happy parents.

Homer – Baby Translator

Once we launched Maggie, we realized that parents didn’t always have a free hand to pick their phone up and use our app (kind of obvious in retrospect). So I created a Google Home app. When your baby started crying you would say the phrase “Maggie translate” and this would open our app and tell you why your baby was crying. Through this app, I learned how to deploy a model, processed input data, and return model results in the cloud via Python. Building the voice app was easy, especially using Google’s Voice Kit.
Check out the video of the alpha (loud).

Lurch – Drone Controller

Lurch is an Android app for controlling DJI drones through the DJI SDK. During the winter and fall of 2017, I was working on a project to read soil sensors using drones. For this to occur the drone must hover over the sensor a variable length of time. This app-enabled the pilot to set a flight plan with locations where the drone would stop and hover. We used this app to read sensors deployed on a 60-acre field.

btp – Class Finder

A hybrid Android app built with Ionic using AngularJS.

Asante Africa – Nonprofit Website

Asante Africa is a non-profit that provides educational and leadership opportunities for girls and boys in rural East Africa. I volunteered there for a few years and was given the task of rebuilding their site from scratch. I worked alongside a frontend developer who I mentored through development on WordPress and a talent UI/UX engineer. This custom and mobile-first WordPress team brought Asante’s web presence into Web 2.0.

LaunchList – Resource Aggregator

The internet is full of millions of resources to learn new things but which ones should you use and in what order? LaunchList was created to solve this problem. Through the development, I learned a great about building on top of a Backend-as-a-Service. I honestly loved this experience, I think this is the future of web development. If only there was a CMS on top of Firebase.
GitHub – Class Finder

A responsive web app built in Python with Flask on App Engine; it helps students find classes. Populated by Scrapy spiders that collect 13k classes and crawl 27k pages weekly. The website also has a REST API that returns query results as JSON objects.

Young Scholars – Nonprofit Website

While working at Nerd Crossing I took on the responsibility of designing and developing a new website for a nonprofit that helped young men of color get into and graduate from college. This was a three-month project where I was in charge of everything from timeline creation, theme design, and development to communicating with a demanding customer. I ended up creating a WordPress website with a custom theme that the customer loved.

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