Hello! I'm Jon and I currently work as a Verification & Validation Engineer for Philips Healthcare in Fitchburg, Wisconsin. I graduated in 2015 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where I double majored in Geography and Cartography/GIS. I then returned to the UW to get a professional certificate in computer sciences in 2018. My passions lie in a lot of different places, spanning both technical endeavors (like programming and GIS technologies) and less-technical domains (like culture and music). I live in wonderful Madison, Wisconsin and am a huge fan of kayaking, running, eating, and hanging around with my dog and wife. I've also been known to sing and play guitar, trumpet, and cello.
That's sort of the short version of who I am. If, for some reason, you'd like to learn more, feel free to keep on reading. Otherwise if I'm boring you already, thanks for coming and I hope you take a look at the rest of the site.
I've been fascinated by different places, their cultures and their landscapes, for as long as I can remember. I grew up being a relatively brainy kid so when I went to college, I decided that I wanted to do something that would make me a lot of money: become a pharmacist. It didn't take long though before I found that Chemistry at a higher level did little to hold my attention and so, after a brief existential crisis, I turned back to the things I knew I loved: maps and the all the wonders they so elegantly describe. Along the way, I also discovered that I had a fondness for computers and programming, which was the perfect segway into the wide world of Geographic Information Systems. I found GIS to be a thrillingly relevant way to apply my knowledge as a Geographer to real-world problems. It really is amazing how powerful GIS can be and it's exciting to be part of that. During my studies I had the privalege of attending the North American Cartographic Information Society conference in Pittsburgh which was a great introduction to how widespread and versitile cartography could really be. I also had the honor of working in the UW-Madison Cartography Lab where I was able to actually be a cartographer for over a year. I learned many things in that job and loved working there while honing my craft. Although I truly loved my field of study and the world of Cartography and GIS, after graduation I decided that it might be an adventure to try something new. That's when I came upon Epic.
Like so many others from UW-Madison, Epic was a fantastic opportunity to get my first real-world experience working for a major tech company. Working for Epic was a great opportunity to branch out into some new territory for me. I was able to really develop a whole new perspective on an industry that I never even considered before - healthcare and, more specifically, healthcare software. It was here that I really discovered my passion for software and coding. I did a lot to strengthen my skills in programming and got to know the software development process. It was during my time working at Epic that I decided to start taking classes in computer science at night. My job there as a quality assurance engineer also helped develop me into a fantastic critic of code, functionality, design, usability (something I was already deeply familiar with from my classes in interactive cartography in school), and software quality. Having both an interest in coding as well as software quality, it was only natural that I developed a proclivity for software automation and automated software testing. This interest is what landed me my next job for Philips.
It was sort of the perfect storm that led me to my current career working for the radiation oncology branch of Philips Healtcare. For starters, I had worked for Epic. After a few years working for Epic in their quality assurance devision, I learned, and became quite good at, software testing, automation, and generally understanding and working with a commercial software development process. I also was acclimated to the crazy and ever-evolving world of healthcare software and the needs of the healthcare industry at large. Outside of Epic though, I also had a deep interest in the world of radiation oncology and cancer treatment. Cancer is one of the most pervasive and imporant issues in medicine today. I don't know anyone whose life it hasn't touched in some way or form. I am not excluded from that. Having had cancer touch my family in numerous ways, I of course had a vested interested in trying to fight it. Oddly enough, I was also pretty much surrounded by radiation oncology in my daily life. Let me explain. My wife majored in nuclear engineering. While at school, she narrowed her focus to medical physics. Now, nuclear engineers are not a super numerous group. Narrowing the field further makes that pool of people rather small indeed. That makes people in that field fairly tight-knit. Because of this, it just turned out that a larget chunk of my friends are medical dosimetrists, medical physicists, and people who do reasearch in radiation oncology. Being around these folk, in addition to a base interest in cancer treatment, meant that I've developed a sizable interest in radiation oncology as well. When I got the opportunity to apply my knowledge of software devleopment, usability, software testing, and automation to fighting cancer, I jumped on it. I now have the privaledge of helping to create Pinnacle - Philips' extroordinary radiation treatment planning software - and shape the future of radiation treatment. As an added perk, working for Pinnacle also means I get to work for Philips - an immensely innovative and influential force in modern technology and a company that litterally touches billions of people's lives.
So that's how I got to where I am now! Every day is different and every day I learn something new; I look forward to seeing what's next. Even though I've gone deep down the rabbit hole of software development, I still enjoy making maps and exploring geography whenever I can in my free time. I'm happy that my passion for geography led me to new passions in computers and technology and although my path hasn't been as straightforward as others, it has certainly kept things interesting! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me! In the meantime, enjoy the website.