Missoula at sunset in the winter

The homepage of George Lesica. I’m a resident of Missoula, MT, one of the most remarkable cities in the world. I’m a software developer and recovering economist. I enjoy hiking, running, riding my bike to work, craft beer, and fancy programming languages.

I also have a page of interesting quotes. Well, interesting to me, anyway.

Trying to keep warm on a mountain

Also, I finally got around to putting my collection of old / vintage / retro computers and computing hardware online!

Feel free to reach out via email or LinkedIn if you want to talk. I especially enjoy helping young people get started in the software industry. I have acted as a mentor on several occasions and I have devoted a significant amount of time to outreach in the past. I am also particularly passionate about increasing diversity and representation in the computing field.

After a trail race

Below you’ll find an outline of some of the things that make me “tick”. Projects, either ongoing or complete, with which I am proud to be associated.

Noteworthy Projects

These are in no particular order and some are ongoing, as you might guess from the descriptions.

Drug Sniffer - As part of my day job, I helped build a “virtual screening” application called Drug Sniffer. The software aims to help drug researchers develop vaccines and medications more quickly by identifying promising chemical compounds in a matter of hours rather than months, as has been the case in the past.

PolyA - A tool I helped develop to improve the reliability of biological sequence annotation.

Instructor, Montana Code School - I have taught the Montana Code School backend development track. I enjoy the opportunity to help students get started on a new career in the software industry, and it’s just a lot of fun.

Founder and Principal, Georgica Software, LLC - I periodically take on consulting projects. If you’d like to discuss a project, take a look at my business web site or just send me an email.

Pro bono Technology Advisor, Tamarack Grief Resource Center - I provide advice and periodic assistance with technology issues for TGRC, a non-profit devoted to helping people cope with tragic loss. I received the 2021 “Volunteer of the Year” award.

Instructor, Special Topics - Software Testing (Fall 2018) - I designed and taught a special topics course (CSCI 391) on software testing at the University of Montana. The course covered a variety of topics, most of which are described in the online notes, related to software reliability and testing, including some less obvious subjects like static analysis and type systems. I used the open source textbook written by Bill Laboon at CMU, along with assorted other readings. Currently, I’m planning to deliver an updated, 400-level version of the course for spring 2021.

Instructor, Special Topics - The Missing Course (Spring 2021) - With help and inspiration from others, both here at UM and the original course in this mini-genre (The Missing Semester), I taught a course on tools and all sorts of other fun topics that are often neglected in computer science curricula. The course website can be found elsewhere on this domain. It contains some original material along with links to existing content.

Co-organizer, Missoula Tech - A group of tech industry folks in a wide variety of roles from across Montana, centered in Missoula, MT. We organize social, educational, and technical events. There’s also an active Slack workspace. Come check us out at https://missoula.tech/.

A Missoula Tech meetup

Co-founder, Code for Montana - A chapter of the Code for America organization focused on issues and problems that are important to Montanans.

We created a system to extract and filter IRS data is called PyRS990 (get it?). It has now been packaged and can be found on PyPI, although is should still be considered alpha software: PyRS990.

There is also a project to make it easier for journalists and others with a small amount of both time and programming ability to collect public datasets from the internet, called Mt. Data.

We are also involved in an ongoing project to improve the technical literacy of staff at local non-profits through personalized training and consultation provided by tech industry volunteers.

Code for Montana

Co-author, The Economics of Seinfeld - A web site that uses clips from the popular ’90s sitcom “Seinfeld” to teach economics. The site is used widely at the high school and university levels and has helped inspire a whole sub-genre of economics teaching tools based on pop culture. Check out the site at http://yadayadayadaecon.com or the publication in the Journal of Economic Education.

The Economics of Seinfeld

Co-founder, Datamaglia - A recommender system startup a friend of mine and I did awhile back. We built some pretty neat technology on top of a graph database and got to participate in Start-Up Chile, which meant that we got to live in Santiago, Chile for about eight months. Alas, we made mistakes, and while we still think our idea was sound (AWS and Azure have both launched vaguely similar products in the years since) we didn’t get sufficient traction.

At the university in Concepcion, Chile

Open Source Author and Maintainer - I have written several mildly popular software packages and I help maintain a rotating cast of other, more popular, packages. I’m currently the primary maintainer for the Testify testing package for the Go programming language. I originally wrote the Julia language driver for the Neo4j database, although it has since been forked and improved by others. I also wrote a tool called DCDG that will automatically generate a class diagram from Dart source code.

Projected Hope - I have collaborated with Project Tomorrow Montana on a public art installation called Projected Hope that is periodically displayed in downtown Missoula to raise awareness of suicide prevention resources.

Various Projects

DCDG - a tool that can generate a class diagram from a Dart source code package. GitHub

121 Cribbage - a simple Cribbage board app for iOS. App Store

Files and Such

Continuous Integration Talk - a talk on continuous integration I gave to the students in our lab.

Commander Tutorial - a talk I gave on the Commander functional testing tool.

Documenting Software - a talk I gave to the students in our lab about how to produce effective documentation (and thereby, effective software).

Releasing Software - a talk I gave to the students in our lab about making software easy for people to use.

Software Quality Talk - a talk I gave to the spring 2020 senior capstone class about some of the techniques we can use to make software less terrible.

Day Job

I work as a backend developer for onXmaps Inc., a software company based in Missoula, MT that makes mapping and navigation tools for outdoor activities like hunting, offroading, and backpacking.

A George Lesica Joint