From Tinkla: Tinkering with Tesla


I grew up immersed in technology. My mother was a software engineer and my father was an electrical engineer, designing computer hardware. I started writing code when I was 7, using punched cards and Cobol. At age 13, I modified my own Sinclair Computer to run CP/M, allowing me to start developing in C, Fortran and Pascal.

  • 1986 - began the Computer Sciences High School in Bucharest, a program that had 4 x 8-hour days for regular classes and 2 x 8-hour days dedicated to software engineering (Saturdays were not free).
  • 1987 - won the National Software Development Award for high school and college students with my own Fortran 77 compiler for Spectrum computers.
  • 1990 - graduated high school with a GPA of 9.87 out of 10
  • 1990 - passed the entry exam into the Polytechnic University of Bucharest (PUB) with the 11th out of 250 average exam grade of 9.25 out of 10
  • 1995 - graduated from the Computer Science Engineering School of PUB with a Masters in Software Engineering with a GPA of 9.34 out of 10
  • 1997 – obtained Master’s Degree in Mathematics from Bryn Mawr College; my thesis covered the topic of Image Compression using Wavelets, including full software development of the compression algorithm.
  • 2000 – passed preliminary exams for my PhD and began working on my dissertation: “Dynamical Systems in 3 Dimensional Particle Billiards”, which was focusing on particle collision in certain conditions.
  • Been a CIO/CTO/VP of IT in various private and public companies, both small and large since 2000
  • 2007 – named by Computerworld magazine as one of the “Top 40 Under 40 Innovators in IT space”
  • 2008 – received Computerworld magazine’s Premier 100 Award given to the top 100 IT executives of the year
  • 2015 – started my own IT consulting company with clients in the pharmaceuticals, health-care and utilities spaces.
  • 2018 – started working with advanced driver-assistance systems
  • 2019 – member of the CANucks team that won first place at the automotive hacking competition during DEFCON

Professional Perspectives

  • Comfortable operating with distributed development teams, both in-house and off-shored/outsourced
  • Never afraid to make a decision and be accountable/hold my team accountable; “Fail fast, fail cheap, fail forward” is what I live by and instill in my team members
  • Always seen as an innovator
  • Strategy-centric with comprehensive understanding of how that strategy translates to tactical activities for successful execution

What do i do in my free time

  • Work on Tesla OpenPilot branch
  • Create and maintain the Tinkla Buddy, keeping it in line with the changes from Tesla
  • Work on the next product, Tinkla Relay (Due October 2020) for the whole S3XY lineup
  • Taking my car frunk and dashboard apart many times to install OpenPilot harness and mods
  • Taking my car completely apart to install the AP1 hardware (complete with iBooster, ESP2, Park sensors, radar, etc) and many other add-ons
  • Getting completely frustrated with the Tesla Service Center