Alek Festekjian

Student - Developer - Skier

About Me

Hi, my name is Alek. I am currently a junior in Computer Science at the University of Illinois. You can checkout my resume here. When I am not coding I am usually working out, playing sports or reading a book.


Proficient in C, C++, Python, Java, Kafka

Experience with Ruby, R, NLTK, Numpy, Scikit, Javascript, jQuery, Git, HTML5/CSS, MIPS


When I am not coding or studying I love to a variety of activities. I read tons of books, I go rock climbing, I love working out and playing sports such as Skiing, Basketball, Soccer and Football!

Some places I've worked.

University of Illinois

Systems Programming TA

Conduct weekly office hours to aid students in debugging and understanding machine problems

Helping build and maintain an auto grading framework to automatically grade assignments for over 200 students


SmartCloud Notes Intern

Leveraged Kafka, an open-source message broker, to develop a Proof of Concept distributed queue processing system to improve processing speed and reliability for user provisioning and company directory synchronization for a cloud based messaging system

Proof of Concept project led to the creation of a new long-term development project.

Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Software Product Intern

Worked collaboratively to create a Proof of Concept for a new product utilizing multiple technologies such as Microsoft SQL, Spring Restful Services, HTML, and JavaScript

My favorite books

Click to get a quick summary!



High school student Zack Lightman glances out his classroom window and spots a UFO. The ship he’s staring at is straight out of the video game he plays every night, a hugely popular online flight simulator called Armada, in which gamers protect Earth from alien invaders.

Thinking Fast and Slow

The book's central thesis is a dichotomy between two modes of thought: "System 1" is fast, instinctive and emotional; "System 2" is slower, more deliberative, and more logical. The book delineates cognitive biases associated with each type of thinking, starting with Kahneman's own research on loss aversion. From framing choices to people's tendency to substitute an easy-to-answer question for one that is harder, the book highlights several decades of academic research to suggest that people place too much confidence in human judgment.


Robery Greene explains how to become a leader in any given field by examining the lives and pathways to success of historical masters such as Mozart, Einstein and Darwin, as well as "living masters" which Greene interviewed—including Paul Graham, Freddie Roach, Santiago Calatrava, Temple Grandin, Yoky Matsuoka, V.S. Ramachandran, Teresita Fernandez, Cesar Rodriguez, and Daniel Everett