Entrepreneurial Serial CTO

I'm a business-oriented entrepreneur who is also a hardcore coder. I program for most "stacks" top-to-bottom, from the front-end user interfaces and all the way down to the metal -- and every layer in-between.

  • Mobile
  • Game Console
  • Desktop
  • Full Stack Web
  • Embedded
  • Hell of a nice guy.

I'm open to opportunities at start-ups in all stages and I work regularly with creative agencies to deliver high-end consumer and business user experiences.

Looking for a hands-on 10x software lead with business savvy to build your awesome product?

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35 Years of Delivering Excellence

Justin has more than 35 years in the business of software development, 20 of which include leading cross-functional teams at an executive level of Chief Technology Officer or VP of Engineering. His career spans video games, web services, digital consumer products, desktop applications and tools. As a veteran technology leader he has developed and delivered almost 60 distinct game titles on 26 game platforms and been responsible for the design and project management of more than 150 casino games both online and at physical casino locations in the social casino and real-money gambling industries. He has worked on franchises such as Civilization, Pitfall, Hotwheels, Tyco, Star Wars, Shrek and Battletanx and with Disney, Lucasarts, Activision, Mattel, DreamWorks and SONY as clients. Justin has extensive experience in all aspects of the software development lifecycle as an executive and as a hands-on engineer for consumer facing commercial software, ecommerce websites, B2B and B2C services and technology, and several other types of digital and physical products.

In the past 15 years he has singularly developed more than a dozen ecommerce websites, collectively generating mid-six figures per day at their peak. His greatest website development success to date was a virtual social casino that sold to Vivendi Universal for $248M. On the casino website he developed five of the six front-end game clients that powered more than 100 networked social casual casino games, the game server and database back-end architecture and technology stack, secure transaction protocols and the website itself. The last three websites he personally developed were sold for $2.6M.

He has directly worked for a total of 12 start-ups, as employee, founder or co-founder in California, Washington, England, Wales, Belgium and Germany. Six of the start-ups he was either sole founder or co-founder. He has experience as a technology consultant and mentor to several more start-ups. He has an entrepreneurial mindset and puts the delivery of a final, working product above all other priorities.

Justin is currently based in Los Angeles but is open to considering relocation anywhere along the West Coast for the right company.

Expert Mobile Developer

Justin is a hands-on engineering executive and Chief Technology Officer, maintaining his technical edge by solving one interesting software problem every day. He maintains a close working relationship with his engineering team both as a leader and an implementer of the technology under development He is a highly goal-driven, results-oriented, self-directed individual that favours autonomy in his day-to-day work.

Lucky Ace Slots Logo

The latest product, Lucky Ace Slots, is available on the iTunes App Store where Justin was responsible for all code, technical architecture, and much of the game design and project management. The game will be released to Windows Phone App Store, Amazon app store, Nook app store and the Google Play Store in the near future.

Lucky Ace Slots Logo

This is his fifth AAA game for mobile platforms in addition to the several enterprise iOS and Android apps developed for clients. Lucky Ace Slots is slated to be available on 12 distinct platforms and as many as 40 SKUs across the world's app stores.

iTunes Link

The development of the Lucky Ace Slots product, tool chain and build tools, including pre-launch marketing, took place between October 2012 and March 2013.

4 Weeks Work in 9 Minutes

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Highlights

  • Serial CTO and entrepreneur with a huge amount of start-up and start-up growth experience
  • Creating $800+ Million in revenue for companies and clients
  • Cross functional team leadership for multiple projects with a strong background in hands-on Software Development
  • Superior verbal and written communication skills and public speaker.
  • Guest speaker or guest lecturer at USC, UCLA, Westwood College, Art Institute, Lutheran University, University of Wales, University of Glamorgan, etc
  • Regularly submits proposals to technology conferences
  • Panellist, presenter or roundtable host at E4All Conference and Expo, Hollywood and Games Summit, IEEE ISM Conference, IEEE GS Summit, Video Game Legends, Game Developer Conference, World SF Convention, and many more
  • Has taught classes at several colleges covering subjects such as Game Engines, 3D Rendering Pipelines, Artificial Intelligence, Mathematics for Game Developers and Physics for Game Developers
  • Motivated team player, contributing to multiple projects across a variety of disciplines
  • Multiple awards by the games industry including awards and recognition by the state of California and the US Federal government
  • Published writer for print and web for almost a decade on topics covering game development, software development and business development
  • Regular participant in hackathon events
  • Member of a number of programme advisory committees such as Art Institute and Westwood College
  • Regular networker and attendee of technology meet ups within the Greater Los Angeles and San Francisco Bay areas
  • Past-Chapter Leader and organizer of the Los Angeles International Game Developers Association Chapter for four years
  • Has launched and successfully organized several technology focused group meet ups with attendance numbers in the hundreds

