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A Quick Intro

Hey there! My name's Andrew Liu. I'm a Maryland native who moved to the San Francisco Bay Area during the start of my career as a software engineer. As I transitioned from Google to smaller and smaller startups, I've since left the Bay Area for the Washington DC area (known by the locals as the DMV).

What's on this site?

Patrick McKenzie once shared a nice guiding principle for new writers: just write about things you would have found interesting 5 years ago. When scrolling around, don't be surprised if you find topics that might have appealed to a young engineer trying to get a footing in the real world. I also plan to share what I've learned or worked on recently. You should always be learning something (anything!) new. Tackling new things in public (and struggling at it) is a great way to keep me humble and accountable.

If you're new and looking to start reading something, you might enjoy my blog post about real-world statistical biases that humans face. For something more tech and security-related, you can check out my post about the different privacy guarantees of popular messaging apps.

My Background

I'm currently at an early-stage cybersecurity startup called Stairwell. The company's still in stealth, so I'll remain light on the details. We are hiring though, so hit me up if growing a rocket ship with a stacked team sounds appealing to you.

Before Stairwell, I was an engineer at Scale AI. The startup produces high-quality training data for AI applications. During my tenure there, Scale achieved unicorn status, and I started the company's machine learning infrastructure team.

Research Papers the Scale AI Team has Read in Q1 2020
The machine learning research papers the Scale AI team read and discussed in Q1 2020.

At the start of my career, I worked on authentication at Google. You might see the fruits of my labor when logging in to Google or when receiving login notifications on your phone. I was also the former maintainer of Google Authenticator.

Prior to working full time, I graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Maryland with a computer science degree. Within the major, I specialized in data science and cybersecurity and got my first taste of security research.

In my spare time, I enjoy playing Go. I peaked at 1 kyu back in my high school days, when I played competitively. If you play this game, I want to be your friend.

An Open Invitation

You don't have to be a passive reader. In fact, I encourage you to be the opposite.

  • If you find any of the aforementioned topics interesting, I want to talk to you. Don't be shy. I promise to make it worth your while. At the very least, you'll get an interesting conversation.
  • I love feedback. Is there something you wish I'd write about? Do you have spicy opinions about something I wrote? We all have our blind spots; please help me identify mine.
  • You should notice me consistently producing content for this site. If you see otherwise, please call me out and hold me accountable.

You can reach me via email or on Twitter. To stay in the loop with updates on this website, subscribe for email updates.