My life as a code monkey

I’ve been drawn to computers since I was in first grade. I began programming on a single-line display microcomputer when I was 12. Hello World was followed by a slew of simple interrogative programs. By 13 I had my very own computer, and discovered the wonders of QBasic. Line numbers faded from memory, and programs of ever increasing complexity flew forth from my fingers.

My first two years in high school ended with an epic program which was so large that QBasic would not run it. I bought my first book on programming, and taught myself C during summer before my junior year. I spent the next year developing clever little programs and utilities, and spent the next summer at NHTI learning Algorithms and Data Structures in C++. My senior year I divided my time between teaching C to the programming class and writing a Monopoly game for my senior project.

I ended up going to college at RIT, majoring in Software Engineering. Think Computer Science, with a heavy focus on design, process, and collaboration. I picked up a dozen languages of varying usefulness, a smattering of technologies, and in the process learning the foundations of programming. Languages and technologies became just tools, and I learned to assimilate them with surprising ease.

I had some fantastic coop jobs, and before I knew it my skill set was heavily specialized for J2EE web application development. I spent a year and a half in Houston, 6 months in Manhatten, and worked on some amazing projects.

Back in Rochester, I ended up leaving RIT with a year of coursework to go. I moved to NH and spent several years trying my hand at the family business. Eventually the glamour of well drilling wore thin, and I decided it was time to return to a life of quiet compilation.

I attended college part time at UNH, where I polished my rusty skills and filled in a few gaps in my head. My math skills received a jumpstart, I conquered x86 assembly, had a torrid love/hate relationship with Lisp, and received a degree in Computer Science. Somewhere along the line I put aside two decades of indoctrination and bought a Mac.

Currently I’m in the Bay Area, enjoying the weather, and looking to take the next step in my career.

Everything else

Video Games

Atari 2600 > NES > SNES > N64 > PS > XBox > XBox 360
And let’s not forget my computers, which have been feeding my addictions for years.
I greatly enjoy story driven games, notably RPGs, but there seems to be no overarching theme to the rest of the games I’ve played. I very much enjoy the MMO genre, but lately they’re more time sinks than fun. My all-time favorite game would have to be Planescape: Torment.


I don’t so much read as devour books. For fun, we’re talking sci-fi and fantasy. My personal library is quickly approaching 400 books, and I don’t even want to think about the number of public library books I’ve read. On nonfiction side, I have almost 100 books on technology and programming, and I tend to use Borders and Barnes and Noble as my public library. I get the feeling I’d have read a lot more books if I could stop myself from re-reading books I own rather than shelling out for new material.


Somewhere in the midst of graduating from college, I realized I really enjoyed photography. My critiques in photography class were overwhelmingly positive, and spurred me to become a burgeoning shutterbug. I started with a Nikon N55 and a darkroom, but quickly emptied my wallet on a Canon 40D and Lightroom.


I’ve taken a few courses in film over the years, and watched close to a thousand movies. Much like books, I tend to re-watch favorites frequently. I enjoy happy endings, mostly because they make the occasional deviation from this formula all the more powerful. If I had to name my favorite movie, I’d have to go with High Fidelity.


It’s not often I enjoy more than a few songs for a single band. In fact, that describes 90% of the music I listen to. The remaining 10% seem to break this mold, and I’ll frequently have half a dozen or more of their songs on my playlist. Check out my Pandora or last.fm profiles to see what I’m listening to.