For a fuller though incomplete listing of Justin's projects developed and delivered, including further accomplishments please review his LinkedIn profile

"Learn In" = "Lean In" = "Linked In" The "LinkedIn" logo is leaning. Get it? That's a visual pun, son. Okay, so bite me.

"You're a rare innovator that doesn't believe in boundaries." Glen Durrant, Project Manager, Internet Brands
"Justin is the best game developer I've ever worked with." Phil Cuenco, Lead Creative, Apple
"You blow me away with your grasp of technology and the business uses it can be put to." John Bates, Marketing Evangelist, Electromedia Productions

He writes regularly for his two blogs that cover personal development and software development and a direct audience of software engineers through his direct-mail monthly newsletter. The majority of his LinkedIn connections are software engineers involved in game development and web development. He has yet to figure out why he needs a Twitter account. He contributes regularly to Game Developer Magazine, for several years writing a regular book review column for the magazine, and has been published on CNN, Wired and BBC News, Gamasutra. Justin has published more than 20 Open Source projects in languages such as Z80, C, C++, C#, PHP and Java, many of which are available here and contributed to at least another six Open Source projects.

OpenSource Code

In mid-2012 Justin developed a personal side-project, designing and developing all of the software for the VideoZoku video aggregation system that is currently in beta, with Pwnie-Espresso as the first video aggregation website making use of the developed technology. The web application was developed whilst simultaneously holding the position of CTO and employee #2 of a start-up developing an Ultrasound Training system where he worked diligently to put together a rock-solid engineering team that is still in place. The personal project encompasses the usage of 14 software platforms, 74 distinct software tools, 41 APIs or frameworks, 14 computer languages, and 140 distinct computing concepts, data structures and algorithms that include video processing, computer vision, extract-transform-and-load of multiple data sources, and a multi-homed database architecture. The project includes the usage of Amazon Mechanical Turk to source and curate video data including associated contextual content generation. The public facing portion of the system is driven by simple Wordpress websites.

Friends Make Fun and Call You Weird? Get New Friends!

Treadmill Desk

Justin often works at and advocates the use of a treadmill desk. He built his own custom desk (currently on the third iteration), and then built one for his fiancée. In the time that he has been using a treadmill desk he has walked the equivalent of Los Angeles to London.

SenseCam

And regularly wears a SenseCam-like device in his day-to-day activities. Justin developed the J2ME, iOS and Android software for the SenseCam client and a timeline browser for Windows desktop. He may one day acquire a GoogleGlass device.

Justin never refers to himself in the third person and hates his biography being written for him.

Been There, Done That

Okay, this is me; look... if you want some crazy, weird-arsed product shipped out the door and in to the hands of consumers or business users, and it involves software or hardware in any way, shape or form, I can do it. I have done it.

It is what I have been doing since I designed and built my first computer at age 10 in 1977 and creating video games in TTL logic with a soldering iron and a pair of side snips. I'm pretty much a high school dropout. Grade zero across the board. Remedial everything in every class I ever took. Dyslexic. Dysgraphic. Autistic. Disruptive. Whatever label they could slap on me. I didn't learn to read fluently until I was almost 11 years old. The page bends and the text seems to go all fuzzy and slide right off the edge of the page. "oh, that Justin, he's not too bright." Isn't dyslexia and dysgraphia just awesome? I taught myself electronics, I taught myself to write software, in 6502 assembly, in Forth, in Z80, in C and all the way up the chain to node.js and Coffeescript and lots of other fun and modern languages.

1978 = My First Commercial Games

At around age 14 or 15 my career guidance counsellor asked me what I wanted to do and laughed when I said "make games on the computer." There was no "games industry" back then. It was a bunch of hobbyists mucking about with their toy computers in the back bedroom. "You need a lot of math to work with computers, and your grades aren't too good, perhaps you should consider something else." he said to me. I cannot even remember what he looked like, or his name. I remember the room, how bright and sunny the day was and above all, those words. I sat there, knowing he was wrong as I was already developing and selling computer games and making a very good living off of it.

