Software Engineer Living in Van Takes Extra Security Precautions

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An employed Bay Area software engineer who revealed she lives in a van is having to take extra measures to keep her vehicle secure after a story she wrote went viral.

Katharine Patterson revealed in her blog Sons of Jamal (named after her 1969 Volkswagen camper van, Jamal, or JJ for short) that 800,000 people read her Oct. 17 essay "Rent is so high in San Francisco that I'm a software engineer and I live in a van," on Quartz and that has prompted her to make moves so that Jamal doesn't get vandalized or stolen.

Patterson does not reveal where she works, but SFGate found a Googler on LinkedIn who has the same name and job.

Patterson writes that she has had the locks changed and removed everything valuable from Jamal — even artifacts of sentimental value, such as her teddy bear.

But she feels she has to take it much further. "Soon I will have electricity to supply a surveillance and security/alarm/tracking system that I'm going to build through my arduino," Patterson wrote.

"I have additional backup that involves JJ delivering electric shocks but I sincerely hope no one discovers that first hand," she later added.
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