(skip to content) jana e. beck
(ˈd͡ʒæ·nə bɛk)

dataviz eng @ Stitch Fix.

I'm all about JavaScript 👩‍💻, data(viz) 📊, ballet 👯‍♀️, travel 🌐, and t1d 💉. also: movies 🎞️ and doggos 🐶.

Table of Contents

about me

I’m Jana E. Beck—@jebeck most places on the Internet (e.g., GitHub and various Slack teams); @iPancreas on Twitter. By profession, I am a software engineer. Currently I’m employed as a data visualization engineer in the data science (“Algorithms”) group at Stitch Fix. From 2013 to 2017, I worked at Tidepool1. I develop web applications, working mostly on the front end in JavaScript, HTML, SVG, and CSS with modern web tools such as React, Babel, and Webpack, to name a few of my favorite and/or most commonly used tools. I specialize in data visualization applications using React and D3.

my background

I don’t have a formal computer science education, but rather came into the field slowly, with a couple of Java courses in college, then “needs must” Python to conduct my research as a Ph.D. student in linguistics at the University of Pennsylvania2. During my time as a graduate student I also took a few classes via the Philadelphia chapter of Girl Develop It. Nowadays, almost all of the code I write is JavaScript, but I still sometimes hack in Python, and I aspire to learn some Clojure (and ClojureScript), if only because I spent a great deal of my time as a linguist using LISP-inspired data structures, and I miss all the parentheses.

At any given time, I tend to have several coding side projects in flight, nearly all of them publicly visible (along with my slide decks for talks) on my GitHub account. I love learning about new tools, technologies, libraries, programming languages, &c by trying to actually make something (even if it’s not a useful thing), although I don’t always finish these projects since I’m prone to distraction by the next shiny new thing.

about this “blog”

This blog-shaped Internet location isn’t intended to be a regular (i.e., frequently updated) blog. It is mainly intended as a place for me to post things that I’ve done so that I can point other people to them when that need arises, as it sometimes does.


☕️ I am a (mostly) unrepentant coffee snob and geek. Predictably, I am very happy to be living in the Bay Area now with its vibrant coffee culture, although I tend to make and drink most of my coffee at home, most often with Blue Bottle (formerly Tonx) beans and one of the many coffee-making gadgets I own. (One day I’ll write up a post for this site about my coffee-making gadget collection…)

✈️ I love to travel. In 2017, my airport codes for all travel across the year were as follows: SFO, PHL, FRA, BUD, MUC, AKL, NSN, WLG, ORD, CDG, OSL, AMS, SLC, LHR, DUS, VIE, WAW, TLL, and YYZ.

👯‍♀️ My relatively new favorite hobby is dance, specifically ballet. I’ve been training in the adult program at the Academy of Ballet in San Francisco since January of 2015. The fact that a large part of the discipline (especially in the barre portion of a class) revolves around doing exercises in clever geometric and obsessively symmetrical patterns is a not insignificant part of the appeal for me. Plus it makes me (feel) taller.

I also drop into classes—ballet as well as other dance styles—fairly regularly at LINES and the SF Ballet.

😅 Above and beyond my dance habit, I sweat a lot. I run around Lake Merritt in Oakland, frequent Fitness SF Oakland, and torture my muscles in new and interesting ways with TRX and various Pilates classes at The Working Body. (I like to 🎿 too.)

🚲 Finally, I am dedicated to carless living as far as possible. I commute by bike and public transportation and do my shopping on foot, by bike, or with the help of public transportation. My only use of cars is restricted to the occasional Lyft or Uber ride.

  1. An open source, not-for-profit effort to liberate data from diabetes devices, support researchers, and provide great, free software to the type 1 diabetes community. 

  2. I left the Ph.D. program as an ABD to start working for Tidepool. I haven’t regretted it once. I like engineering—namely, making things—much more than research.