Peter Bessman's Homepage

About me

I am a generalist software engineer, currently employed as a pre-sales consultant in enterprise automation and machine learning. You can learn more about my professional work through LinkedIn. This site focuses on technical and artistic subjects of personal interest.

Programming entered my life when our family gained a 486. (Thanks Dad!) QBasic was my first language, which I learned how to use by toying with GORILLA.BAS. But I really got hooked when I discovered C. Reading K&R and working through all the exercises was a turning point in my teenage years.

I spent a lot of time programming games and music software for fun, eventually earning a BS in computer science. From there, I got a job at a local network integration company doing sysadmin work. Then a brilliant colleague discovered an opportunity to get into the software business by solving video problems for transit authorities. Because of my background, I wound up becoming the lead developer on that project.

There was a ton of C, but also SQL, web development, and all the supporting activities that go into shipping commercial software. I learned a lot, and I will be forever thankful for the experience.

As the company grew, we also took on additional contract work. These were basic business systems, and the as-is process was usually a bunch of spreadsheets. I realized that with a little data manipulation and a suitable translator, those spreadsheets could serve as an approximate software spec. So I wrote a program to perform that translation and generate an initial web application.

This cut costs and greatly accelerated development. It also got me interested in the general idea of creating software directly from business requirements. I quickly discovered that I was not the first to think of this, and therefore soon took on a role with one of the leading companies in the field. In this capacity, I have designed solutions to scores of enterprise automation problems, acquiring the necessary system design and machine learning skills along the way.

There is a throughline from those early videogames and synthesizers to the present enterprise applications. I fundamentally like making fast, pretty, useful things, no matter the scale. I always try; hopefully, I mostly succeed.

I became an Orthodox Christian in 2014, and by this point I might even be a halfway decent one. I hope to spend the rest of my days serving my family and community in peace and repentance. And if God would see my happiness complete, a future observer will be able to look back on my four-score-or-so years and say that, like Thomas the Tank Engine, "he was a Really Useful Engineer."

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