Below is an advertisement, circa 1981, available in various print publications of the time hawking some of my games. I was responsible for the design, development, publication, media duplication, marketing, advertising, media buy, direct B2C sales, B2B sales, distribution and customer support of the products.

Game Advert

A decade later I went to university and completed my standard "four year degree" in two years and passed with honours, one of those straight A students I never thought I could be. Whilst I was at university I was consulting and working as a CTO. I developed a robotic control system and a vision inspection system for the printing and automotive industry. Having a decade of business development and professional software development experience helped me through a lot of those classes.

I've built a half-dozen start-ups; one in clothing retail ($350K/pa gross adjusted for inflation). Another in video production ($1M+/pa gross adjusted for inflation). An artificial flower rental company ($1M+/pa gross adjusted for inflation). A slot machine development company ($1M+/pa adjusted for inflation). A video game studio ($6M+/pa). Several ecommerce websites built to pay off the debts of the crashed video game studio.

Hah! "Crashed video game."

That's a pun!

Okay, it wasn't that funny, maybe I should stick to the third person narrative.

I bootstrapped each of those companies out of the proceeds of the former. A small fortune here, a small fortune there. My family was reasonably poor and I learnt to hustle at a young age. I convinced a company to ship me kit computers, which I would assemble, then ship back. They paid me for each one assembled. I made enough cash to start buying kits for myself, assembling them, and running a small ad in computer magazines of the day. From there, my business grew into software development. It was two weeks after my 11th birthday when I sold my first computer games. Of all the start-ups and experience I've ever had, software development and business development that makes something grow and being able to watch it take off are my two greatest loves.

It's All About The Culture

What am I ultimately looking for? A company with a great culture, that respects the employees, that respects the product, that can ship, that doesn't put impediments in the way of delivering. I don't care about the underlying technology so long as it gets the job done. Every technology decision has a business decision trade-off and vice versa. "What's your favourite language?" is an amateur hour question. You might as well ask your gardener what his favourite brand of garden rake is. You pick the technology that will get the job done. And if a technology is already being used, you use that. This past weekend I was using C# and .NET to write a bot to spider LinkedIn and build a visual map of all of my 2nd degree and 3rd degree network connections. Last Monday I was re-architecting one of my Wordpress plug-ins for my website in PHP. Somewhere in that one week timeframe I can assuredly state that I fiddled with C++, SQL, LINQ, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, Node.js, jQuery, Java and Objective-C and a few other technologies to solve whatever problem needed solving to make product happen.

On 4/21 at 1:30AM I hammered out some Bootstrap, Coffeescript, jQuery, jQuery-UI and Less to make a quick iOS development tutorial webpage.

On 4/24 @ 11:30PM I created a state machine module in Coffeescript which I will OpenSource in a week or two after I have cleaned up the code and added in all the features I want. I need to read up on how to make an npm distribution package to make it easy to install and distribute.

On 4/28 @ 12:59AM I am tweaking some code in the core of scriptio.us presentation animation framework to add in a small feature I need for an iOS development tutorial I am creating.

Monitor Layout

Four 30" LCD monitors = nerd-gasms.

What do I get passionate about? Delivering an awesome product. The key word is "delivering." "Awesome" is great, but "delivering" is essential. Everyone wants to go out the door with a perfect product but some days you just have to go with what you got and polish it along the way. Just don't polish too soon. Don't polish the engine bolts before the wheels are on. I get absolutely distressed by companies that cannot ship. I built an entire video game development studio with 30 people and income in the $6M+/yr range salvaging de-railed projects for some really big clients. Unfortunately that was start-up number four which was torpedoed by having three of our biggest clients all file for bankruptcy within six months of each other. That kind of experience leaves bruises. It was humiliating and humbling. Start-up #5 I created and eventually sold to pay off debts. I made ecommerce B2B and informational B2C websites; eight websites in all, three of them were profitable, two broke even, the other three I had to kill off.

