About me

Who am I and why do you care? Well, I'm gonna try to answer one of those questions. Honestly, I don't know why you care.

So, I grew up in Hawaii and spent my first 13 years of life basking in the Hawaiian sun and surfing year-round.

Image24

Actually, it wasn't all fun and games as the school system stunk and white folks were a not-too-popular minority. But I got along okay and eventually my dad retired from the Navy and we moved to Northern Virginia, home of the beltway bandits and government contractors.

My dad proceeded to ride the wave of government defense spending for the next 20 years and I grew up to be a gadget nut and was always tinkering. My dad bought me a Commodore 64 in 1982 and I learned how to amaze everyone with my newly found programming skilz. Except back then they were just skills and usually I just amazed my mom. I was a proud member of the Computer Club in High School and took every computer class they had for the next 4 years (both of them).

I attended VA Tech as a Computer Science major, had a rough start but eventually it started to click and I loved every aspect of CS, from the hard core math to the creative beauty of elegant software design.

My first job was at the U.S. Department of Justice. It sounds cooler than it was. I ended up getting stuck on a Mainframe team where I was constantly being scolded for spending too much time over with the UNIX guys.me2

In 1996 I left government employ to join the vast hordes living off government/defense contracting. It was the first web/internet work that I actually got paid to do! After a couple of months using PERL and CGI my two teammates and I decided to try something new. In November, 1996 our team adopted Java as our standard language. We got the company to pay for training classes and books and we never looked back. It was a good time. Unfortunately, our web team was considered overhead/marketing and they never really saw the strategic value of the Internet until we were bought out by CSC.

CSC was a great company. Our team became a cost center and we started winning contracts for web site design and implementation and building real web applications with real databases on the back end! Vindication!! With making money comes politics because then everyone wants to ride your coat tails. Let me make something clear. *I* wasn't making all that money, but someone was and others wanted some of that. So we got re-org'ed and re-org'ed again. Until we lost our director and got sucked into another group, blah, blah, blah, and so it goes.

In 2000 I was lured away from CSC by our ex-director to be the Director of IT at a small software company in Falls Church. My job was to lead a 20 person team to bring a consumer product to market and ride the .com wave to fame and fortune. All was great for about three months until the CEO went insane and I left. Which turned out to be a very wise choice as they very quickly folded up shop. Luckily CSC wanted me back so I went back after three months to the same office and same situation. Sadly, I drifted away from real software development and started a long 2 year stretch of managing crappy software projects for government agencies with noone at the helm. It was sad to see a great team beaten down to nothing like that. I did manage to bid and win a small software development contract by myself and that kept me going for about 2 years.

At the beginning of 2005 the development work at CSC dried up and I left to join General Dynamics who sponsored me for a security clearance (we won't talk much about that - very hush, hush) ;) and started a semi-interesting career working on Top Secret projects for various three letter agencies. That job was a lot of fun and I met a lot of great people including my boss, Rich and my supervisor, Mike. We did good work but often times the customer took a long time getting their requirements ironed out - so there was a lot of thumb twiddling.

I stayed there 3 years until a neighborhood friend, again lured me away to a small company. I gave it a good 7 months but realized it wasn't a good fit. So, once again I fled the small company venue and went to work for Booz, Allen & Hamilton. I lucked into an excellent team doing some really cool stuff and the best part is I was 100% technical for two years. Then I got voted Scrum Master for an Agile development project which was very cool.  After a great two years of that it started to slow down and I started getting antsy.  Things at Booz cooled a bit too.  Several coworker friends of mine were working for a small subcontractor and I decided to give them a try.

On November 1, 2012 I made my third jump to a small company.  This time I think things are going to be much different.  These guys are awesome and all are very technical and fun loving people.  I'm a very cool contract using Joomla (hey! My site uses Joomla! too).  Have I found a home?  Only time will tell.

I've always been told to get into management as soon as you can 'cause that's where the real money is. I've learned that if you want to make the big bucks, go into sales. Ugg.  I'm happy solving technical problems and creating elegant solutions with software. So now I'm really trying to get back to my roots and become as knowledgeable as I can in the field of Software Engineering. Now the only problem is that the more I learn, the more I realize how much I don't know. But I love a challenge.