Jun 2, 2023 4 MIN

Meet James Maslek

Hey all, my name is James Maslek, and I am one of the founders and the current COO of OpenBB.

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I grew up in Buffalo, New York, and did my undergrad at the University of Rochester, where I dual majored in Optics and Physics. I then took my talents to the DC area, where I attended the University of Maryland for my PhD.

I have no formal background in Finance or Software engineering. I developed an interest in Machine Learning during the pandemic when the labs were closed down. I primarily focused on learning Python and participating in Kaggle competitions.

I've always had a soft spot for investing. So, it was a good day when I came across the perfectly branded "Gamestonk Terminal" project on Reddit. Long story short, I decided to open my first pull request on any open-source project ever by addressing one of the open issues.

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I was addressed, and would be addressed in the future, with even the smallest requested changes, whether it's a code suggestion or adjusting my docstring to have 2 spaces after a period instead of one.

Anyways, I was able to successfully submit my pull request, and it's always humbling to look back at the state of the terminal during that time.

I continued to contribute by starting the portfolio menu and the crypto menu, among other things. I was having an absolute blast working on the project and learning about finance while improving my Python skills.

Then, unexpectedly, I received an email from a random person on GitHub, saying...


I agreed to this opportunity, despite not knowing how to run an open-source project and being uncertain about the time commitment it would require. However, it turned out to be a fantastic decision.

Over the next couple of months, working with Didier was incredibly enjoyable. We started a Discord server, and it was amazing to witness people flooding in with their comments and feedback. The community became and continues to be an incredible part of this adventure.

Now, where does OpenBB come into this? Well, during all of this, I was also in the midst of planning my wedding. My wife and I got married on June 20, 2022 (technically, we got married a year earlier, but due to Covid... well, you know how it goes). Since we couldn't travel to Greece as originally planned, we decided to spend a week in Napa Valley instead.

On our last night there, after a long day of wine tours, while dining at Allegria and enjoying a bottle of 2018 Zin, I received a LinkedIn message from someone saying that they were interested in investing in us.

It might have been the wine, but something about that LinkedIn message made me feel like I should definitely talk to this person. Seeing that Joseph was in San Francisco, we arranged to meet on the last day of my honeymoon, and the rest is history.

Working with Didier to establish OpenBB has been quite an adventure. As a fan of Shark Tank, it has been fascinating to see how everything comes together and learn about aspects I never even considered, such as corporate structure and equity management.

Growing the company from our first hire, Jose, to now having over 20 team members has been an incredible learning experience, and the individuals we have brought on board are truly exceptional.

I'm grateful that OpenBB provided me with the opportunity to wrap up my PhD work. And not only that, but streaming my defense became a team event! (For those still following along, my defense was titled "Floquet Heating and Relaxation of Interacting Bose-Einstein Condensates.")

Outside of OpenBB, I enjoy sports and being a degen for sports betting. On Sundays, you'll find me anxiously watching the Buffalo Bills and possibly pulling my hair out in the process. And come early October, I'm hoping the Yankees can secure a playoff win.

Apart from sports, I have two adorable puppies who bring joy to my life. Cooper, a Foxhound, and Arlo, a Beagle, keep me entertained and constantly on my toes.

Lastly, I'm thrilled to share that my wife and I are expecting a daughter in July 2023! Alongside my journey with OpenBB, this upcoming chapter of becoming a parent fills me with excitement and anticipation.

While my time with OpenBB has already been filled with adventures and learning opportunities, I know that it is just the beginning of an incredible journey ahead.

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