Life is Education 2017: My education is featured in a chapter on grit, self-directed learning, and the power of rule-breaking for the 2017 book Mindshift by Barbara Oakley. Dr. Oakley is the creator of Coursera’s Learning How to Learn, a practical and valuable course. Things don’t always work out the way you expect. I was raised in rural Maryland, where my parents were caretakers of a trailer park.


Who? I’m a software engineer focused on Javascript. My code powers projects as diverse as a GPS-tracked fresh produce distribution network, a livechat-based freelancer market that lives inside popular services like Squarespace and Wordpress, a globe-spanning app for community composting, and internal tools for lead prospecting and data gathering. I’m also an avid reader and relentless optimist. In the past I worked as an entrepreneur in Latin America. I am available for software development.

Recent Projects

fast.ai Video Browser with Instant Transcript Search 2018 | Collaboration w/Jeremy Howard A minimalist video browser for watching fast.ai lessons. Instantly search transcripts and video while watching the lesson. Adopted as the official video browser for fast.ai deployed to https://course.fast.ai/videos! Built with: Javascript, React fast.ai Image Widgets for Jupyter Notebook 2018 | Solo Project A series of widgets for managing image data as a Deep Learning practitioner. Created the fast.

All Life is Problem Solving

Shared on Medium Over time, I’ve been reminded over and over of the phrase: “All life is problem solving.” From birth to death, humans spend our entire lives solving problems. Many of these problems are mundane: ‘I’m hungry.’ ‘Where is it safe to sleep?’ Others are more abstract: ‘How do I solve this equation?’ ‘How do I sell 10,000 widgets?’ ‘How do I cure this disease?’ Philosopher of science Karl Popper first wrote “All life is problem solving”.


Reflections on business projects, failed and successful:


I’ve spoken for audiences in Asia, South America, Central America, North America, Africa, and Europe. Tech Talk: React is Eating the World! NYC A whirlwind tour of the quirky and ever-growing world of React libraries. QuickDrawJS NYC Presentation of QuickDrawJS Wild West typing tutor for programmers, winner of a 40-project hackathon. Ground ControlVR Overview NYC My section begins at 3:45 Overview of the technologies used in an interstellar WebVR simulator about clear communication.

Writing and Essays

Latest Technical: Better, Faster Speech Recognition with Wav2Letter’s Auto Segmentation Criterion Non-technical: Everything You Need To Know About Body Language Deep Learning Better, Faster Speech Recognition with Wav2Letter’s Auto Segmentation Criterion > A deep dive into Facebook AI’s ASG Criterion, a new loss function used in speech recognition systems Deploying a Deep Learning Image Classification Model with FastAi, Python, and NodeJS > Python/NodeJS boilerplate for launching Python-based models for inference in production


Cartel What if the classic game SimCity was turned upside down? Cartel was an attempt to invert SimCity and create a city-building game from an entrepreneur’s prospective that simulated supply and demand, market competition, externalities, crime, infrastructure, and an elaborate construction system. Before we ran out of money, Cartel was accepted to the Google/Improbable SpatialOS Games Innovation Program. The Lessons that Games Teach A whole generation learned about cities through Maxis’ SimCity franchise.


Innovating Education from Within Guatemala’s Top University When I left my position at the MPC, the students gave me this video as a going-away present. In late 2014, I got a phone call that would change my life… The host of the project was Universidad Francisco Marroquín, one of the top universities in Central America. In 2012, they had formed an independent department and autonomous profit center to create educational innovation.

Antigua Trading Co.

Exotic Minimalist Leather Goods I went for a long drive, and came back with a business idea. During 2015, I went for a lot of long drives to think and de-stress from working on [the MPC](). One day I went out driving and came upon a remote town with a row of businesses that sold cowboy boots. I stopped to take a look. I was amazed at the intricate designs and the quality of the materials.

Startup Cities

What if Cities Could Progress at the Pace of Technology? La Limonada, a neighborhod that runs what I like to call ‘slum code’. Making Cities More Entrepreneurial Update 2016: My work with Startup Cities was acknowledged by the World Design Organization when I was selected as a judge to choose the World Design Capital 2020. I’ve long been captivated by the positive role that entrepreneurship can play in the lives of others.

Photos and Adventures

Overcoming The Fear of Sounding Dumb in Spanish by Going to Crime Scenes Frustrated by how fearful I was about sounding dumb when I spoke Spanish, I arranged to host and interpret Spanish for an American documentary film team. We were turned down for a ride-along with the municipal paramedics and thought the project was lost. But I was able to talk our way into the central station of Los Voluntarios, a well-known volunteer paramedic force that works in some of the most difficult, dangerous conditions in the world.

Contact Me

Get in touch on Twitter or LinkedIn. I’d love to hear from you!









Zachary Caceres – Software Engineer