50+ Casino Games

In the late 1980's I spent a few years making slot machines for the casino industry. I would write the software for the electro-mechanical digital machines and do much of the game design and game balancing. The first three machines I created took about 3 months each. They were written directly in assembler, TMS 9900 or 6809 depending on which manufacturer I was doing the work for. There were people writing in C or a dialect of BASIC, but it still took a month or two to create an entire, playable, balanced machine that was bug free. One of the first things I wrote for my own slot machines was an analytics package that would show the game progression, bets made and winnings earned over time on a variety of graphs and charts. I dumped game play data over a serial port from the slot machine hardware to a laptop PC. I found it unbelievable that the manufacturers I was creating these machines for were using "feel" by an expert player to determine if a game was fun to play or not -- I worked for three separate manufacturers over a three year period and not one of them did any kind of hard-data analytics on their games. Whilst the math had already been worked out based on number of symbols and their positions on each reel, there was no way to drill down to get at what the game was doing from one moment to the next, or any ability to dig in to the machine's history to find out how it had played just a few minutes ago.

During the time I was creating my initial round of slot machines I built up a toolset written in C for the Atari ST that enabled me to create an entire slot machine design in a week or two. It was all drag and drop, making use of a graphical user interface controlled through keyboard and mouse to design lighting sequences and game features. Text files full of data tables encoded in Hex went away to be replaced with ease of use. Think of it like the Visual Studio WinForms designer tool, but for slot machines. I used that system to turn out dozens of slot machines, charge my clients a fair price, and tour Europe with the band; an Atari ST in my backpack to hook up whenever I needed to work on a new slot machine. It paid very well, my clients were happy, and I got to travel almost constantly for two solid years. More than fifty slot machines later...

100+ Social Casino Games

I applied the same principle to building casino game clients, five in all, for a social, casual, virtual currency-driven, web-based casino in the mid-to-late-1990's during the first internet bubble. Apache, Silicon Graphics servers, Perl, C, Oracle, and Java with a few bits of Macromedia Director thrown in for good measure. It was a solution built out of chewing gum, string and baling wire that was acknowledged as the most popular and highest traffic game destination on the internet at the time that brought in tens of thousands of daily active users. My philosophy was to build a reusable toolset that permitted me to turn out dozens of slot machines, blackjack variations, video poker games, and poker games all themed to the particular whims of the game designer or client. More than a hundred casino games later...

300+ A***t Websites

When the social, casual casino start-up was going up in smoke -- though it was eventually sold to Vivendi Universal for quite a sum of money but that is another story about trust and payoff that isn't germane to this subject - in my spare time I helped get another start-up off the ground building websites of an adult nature.

Many...

Many...

Many websites.

We generated about 300 template-driven adult websites in a span of about 6 months with credit card processing, streaming video and voice, "social" chat, and so on. That's more porn than an over-active, teenage, Redditor who owns stock in Kleenex could possibly make use of.

Do Not Underestimate Me

Wait! Did he just make a joke about...? On his profile?!?

Yes. Yes, I did.

Using several racks of high-end Silicon Graphics servers, running from an Oracle database, Apache web server and driven by Perl and C++ and bash scripts to generate a combination of static and dynamic HTML pages, I created a B2C CMS tool that used templates to spin up new websites very quickly, dozens per day if necessary. With custom created content and exclusively licensed videos and images, each image and video tagged and categorized, the CMS software was capable of pulling in content necessary to target a particular customer demographic. Pre-recorded and live video streamed to a web browser through a custom Java client I wrote specifically for the purpose - this was the days before Flash and web video - over a 56Kbps connection. I also created a B2B tool that packaged up the videos and images and sold them as channel packages for other website operators where a percentage of their membership fees were paid to us for supplying the content. A team of two engineers, two artists and a system administrator running hundreds of websites pulling in $60K a day in credit card memberships in a few short months...

As Many Slot Machines As You Can Imagine

Which brings me to Lucky Ace Slots. I'm the sole engineer, Android and iOS and all the other targeted platforms -- mostly mobile at this time. Tools, build server, build scripts, content pipeline, pre-launch marketing, app store wrangling, yada, yada, yada. I did that. I spent four months making a "printing press" for video slot machines for mobile devices that is completely cross-platform. Turn on the printing press, create features and graphics and audio that fit in to a template -- like a Wordpress template but for slot machines -- tweak the PAR tables, winning animations and enabled features in the editor, click Build and out comes a new slot machine - no programming required. Want a new feature? Just write a small piece of reusable code for that one tiny new feature rather than an entire game. Everything is pluggable - new game features are based on a plug-in-like architecture right down to the PRNG that can be easily swapped out for a proprietary and gaming commission approved algorithm. With enough artists, Lucky Ace Slots could potentially be a hundred different slot machines on every app store and every mobile and desktop platform inside of a month or two.

