R&D Engineer @ Twitch
I've been on the Internet a long time. Longer than the Web, in fact. Every good thing in my life was made possible by the Internet.
The Internet let me and my family find each other after being separated for 27 years. The Internet is how I learned to play instruments, join my first band, and make lifelong friends. The Internet made it possible for me to learn all the skills I use to provide for my family.
The Internet is what allowed a low-income kid from East LA to grow up to have a 25 year career, spanning over 100 organizations across 4 continents. The Internet is how I met all of my friends. The Internet is how I met my wife. To say that I care about the Internet would be an understatement.
Over the last 10 years, I've watched (and very likely helped) the open and decentralized Internet of my youth fall under the control of a handful of oligarchies and mega-corps. Watched it go from an open network of knowledge and communication, to a platform for mass manipulation and ad-driven psychological damage.
This is not something we can fix with policy. In my mind, the only path forward is to build open, trustless, distributed, ungovernable technologies.
Below is a curated timeline of my time with the Internet, tech and my career in general. Please feel free to drop me a line if you'd like to discuss serious opportunities that can leverage my skills and experience to make this future a reality.
I like it so much that I unironically join the Church of The SubGenius because I am 12 and made of cringe.Skills: Linux
To be clear, everything I made was insecure trash, but it was the first time that I felt like I could make anything.
This is also the summer where I switch to vim from vi and never look back.Skills: C, POSIX Shell, Tcl/Tk
I'm pretty sure I exclusively used tables for layout and rounded corner placement on everything. It was a dark time for frontend.Skills: C, Tcl, Perl, Scribe
I write cringey IRC bots that run through Monty Python sketches, and then rewrite all my terrible Perl code @ work as terrible Python.
While at Radioshack, I meet my first professional mentor Farrokh Moshiri. Under his guidance, I learn to read and forecast P&L statements, manage payroll, schedule employees, and manage direct reports.
I also get every one of the dozens of Radioshack electronics & business certifications, and learn to solder properly.
I didn't appreciate it at the time, but working for Farrokh at Radioshack was one of the most valuable and educational opportunities of my life.
Inspired by our concerns over the surveillance overreach of the USA PATRIOT act, Project Luna leverages encryption, obfuscation, and flaws in network protocols to communicate anonymously while under unfriendly observation.
Contributing author on two infosec titles:Skills: Writing, Infosec
Most of the job was building infrastructure in undeveloped areas with no dry utilities. Long hop PTP wifi. Citrix over packet radio. Climbing telephone polls and pulling 100 pair cables through chest deep mud. It was a really fun time. I only left when 6 hours of daily commute became a necessity.
Watch all the episodes with no problems, and stay on OS X for the next few years.
Toward the end of my time there, we partnered with eEye. My last project was building a hosted, on-demand vulnerability assessment platform based on eEye's product Retina. It was my first time getting into the guts of VMWare and automating hypervisors.
I wrote the software for a product called CeniVUE, which was an early security hardware appliance. It was essentially a red team in a can and was actually pretty cool. It was deployed for a few customers, but I don't think it ever went anywhere.
I also designed a built the remote OS and firmware update system and an on-prem rolling update system for the appliances. I'd never done anything like that before and it was a really fun project.
At some point I was the only one coming into the office, and then my paychecks stopped coming. By the 5th day of no coworkers, no communication, and no paycheck, I assumed they went out of business.
Introduced to a book that teaches me the basics of influence without authority: The Secrets of Consulting.
Clients include Apple, Broadcom, JPMC, US Department of Veterans Affairs, Toyota, DBS, Medtronic, and dozens more.
First time building anything with a graph database.
Build an on-demand dev environment provisioning system with libvirt, C and Python. Got my name in the Hearthstone credits which was pretty cool.
I broke WoW logins for ~3mins because I didn't know to add a trailing whitespace in a config. In that 3 mins there were hundreds of angry tweets. Highest profile thing I've ever broken.
I continue my consultancy in parallel. My bread and butter is helping clients scale their single instance Node.js MVPs to more stateless, distributed systems. First time I go deep on redis for things like session stores.
3 startups at once, for 3 first time co-founders, with one engineer. What could go wrong?
TheSpark is a 501(c)3 non-profit with the goal of matching up people who need help, with people who have skills, time, and resources. The point of TheSpark was to do away with the administrative overhead of charities where only a portion of donations actually go to solving the problems directly.
SpeakUp is a platform for internal crowdsourcing and ideation.
FitFriends is a social fitness app that adds accountability and support for fitness goals. Think Instagram + WOD + MyFitnessPal.
TheSpark is stuck in bureaucratic hell because of the 2013 government shutdown. Its 501(c)3 status is held up indefinitely so we can't accept donations. We decide to focus on the for-profit ventures so we can self-fund TheSpark until we can get the non-profit status sorted.
Ship MVP for SpeakUp and burn out, because trying to launch 3 startups as the sole engineer is a really dumb idea. Mercifully bought out by my Co-Founder, stayed on as an advisor.
First hands-on experience building real-time video transcode services and working with petabyte-scale object stores.
Much of this time was working on longer term project, building NDA infosec hardware tech for Vegas casinos. Hopefully one day this tech becomes public so I can write a post about it.
Built really fast NDA things with Go and Node.js, that collect and analyze tens of billions of disparate data points daily.