I'm Jack Kufa, a Senior at Missouri S&T pursuing degrees in Computer Engineering and Computer Science. "I think computers are cool" has been a defining tagline for me my entire life. This deep interest has been a driving force for me in my professional career.
I love making things, and all the problem solving that stems from making something is extremely fun for me. That's why I love hardware and software so much, it puts a ton creative power into my hands.
My previous experience has left me interested in pursuing a career in full stack development. Specifically, building tools to automate internal processes is a big interest of mine. With that said, any opportunity to work with a new language or hardware is exciting for me. I'd be eager to learn anything you'd need me to learn!
Read more about the stuff I've done and the stuff I've made below. 👇
Underwater Robotics is an S&T design team that participates in the annual MATE competition. The goal is to build an ROV capable of traversing underwater terrain. My role on the team has spanned from electrical member to vice president to competition lead.
As an Electrical Member, I got my first hands on experience with PCB cad software, designing & assembling 2 unique boards. I also got to do some mechanical work, designing a gimbal mount for one of our cameras.
My time as Vice President was a bit more free form. I took on the goals of expanding our communication structure, engaging new members, and improving our member retention rate. In this time, I created a Discord Bot capable of maintaining and assigning user roles in our Discord Server.
Being competition lead put me in charge of one main thing: Ensuring the team made it to competition. I was responsible for forwarding competition manual changes, and keeping track of our internal deadlines to ensure we're on track to complete everything in time.
Embyr Technologies LLC
Embyr Technologies LLC was a startup created with the intent of providing a robotics platform and curriculum that teaches kids the fundamentals of STEM topics such as mechanical and electrical design, physics, and programming. I joined the team early on to create graphics, and that role evolved into lead position responsible for marketing and design.
One of the coolest things our team was able to do was participate in the EIX Shulze Entrepreneurship Challenge. Over 149 different teams applied to compete in this competition (which had $250,000 in cash prizes 🤑), and only 25 teams were selected. Embyr was one of them.
Judges and students were most impressed with our turnaround time: a brief 2 month time span between the company's creation and top finish, rev1 prototype included! Overall, Embyr has taught me a lot about business and entrepreneurship, as well as the tenacity that has to go along with it.
The team has since moved on, but me and some others have moved into a more R&D centered group with the intent of simply building cool things.
Yaskawa America Inc.
Yaskawa was my very first internship! I was a full stack developer at the Oak Creek facility, tasked with creating an internal application that was capable of automating internal processes for Operation's Order Engineers.
My IDE of choice was Visual Studio, and I developed an ASP.NET & MVC Web Application (C#). For the backend I interfaced with an external API and custom database. According to the API team, I was utilizing their API in a way that had never been done before, which was cool. As for the database, it was implemented in SQL using Entity Framework and Code First Migrations. For the frontend I worked with bootstrap and jquery.
Yaskawa was my first foray into the workforce as a software developer, and it was a great experience! not only was I able to learn a lot of great hard skills related to my profession, I also greatly utilized soft skills such as communication. I was responsible for keeping my Supervisor and Mentor updated on my progress.
This past Summer I worked on some independent contract work with CinemaCraft LLC. They make custom Minecraft plugins that implement custom, unique scenes for content creators to experience.
I worked in IntelliJ & developed in Java, interfacing with the Spigot API and a large set of proprietary codebase. Plugin deployment was done with Maven, and deploying and accessing servers involved remote accessing (ssh, scp, etc.). Overall, my work contributed to over 9 Million YouTube views for content creators.
👈👈👈 Here's a small example of the type of work I did!
Service Management Group
This summer I will be interning with Service Management Group! SMG is based in Kansas City, MO. The company creates tools for businesses that provide customer and employee insight.
From the Devpost:
"There are constant hurdles being thrown to prevent health improvement. But having a way to keep habits as consistent and frictionless as possible is golden. Enter: Wellness Trainer, a simple and intuitive app that keeps track of and times workout routines and exercises so you don't have to. It's like your own personal trainer!"
Wellness trainer was my very first time doing any sort of app development. Using Android Studio, I got to dabble in Kotlin, and I worked on the app styling and graphics.
Controller modding has been a big part of my hardware related endeavors. In competitive Super Smash Bros, having a top of the line controller is important mechanically. It's also a great way to stand out, and make something uniquely your own.
I do all sorts of modifications. Electrically, I work on controller stickboxes (loose stickbox replacements), button replacements (add tactile switches), and trigger mods (digital triggers). I also make custom paracord cables. Mechanically, I do things like lubing, trigger plugs, and button stabilization.
DoubleCross is a Mafia style game, where one person, the double agent, has to make it to the end of the game without being caught. One person, the operative, knows who the double agent is, but can't explicitly tell! Instead, the operative runs through various mini challenges such as a drawing challenge and charades, to let the civilians figure out who the double agent is.
The cool part about this game is the integration with the Twilio API. The operative will receive a special phone call that contains a special keyword that reveals who the double agent is. The double agent will receive a text message with this same keyword.
Top Track Tweeeter
I wrote a python script that tweets a users top 5 Spotify tracks for the past month. It uses the twython and spotipy libraries to interface with the Twitter and Spotify APIs. The script grabs the top 5 tracks, creates a playlist with them, and then tweets out both the top tracks and the playlist!
This script is something that I keep updating and improving as time goes on. A future goal of mine is to properly set this up with something like crontab to have it automatically run on the first day of every month.
Click here to see an example use of the script!
Gamer Tweet Detector
This was a fun hackathon project I worked on with a friend. Using deep learning, the Gamer Tweet Detector evaluates tweets and returns a Gamer Tweet Percentage™ that determines how "gamer" that tweet is.
Click here to see an example use of the script!
This project was started initially for my databases class, and has since been shifted into a full personal project.
I built a Discord bot and localhost web application for managing and automating a Pokemon Draft League. A Pokemon Draft League is a custom game mode for Pokemon battling, where coaches form teams and draft Pokemon to compete head to head. This application is able to automate a lot of the internal work involved in running such a league and it streamlines specific aspects of league upkeep such as updating rankings.
The core interface is the Discord Bot, Drafty. Drafty is able to manage matches, pokemon teams and more! The reason for a Discord bot core is that Discord is a vital platform for communication between players, and being able to query data in that same space is very convenient. With that said, the web application, built for administrative use, is perfect to getting a league up and running.