Wes Eldridge

Wes Eldridge
My passions include building technology and businesses, hardware, and space. I started the companies Brewery Buddy and Insight Owl (now ParseMate). Over the years I have helped build products and services at Randall-Reilly. You can find me hacking at Rebellious Labs and writting about AI at Rebellious.ai.

Bio

I grew up in an environment where I was encouraged to play and explore. This led me to discover my love of learning, a passion for creating new things, and further establish that I maintained a broad set of interests. As I've grown older, I haven't stopped learning or exploring new ideas. Choosing a major in college was difficult because I had many varied interests and found niches in every department I was passionate about. Much to my parent's disapproval, I decided to incorporate many of my interests by studying a variety of subjects. Math, physics, business, and engineering were among my favorites. The passion to learn how things work has been a lifelong obsession that makes me who I am today.

My mother is a 7th-grade math teacher. That means I spent many childhood summers at school with her. It was here, around the age of 8 that I was introduced to computers. I wandered into the library where a group was putting together big beige boxes. These were old Apple computers donated from a local business, and I asked one of the men to show me how it worked. He showed me how to put the large 5in floppy disk into the computer. I remember the disk was bigger than my head. He also showed me how to type some basic commands in the computer so I could load the game that was saved to the disk. From that point on, I was in love with computers.

Now, I work with technology and startups. I try to apply first principles to everything I help create. It's important to know why you are building something in a world when you can build anything.

Current Work

Randall-Reilly Web Application Developer

I work on the product development team. Over the years I have built many applications using technology that include Laravel, Vue, React, MySQL, and Elastisearch.

Listed below are some of the projects and areas I have worked on.

  • Internal multisite adminstration tool
  • Internal package service
  • Data insights using Kabana
  • APIs and services for leads, companies, jobs, and mobile applications
  • Data processing and pipelines
  • Infrastructure automation
  • Application integrations
  • Development processes
  • Pull request and code review
  • Job board sites
  • Internal tooling
  • Server adminstration

I have worked for Randall-Reilly from November 2013 until present.

Previous Work

Brewery Buddy Co-Founder & CTO/CFO

Brewery Buddy is a one-stop solution for the brewing industry. Think of it as an ERP but for breweries. The company was started in 2014 and won several startup competitions for innovation. The team utilized cutting-edge technology to provide a modern user experience.

My core responsibilities included the following:

  • Product development
  • Sales and marketing
  • Fincial planning, forecasting, and strategy
  • Infrastructure
  • Success Metrics

Brewery Buddy was shut down in April 2018.

Projects

Pommerman Organizer and Contributor

Pommerman is a multiagent reinforcement learning game environment. One of the goals of Pommerman is to provide an environment in which agents are benchmarked against other agents. Agents are pitted against each other or required to work in teams.

AI and ML have been interests of mine since the late 90s. When this project presented itself, I jumped on board immediately!

I first started contributing then was brought on as the main organizer. I helped to maintain the website, documentation, graphics engine, the Discord community, and the aesthetics of the project.

The team and project were selected to be in the competition track for the 2018 Neural Information Processing Systems Conference. We were also selected to present at the 2018 AIIDE Multi-Agent Workshop. This project has given me the opportunity to publish my first paper. Pommerman: A Multi-Agent Playground

GitHub

Spark Tucaloosa Organizer

Spark Tuscaloosa is a community group whose initiative is to ignite techies and creatives. I operate as one of the main organizers, and I often give talks to the community on topics that interest them. We generally have three events a month ranging from educational to social. I also maintain our social media presence.

Rebellious Labs Co-Founder

Rebellious Labs is a project company started 5 years ago. It is a space where my partner, Josh, and I can build and play. New ideas and technologies are important to both Josh and me. RL provides a organization for us to pursue these endeavors.

Some of the areas we are exploring are:

  • Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning
  • 3D Printing
  • Design and Architecture
  • Production Development
  • Video Game Development
  • Open Source Software
  • Video Production
  • Business Management
  • Startups and their communities

Noteworthy

Entrepreneurial and Technology Community

  • Tuscaloosa Startup Weekend
    2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 Mentor and Coach
  • Crimson Hacks
    2017, Coach
  • Aldag Business Plan Competition
    2017, Judge
  • The Edge's River Pitch
    2017, 2018 Judge

Guest Lecturer

  • Starting a Technology Company
    MGT 386 - Foundations of Entrepreneurship
    Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017
  • Starting a Technology Company
    MGT 482 - New Venture Development
    Fall 2016, Spring 2017, Fall 2017
  • Technology and Product Development
    MGT 386 - Foundations of Entrepreneurship
    Fall 2018

Business Competition

  • Tuscaloosa Startup Weekend - 2014, First Place
  • Launchpad Alabama Competition - 2015, Finalist and Funding Recipient
  • Launchpad Alabama Alumni Competition - 2017, Finalist and Funding Recipient
  • Tuscaloosa Small Business Competition - 2017, Funding Recipient

Talks

Build your First Mobile App Part 2 - The Backend with Prisma

Spark Tuscaloosa - Tech Talk Thursdays

Resource Repo, Slides, and Video

Prototyping with Adobe XD

Spark Tuscaloosa - Tech Talk Thursdays

Resource Repo

Building Maintainable React Application

BASE - Lunch and Learn

Resource Repo

Intorduction to React

Spark Tuscaloosa - Tech Talk Thursdays

Slides

Intorduction IoT

Spark Tuscaloosa - Workshop Wednesday

Slides and Repo

How to build a Google Assistant with a Raspberry Pi

Tuscaloosa Webmakers - Workshop Wednesday

What are Containers?

Tuscaloosa Webmakers - Workshop Wednesday

Slides and Repo

Robot Demo

Tuscaloosa Webmakers - Workshop Wednesday

Electron Robot Controller Repo, Pi Python Robot POC, and Robot Message Spec...

An Obligatory Introduction to Data Science

Tuscaloosa Webmakers - Workshop Wednesday

Slides

Reading Suggestions

Below is a list of books that have influenced me and the way I think. You should check them out!