Prior to popjax.com, I worked as a user interface designer and prototyper for Intuit. What that means is that I got paid to create running "concept car" versions of potential future products. I also created "test driveable" versions of next generation applications - mostly web applications.
My background is in software engineering. Almost 19 years of it at this point. I've split my time between distributed computing, object oriented design and programming, database programming and user interface design and programming.
I grew up in North County section of San Diego in Solana Beach. I got into surfing competitively during the end of my high school years and up through when
I graduated college. I was never a professional surfer, but I did surf in Pro/Am contents and did well against some of the local pros. I was too
much of a wimp in large surf so I decided I'd never make it in the "big leagues." So, I needed to find a career...
I grew up in a bedroom community for the military industrial complex that had been built up in San Diego since World War II. Everyone I went to
school with was going to be an engineer of some sort. My dad was an early computer programmer. He built drones (remote-control airplanes) for the Air Force.
I didn't know what I wanted to do after surfing. I started out studying engineering in college. Then I switched to biology. Then to journalism and advertising.
I finally decided what I really wanted was a well-rounded education, so I designed my own liberal arts curriculum. I ended up graduating "Phi Beta Kappa"
from San Diego State University with a BA in Russian Language and Literature, a minor (almost a major) in Computer Science, and a minor in English and
I needed work. And, luckily, I liked programming. Within 2 weeks of graduating, I had my first programming job.
I love programming and designing user interfaces, but I do have lots of interests outside of the world of programming. Since I was born and raised along the coast of the Pacific Ocean,
I really enjoy anything that involves me riding waves in the ocean. I have surfed shortboards for 30 years and longboards for 10. These days,
though, I mostly bodyboard.
Beyond being in the ocean, I also like hiking and jogging on mountain trails. I sometimes mountain bike - but not as frequently as I'd like to.
On the career/occupation front, I'm really interested in learning as much as I can about visual design, interaction design, animation, etc.
I read tons of technical and design books and journals each year. I also take in as much visual media as I can to help inform my work. This
includes: studying online, print, and television advertising; learning the techniques used by designers of movie title sequences; observing trends in color and design, etc.
I am also interested in architecture, landscape design, and furniture design. One of my favorite authors on topics of design and architecture is Christopher Alexander who wrote the influential A Pattern Language in the late 1970s.
Here are a few links to some of the interactive user experiences I have designed and coded. Some are complete products, others are products-in-progress,
and yet others are experiments.
When you click on a thumbnail, the corresponding interactive product, prototype, experiment, or page will be shown in a new browser window.
NOTE: These samples require that you have the Flash player installed in your browser. (Almost all browers do, so you shouldn't worry.) If you do not
have the Flash player installed in your browser, then these samples will not be much fun to look at!
I'm always messing around in Flash trying to make cool things happen. I've got to gather some of the experiments together and post them. But for now, I'll provide a link to my blogspot page (which I rarely) update. It has some links to some cool stuff: flashmotion.blogspot.com.
I'm very interested in landscape design and creating outdoor living spaces. I've done a great deal of landscape design at my home in Marin as well as
at my previous home in Santa Cruz. Click on "Landscape Design Photos" to see photographs of my latest work.
The design of living spaces is especially interesting to me. I guess I was first inspired to really try to understand them when I bought a very generic
"rancher" in Santa Cruz. It was so boring and stale inside, that as soon as I moved in I started to think of improvements to make. I started by
painting the dull egg shell white walls with warm, orange-brown-red colors. This helped integrate the inside of the house with the natural beauty of the
outdoors. Next I made various modifications through time that transformed the interior space from an uninspired and tired place to somewhere more
fun, warm, and beautiful.
The coolest design work I did during this time was to redesign our master bathroom. Some of the design mods I made to the bathroom were: remove all "corners", add faucets with "organic curves", design soft curves into countertops and bath tub, use tropical-warm colors and lots of nicely designed tile work. For me the pinnicle of that design was a huge bath tub/shower combination that I came up with.
I plan to round up photos of my interior design work and post them here. So stay tuned.
I have 19 years of experience desigining user interfaces and programming. Throughout my entire career, I have focused on learning leading-edge technologies. I have received 2 patents, and have worked in these roles: CTO, manager, techinal lead, and individual contributor.
During the first couple of years of my career, the local area network craze was just taking off. So I soon need to learn how to write network-enabled
software (usually in "C") that allowed personal computers to communicate with applications running on mainframes. From those beginning years of my career up until today, I
have worked with the latest networking technologies, including: AJAX, web services (SOAP, XML-RPC, REST, etc.), HTTP, CORBA, RPC, TCP/IP, and NetBIOS.
Since I have always had in interest in design, I have tried to strike a balance in my career between working on "back end" and "networking" technologies
and my real interest - user interfaces. So starting as far back as my first job at Security Pacific Bank in 1988, I have usually found myself roles where I can do user interface design and programming.
And since as far back as 1988, I have worked with hierarchical and relational databases. I've had roles as a data architect, development manager building
a complex replicated database, SQL programmer, JDBC/ODBC/OLEDB/etc. programmer, etc.