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Bio – Alex Brie

Trivia – AMA style ; Too Much Information, IMHO – but who am I to judge your curiosity? As a matter of fact, I’ll even write my SSN and bank account password, ’cause that’s how much I trust you guys.

1981. born, in a small mountain town right below Transylvania

1989. built my first rocket models in the local “pioneer” club. I launched the last one on the eve of the December Romanian revolution

1993. got my first computer, a Sinclair Spectrum clone with software on audio tapes

1995. coded my first game in the highschool’s IT lab (a Tetris that worked by reprinting a new screen of 80×25 ASCII chars at each step). The teacher told me to stop wasting my time ‘cause “real games are not coded in Pascal”. I won’t forget nor forgive this.

1997. national mathematics olympiad 3rd prize.

1998. my first PC: 5×86 Cyrix 100MHz, floppy, no network, no printer, no sound card. I eventually purchased those in time, one by one

1999. national mathematics olympiad 2nd prize; valedictorian at high school

1999 started my computer science engineer studies 5 year degree

2001. First job, maintaining & updating a GIS app used by clients such as Bucharest city council, several delivery companies and the National Emergency System. C++, OOP, geometry algorithms and optimisation heuristics

2003. Erasmus scholarship to Ecole Polytechnique, Palaiseau (Paris suburbs). Stayed with an Egide scholarship for my MSc in Algorithms research. OCaml, C, Java

Started to blog on exported blogger, then livejournal and eventually on my own domain. This one.

2004. Genetic Algorithms research internship, at Axlog, France. My first published research article, at ICAPS 2005

2005. Internship & my second job, Murex Paris – financial & trading software

2006. Returned to Romania to try to “start a startup”. Between various prototypes/proof of concepts in Ruby on Rails and mobile apps – J2ME, I freelanced in Python & javascript while declining interviews with Google recruiters.

Highlight: completed 6 out of 8 days of a paragliding course. Loved every second of it. It still bugs me that I didn’t follow through to complete the class and take my paragliding license exam. On my bucket list.

2007. Started work for TRex Global, a Silicon Valley startup, as a Ruby on Rails core team remote developer (on contract, hourly salary + equity)

2008. Started my iPhone apps business in the first days of the AppStore. It was the beginning of an awesome 10 year adventure as an indie dev with over 100 iOS apps released through the App Store.

2009. First top paid iPhone book apps, top free app, Apple featured app. Switched to full-time mobile solopreneurship.

Got married to my amazing significant other, Violeta Brie.

2010. One month couple backpacking in Thailand, with only a cabin bag each. Got our scuba-diving licenses in Koh Tao.

2011. Incorporated Cognitive Bits Software

2012. Yet another one-bag backpacking month, in Singapore, Bali and Gili Trawangan. It was our first tropical paradise.

2013. Became a father of the most magnificent baby girl

partnered with Carter, sold six digits worth of licenses to my mobile games source codes

partnered with Robert, worked together on multiple top grossing apps in the social & utility space

2016. It was time to work for my daughter’s future: joined the new USR(Save Romania Union), a political party of idealistic youngsters opposing corruption and graft. Coordinated our volunteers team in the Sector 2 district for the signatures collection and on-streets electoral campaign. Early 2017 I was voted VP of the sector 2 USR branch.

2017. I resigned from USR, happy to have contributed and made a difference but needing to focus back to my family and career. I remain a fervent supporter and volunteer.

Yet another one-bag couple backpacking in Thailand for 3 weeks. Did I say we love Thailand?

Started my 3rd regular job, at AdoreMe Bucharest (US parent company in online commerce & fashion), taking over the development of the company’s iOS app

2018. Worked a lot, learned a lot, made friends and had a lot of fun at AdoreMe.

Yet another one-bag family trip to Thailand, for 2.5 weeks. Eva was 5. She loved the fruit and candy, not so much the exotic smells and usually spicy food. We hope she’ll change her mind the next time. Did I say we love Thailand?

Crossed the Atlantic and visited NY, for the 1st time.

Started to learn more seriously ML and Data Science.

PS. I was only joking about that SSN part.

2019. Packing and relocating for Seattle, WA, US and a new job at Facebook Inc. To be updated and continued.