I am applying the same concept to a side-project called VideoZoku. This is a project consisting of multiple websites serving up crowd-sourced video clips. A content pipeline, content processing tools, low-cost crowd sourcing to tag and categorise videos, and a base template for each website to handle the user traffic.

My intention is to always strive to make tools and a build pipeline for non-technical users to exploit. The concept of printing press engines that can be used to generate dozens of unique and interesting products based on a standard template. Why re-invent the wheel every single game or website? Why make one when you can make one hundred?

The technique works for games, products, websites, apps, almost anything digital. A solid content and technology pipeline lets you scale your technological reach horizontally whilst simultaneously scaling your audience reach vertically for specific segments.

What It Feels Like...

What do I bring to the table? 35 years of experience building up and running start-ups. 35 years of writing software and getting it in to the hands of customers. 35 years of finding, hiring and leading engineers. Great software architectural skills. Strong project management skills. Sales and marketing and product promotion experience. A huge pool of experience with the full software development life cycle on many different platforms. An understanding that the software development and business development processes and practices you need in a two man start-up are vastly different to what you need in a 300 person enterprise. I've lead teams of one or two people. I've lead teams of 100+ people. When you need someone to sit at a keyboard and bang out code and work in the trenches, I do that. When you need someone to be your C-level executive, I do that too.

I Build Strong Engineering Teams

I am reasonably good at building up engineering teams - most of my LinkedIn contacts are of software engineers I have worked with in the past, or meet at conferences or networking meetings. I consider part of my job to be evangelising the company and networking with good engineers everywhere I can. I was CTO at a medical start-up and I placed all but one of their engineers there. It took the company longer to schedule an interview for someone than it did for me to find the engineers. As fast as engineers were needed, I brought people through the door. Every engineer that came through the door for an interview we eventually hired and they are all still at the company, building the next version of the product. The truism is that Engineers get hired by engineers.

I attend hackathon events as an engineering participant because it is a great way to network with engineers who are either just starting out in their careers or might be open to opportunities in the future. I want to be the person they reach out to when they are looking for their next job. I try for about one hackathon every three months.

At AngelHackLA 2012 I teamed up with an artist and a musician and we created an iOS app called TuneChat, a multi-user mobile chat room that permitted you to play DJ with sound clips. The TuneChat iOS client was written in C# on top of Xamarin.iOS (mono) with a Node.js server backend. I didn't know anything about node.js before I started the hackathon and decided that it would be an ideal time to learn. I could have used Objective-C for the client but speed of development was of the essence, and C#/mono on iOS is an ideal platform that I already had a lot of experience with.

#AngelHackLA Logo

I also attend a lot of technology, engineering and entrepreneurial networking meet ups, though I limit myself to no more than 6 a month otherwise they become a huge drain on my time due to the travel time and follow-up commitment to people I meet that the various gatherings engender.

I make lengthy developer forum posts about inheritance versus composition

On the technical side of things I am knowledgeable about most computer languages, dozens of frameworks, SDKs, APIs, operating systems and platforms, project and design methodologies (Scrum, agile, waterfall, BDD, TDD, etc), design patterns, the full SDLC, most of the tools in use today (Visual Studio, Slickedit, XCode, Eclipse, Netbeans, Trello, Ant, Balsamiq Mockups, BaseCamp, EZBacklog, Gradle, Bugzilla, Fogbugz, JIRA, etc), version control (Perforce, Alienbrain, Visual SourceSafe, Git, Mercurial, SVN, CVS, etc). I've been using C since the 1980s, various dialects of assembly before that, desktop, console and mobile hardware shaders, C++ since the 1990s, C# since 2001, Java when it was originally called Oak in 1995, Ruby since 2007 (I wrote an eBook on Ruby, I can show it to you if you want), Python (book writing in progress), PHP, Perl, Node.js, JavaScript, Groovy, Coffeescript.

