Garrett Mills

Software engineer, computer scientist, and nerd.

about me

Hi, I'm Garrett. Welcome to my corner of the internet.

I'm a computer scientist and software engineer specializing in software/systems architectures and programming languages. Some of my more recent projects include the Swarm programming language, the Extollo framework, and the CoreID SSO server.

I sometimes write blog posts and publish code from my projects.

what I'm working on

2022
April 2022 - April 2022

HackKU 2022

HackKU is the University of Kansas' annual hackathon.

My group participated for our fourth year in a row where we built CrystalMath, a graphical, interactive worktable for math applications.

Our project was the runner up in the education track and also received the award for best domain name for crystalmath.tech.

2021
August 2021 - December 2021

Honors Seminar Assistant

During the Fall 2021 semester at KU, I assisted with an honors seminar section about algorithms and their applications to fields outside computer science.

Among other activities, I prepared and delivered a lecture on the halting problem.

August 2021 - Present

Swarm

Swarm is a programming language that abstracts parallel & distributed computing initially created by me and my senior project group at KU. Since then, myself and Ethan Grantz have continued working on Swarm and have released it as an open-source project.

April 2021 - April 2021

HackKU 2021

HackKU is the University of Kansas' annual hackathon.

My group participated for the third year where we built Loc-Chain, a blockchain-based, anonymous contact tracing solution.

January 2021 - Present

Extollo

Extollo is a fully-featured, opinionated application framework written in TypeScript.

The framework is still a work-in-progress, but so far includes a dependency injector, boot framework, ORM, job queue, routing stack, and a robust set of TypeScript utilities.

This website is powered by Extollo.

2020
April 2020 - Present

Starship CoreID

I an an avid self-hoster. As such, I have a lot of disparate apps that all have different login schemes, which can be a bit annoying to manage for myself and friends.

So, I decided to build a unified login system similar to things like CAS. CoreID supports OAuth2, OpenID Connect, LDAP, and SAML2 with universal 2FA and granular access controls. This project has taught me a lot about the different SSO stacks.

March 2020 - February 2021

TeraCrunch, LLC

TeraCrunch is a Kansas City-based data analytics and machine learning firm.

I worked with them as a freelance systems engineer to handle infrastructure projects like backups and scheduled jobs, and smaller client projects such as a statistics aggregator, and Node.js application enhancements/maintenance.

February 2020 - February 2020

HackKU 2020

HackKU is the University of Kansas' annual hackathon.

My group participated for the second year where we built Noded, a rich-data note-taking app designed to help people build personal information trees.

I liked this concept so much that I've continued improving it since then, and I use it for my personal notes to this day.

2019
May 2019 - Present

AllofE Solutions

AllofE is a software company in Lawrence, Kansas, primarily focused on the eMedley web suite for higher-education.

I work as a software engineer doing full stack development in PHP/SQL/Angular. Of note, I designed and built a new automated proctoring flow used by 10+ schools built on TensorFlow and AWS Lambda. I also helped integrate and transition 50+ models and infrastructure components from a legacy framework to Laravel.

February 2019 - February 2019

HackKU 2019

HackKU is the University of Kansas' annual hackathon.

I participated with a couple friends and we built WaitNoMore, a multi-tenant parking management app built on Python, Firebase, and Flutter.

For this project, we were awarded the Best Implementation of Google Cloud.

2018
August 2018 - April 2021

Flitter

Flitter was my first take on a Node.js app framework, which has been deprecated in favor of Extollo.

I started it as a learning project and eventually built it out to include a unit-based startup framework, a dependency injector, an ORM, a job-queue wrapper, an auth framework, and more.

August 2018 - May 2019

Center for Research Methods & Data Analysis

The CRMDA was a University of Kansas lab that assisted researchers with data analysis projects and computing.

I worked as a lab system technician there my freshman year of college maintaining the CentOS lab workstations, transitioning 20+ cluster scripts to the SLURM scheduler, and creating a proof-of-concept Kubernetes cluster on which I help a colloquium.

August 2018 - May 2022

University of Kansas

I studied computer science at the University of Kansas and received my bachelor's of science with university honors and highest departmental distinction. I also completed a minor in business.

March 2018 - August 2018

KRS Corporation

The KRS Corporation is an enterprise manufacturer based in my hometown.

I worked there over the summer assembling various components. Of note, I designed an Arduino break-out circuit to automate the flashing of these components. This system reduced the time required to program the controller boards by half.

2017
May 2017 - August 2017

Unified School District #416

USD 416 is the school district in my hometown.

As a summer job, I worked as an IT technician where I helped replace 50+ access points as part of a wireless deployment, imaged 100+ computers using Novell and Active Directory, and assisted with user support.

2016
August 2016 - May 2018

TEDxYouth@Louisburg

For two years, I served as the technical-director of TEDxYouth@Louisburg and helped organize and live-broadcast the first TEDxYouth event at a high-school in Kansas.

Particularly, I helped plan schedules for breakout rooms, built the sign-in and ticketing system, and directed the live-production of the event itself for 150+ guests.

get in touch

I'd love to hear from you if you have questions or inquiries related to me or my projects. You can get in touch by text, e-mail, or using this form. I also occasionally share thoughts on my blog.

E-mail: shout@garrettmills.dev

latest updates

Site Update

Retro/70s Redesign

On a whim, I decided to redesign this site to have a bit more character. Initially inspired by this cool album art, I tried to incorporate retro/70s design elements.

A fun element of this design is how parametric it is. The color palette can be completely swapped out for a complementary one. I built several different palettes and randomly select one for each visitor.

I'll do a more in-depth write-up of the process soon. For now, though, you can play with the themes on the technical info page.

permalink  |  1/16/2023, 6:00:00 AM
Blog Post

Generalized Commutative Data Types

Recently, I've been working on a distributed, parallel language called Swarm. One challenge with such a language is ensuring consistent data operations when they are performed in parallel.

A GCDT is one approach to simplify this process. Such types define commutative and pseudo-commutative operations which allow order-agnostic consistency when accumulating parallel computations.

I describe such a system and explore its limitations in this blog post.

permalink  |  12/9/2022, 6:00:00 AM
Blog Post

Importing an OpenVPN Profile on Fedora 36

I recently upgraded to Fedora 36 and discovered that my VPN settings were completely broken and I couldn't re-import it from the .ovpn file.

What ensued was an annoyingly difficult series of workarounds required to avoid bugs in OpenVPN, NetworkManager, and NetworkManager-gui.

I've detailed how to do it here.

permalink  |  7/12/2022, 9:44:43 PM
Blog Post

Rancher K3s: Kubernetes on Proxmox Containers

I've been re-learning Docker and containerization and I decided to take the plunge and start converting my self-hosted environment over to Kubernetes.

This post details how I set up a Kubernetes cluster on LXD containers on Proxmox using Rancher K3s and NGINX ingress controller.

Read it here.

permalink  |  4/19/2022, 5:57:41 AM
Blog Post

The Ultimate Guide to Cleaning a Dell XPS 15 Keyboard

Recently, I've been having a really annoying issue with my laptop keyboard where some keys require multiple presses or lots of force when pressed to register a key stroke.

Since I like to try to repair my own stuff, at least as a first-line, I decided to do a quick write-up on how to remove and replace the key caps without breaking them to clean out the key wells.

Read more here.

permalink  |  1/27/2022, 1:17:03 AM
Blog Post

Runtime Data Validation from TypeScript Interfaces

How I (ab)used the TypeScript compiler to enable transparent runtime data validation using Zod and TypeScript interfaces.

Read more here.

permalink  |  1/14/2022, 9:11:18 PM