If you’d like to see a more structured overview of my professional and academic history, check out my LinkedIn Profile. Otherwise, read on for a more free-form overview.
I am currently a partner at DUO Interactive, where I helped co-found and bootstrap Pathwright to profitability. I’ve been here since mid-2010, and am primarily focused on backend development, infrastructure, and the variety of other things an early-stage partner ends up doing.
On Getting Things Done
The best way to describe my current skillset and style is "Developer generalist". When you bootstrap a company with only two others, you end up doing so many things to grow the business: programming, sales, marketing, recruiting, business planning, managing and grooming developers, setting the roadmap, drafting project design documents, designing our infrastructure, automating code deploys/testing.
As a consequence of these last five years at Pathwright, I have had my hands on all sorts of different technologies, served in a dizzying variety of roles, and learned a lot about growing and running a successful business. The focus is always on what we need to do in order to make our product better for the customers, and we all do whatever is needed to meet that goal (even if it means a developer is manning customer service for the day, or a backend engineer is handling a sales call).
Generalism is not a Dirty Word
While I was a student, I always had the itch to experiment. There was a period where I must have gone through ten different Linux distros on my laptop, just because it was fun to play with them. For a time, I tinkered with the various fashionable languages and web frameworks. While the subject matter has changed in recent years, I still love to experiment and build fun and frightening new things. You need only look at my projects list to see this.
My interests are primarily on the backend/DevOps/infrastructure side. Things like Docker, Amazon Web Services, Linux, Postgres, Python, Django, Twisted, Redis, and nginx get me pretty excited. I have a knack for understanding which tech to use for which job, and how things fit together, resist failure, and perform. While I do like to play, I am a cautious and thorough evaluator of software when I’m looking to solve a problem.
I won’t be able to whiteboard a red-black tree implementation for you off the top of my head, and I’m probably going to stumble if you quiz me with CS trivia. But I’m not afraid of these things, and I know where and how to fill the knowledge gaps as they appear.
I am a craftsman who enjoys the challenge of writing readable, maintainable, simple software to solve real problems. The breadth of all my tinkerings has left me with many tools in the toolbox. Put me in a room with a capable team and we are going to build great things.
I attended Clemson University and received a B.S. in Graphic Communications, which I’ll crudely summarize as the science of all things visual, with a heavy lean towards the print industry. My particular emphasis was color science. During my stay at the university, I wrote software that would later be employed in a commercial, production setting. If you have been to McDonald’s, you have probably touched products that were color-checked by my software. Several of my other projects, such as the Color Error Threshold Calculator are still used for teaching color theory at Clemson today.
Earlier in my college career, I spent time at the Clemson Geographic Information Science lab as an embedded software developer. I assisted with the assembly, configuration, and development of our very small Linux gateway machines for field deployments. Our particular area of emphasis was wireless mesh networks, used to measure water quality over time.
I completed two internships: One at International Paper (the largest paper and pulp provider in the world), and GTECH Printing, a large international lottery ticket printer. The former was a mixture of software development and pre-press, while the latter was entirely software development (working on the software that my first small business would later sell).