I am comfortable integrating new languages, frameworks and conceptual models in to my workflow. You learn a few computer languages and paradigms, you can pick up pretty much anything reasonably quickly. I created a simple Forth compiler for the Acorn Atom and later BBC Micro in 6502 assembly around 1983. I created a C compiler in 1985 for the BBC Micro - you cannot learn to program in C if you don't have a C compiler after all. It was written in 6502 Assembly and was eventually self-hosting. I created a second C compiler in 1988-ish for the Atari ST - written in a combination of 68000 assembly and C. I was one of the first developers in Europe to receive the then new Atari ST to start porting games too. I created a DSL (domain specific language) compiler for writing interactive fiction games for the BBC Micro, and later a Lisp compiler (with features from Smalltalk) fulfilling the same needs of creating multi-user dungeons for the Atari ST. For the PC I was co-creator and maintainer of the OpenSource RGBDS assembler and object linker that generated binaries for the Nintendo Gameboy, Sega GameGear and Gameboy Advance - the assembler was used by thousands of professional Sega and Nintendo developers in the world and a majority of the games for the handheld gaming devices were created with the toolset.

35 years of software development experience and a goal-oriented, results-driven focus drives me to cram in as much learning and productive time as I can. My general philosophy is: "Don't stand still. Don't wait for permission. Don't let other people dictate how your life should be spent."

Hardware Shaders

Life Outside of Work

What do I do outside of work? Well, that's an odd thing, because much to the chagrin of my fiancée, I am a natural born workaholic. I literally have to be pried away from the act of creation. My epitaph will read "Wish I had spent more time working." I love hacking on code and shipping products and websites.

That said, to relax I cook, I am a competent chef -- though I wish I had time to study more -- with an intention to specialise in desserts and pastries - I like to cook for friends at dinner parties. Food

Starting top-left and going clockwise: French Onion Soup, Toffee, Green beans sautéed in garlic and butter with sautéed mushrooms on a mozzarella laden brioche drizzled with olive oil, standing rib roast with garlic and rosemary pat butter crust, mushroom and green and red bell pepper pizza on a mozzarella and tomato sauce base with fresh hand-tossed dough, fresh French bread with hand-churned butter, rustic country muffins with homemade cherry preserve filling, French crepes with fresh cut strawberries and golden syrup

May 4th: This past week I have cooked another batch of rustic country muffins with cherry preserve filling as the recipe still needs a little tweaking -- yeah, chefs refactor too and do lots of hallway testing :) Joel Spolsky would approve. A modified beef cottage pie with a potato au gratin top instead of the usual mashed potatoes. Two vegetarian Korma curries with garlic rice and fresh Naan bread. A Japanese curry. Mandarin stir-fried vegetables with egg fried rice. Homemade baked potato chips topped with grilled onions & chopped scallions & melted cheese. More sweet crepes for my fiancée’s birthday. Fresh fettuccine noodles. Cheese ravioli. And a Bolognese sauce. I am currently fiddling with pate a choux (choux pastry) to make custard-filled chocolate éclairs and cream puffs.

May 13th: More fettuccine. Baked potato chips with grilled onion, melted, grated cheese and chive topping. Crepes filled with a chicken cream sauce. A baked cottage pie and more Bolognese sauce.

I practice craftsman carpentry and build furniture -- a lot of the furniture in my home is hand-built. I think every software engineer should take up carpentry for a few years. I build little robot armies to terrorize my cats and entertain my dog because who doesn't want to learn about SLAM navigation and real-time dynamic object recognition.

I contribute to Open Source projects for fun. I created a new project on Bitbucket & Github on the 14th of April for a Unity 3D game component. On the 13th of May I created an OpenSource Firefox Add-on that adds some simple functionality to the LinkedIn website.

Pretty Serious

I create distinctly unfunny memes in Adobe Photoshop.

OpenSource Code

And I know my way around Adobe Illustrator and Maya for when I need to create user interfaces, buttons, and other design elements for websites and games. I am not a graphic designer or 3D modeller by any stretch of the imagination. I know the basic mechanics of getting Photoshop, Illustrator and Maya to do what I need rather than lamenting on a design element being unavailable.

"Never let anything stop the project from moving forward" -- Justin Lloyd

I play piano but don't ask me to sing along - there was a reason I was lead guitarist & keyboardist and not the singer. I ride a motorized skateboard -- you can never be too old for a motorized skateboard. I read lots books - and still entertain the idea of writing some more fiction one day. I play board games, table top games and video games. I do quite a bit of origami.

Okay, I do a lot of origami.

Origami Mice

I enjoy quietly solving jigsaw puzzles and playing Scrabble -- I've created a mean piece of software for Android that solves jigsaw puzzles and cheats at Scrabble; the software uses image recognition techniques and some nifty augmented reality tricks to locate the jigsaw puzzle pieces or automatically read the Scrabble board and figure out the best play. I may turn these two software toys in to proper apps one day.

Completed Jigsaw

I don't watch TV, the only reason I own a TV is to have something to plug the games consoles into. I multibox World of Warcraft on multiple accounts simultaneously -- I have custom game driver software that I created with a strong, scenario responsive behaviour tree-based AI that utilises a variety of path finding algorithms for complex environments. This software can let me control up to 20 characters simultaneously for either solo raiding or raiding with my fiancée.

Did I mention I am both eternally patient and persistent? Unless you are cock-blocking on shipping the product, then I am the very opposite of patient. I've learnt over decades that what pays off in business, in fact in any endeavour, is persistence. Persistence will win out every time. There's a talk I give to students just starting their career, entitled "The One Secret That Guarantees Success That Nobody Follows" and you can read a summary of it here.

When I work, I have enormous focus on my subject. I studied full contact Tang Soo Do and Jeet Kune Do when I was younger for six hours a day, six days a week for two years. I practiced piano and guitar for two years constantly, six hours a day, seven days a week whilst touring Europe with the band. Software product development? It's the same thing. Focus, persistence, patience.

Ninja.

Rock star.

Developer.

Hah! Another pun.

Note: I have never referred to myself as a "Ninja Rock star"-anything

Unicorn

You aren't actually reading this, are you?

At various points in my life I have been a rock-climber, surfer, motorcycle courier, Toastmaster member, white water tour guide, extreme adventure sports participant, member of a touring rock band, full-time martial arts student, keynote speaker, conference panellist, graduating class keynote speaker, failed novelist and short-story writer, technology journalist, magazine columnist, photo journalist, professionally trained masseur and sports therapist, one-on-one teacher, college lecturer, motorcycle racer, CEO, CTO, VP, director of business development, managing director, lead engineer, consultant, freelance contractor, square peg in round hole, entrepreneur, corporate trainer, tabletop gamer, improv comedian and stand-up comic.

Some would say being an entrepreneur and a stand up comic are one and the same. I've lived and worked in five countries and travelled to a dozen more.

One day I will do something with my life, once I figure out what it is I want to do.

Through all of those life experiences I have always been a software developer that puts product in to the hands of users.

Sample of Speaking Engagements

  • University of Southern California - April - Introduction to the games industry
  • University of Southern California - April - Video Game Industry Meet & Greet
  • IEEE GameSIG - April - Invited game competition judge and speaker
  • University of Southern California - May - "Designing and producing video games" graduating project judge

I have found that speaking engagements at universities are an ideal way to snag young engineers before they graduate. The only better way I have found is to actually teach at the university.

Prototype Game Ideas

These are simple game prototypes I usually put together for people on various game development forums to demonstrate a core principle or technique someone is enquiring about. These prototypes demonstrate the core game loop. Each of the game prototypes were written in C#/mono for the Unity 3D game engine. Be aware that the prototypes do contain placeholder artwork.

The Core

A simple 2D shooter. Use your CPUGUN to repel the angry, jealous TTL components from entering the inner sanctum. Yeah, I know, it's kind of nerdy.

Video Poker

Dead simple video poker game prototype that is the basis for Lucky Ace Video Poker that I intend to release on iOS/Android/Windows Phone/Web/Windows/Mac OS X/Facebook .

Word Game

A decent little word game. I am in the process of turning this prototype in to a fully fleshed out app store release on mobile platforms. It contains an AI that can play the game for you, tell you the longest word on the board, etc.

Zombies

A re-make of a game I created in the 1980's entitled Zombie Island. Whilst this prototype uses completely randomly generated levels, I have a version that uses a genetic algorithm to determine that each and every swamp generated is actually solvable and "fun." Which holds true only for certain definitions of "fun."

Zombie Zeppelin Defense

I was thinking of an RPG set in a post-apocalyptic, zombie-filled steam punk world with airships as the vehicles used to get around. The prototype was created to answer a question posed on the Unity development forums about multiple thrusts and physics simulation.

Snowboarding

A very basic "snowboarding game" (I use that term very loosely) that I put together one evening in answer to another question posed on the Unity 3D forums.

Some Cool Stuff I Worked On

Lots of games

These are all products that I either worked on exclusively or made a major contribution to; these shipped. You should visit my LinkedIn profile which is still not a complete list but at least has more detail on it.

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I love writing software, building products and leading teams, I'd do it even if I wasn't being paid to do it.

So...

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