I am a technology professional and high-tech manager with considerable experience managing software developers and software development projects. Ever since I was a kid in school, I've been one of those people who always seem somehow to end up "in charge" in any group setting. In the early 1990s, with the help of a great mentor, I made a career transition from being a software engineer and technical leader to being a professional manager. I found that I enjoy business management, project management and especially people management.
Opportunities changed after the 2001-2002 dot-com bomb. I refreshed some tech skills, and dove head-first back into the bits and bytes of technology. In a small-company environment, I found ways to succeed as project manager and team leader while contributing as application architect and designer at the same time.
Five Things I'm Good At
- Helping people understand each other and work together.
- Cutting through the fog and getting things done.
- Delivering reliable, robust systems.
- Providing excellent customer satisfaction - for several meanings of "customer".
- Understanding technology and knowing how to separate the important from the merely attractive.
Yes, I Am A Computer Nerd
As a young man, I was a real propeller-head computer nerd, passionately devoted to "appropriate application of ingenuity" (see The Meaning of Hack). That's continued to be an important facet of who I am, and I think it always will be.
Since well before the World Wide Web, in the dawn of the Internet, my main hobby has been hosting and running motorcyclist-oriented e-mail discussion forums AKA "mailing lists". I started with Unix freeware I ran in borrowed computer time. In the mid-1990s, my great friend H Marc Lewis bought some equipment and contracted for co-location space and bandwidth through a real ISP paid for with his own money and donations, and we became official. Almost respectable.
We've run micapeak.com and wetleather.com on Red Hat Linux and Apache ever since then. For over a decade, I've done the domain registration, Linux installation, configuration and upgrades, all the e-mail administration and most of the Linux, DNS, Apache web server, MySQL database, and other system administration. This "hobby" hosts a dozen domains, over 50 active mailing lists with over 10,000 subscribers and millions of e-mails per month, and thousands of web pages generating around 5 million hits per month.
We had web pages before the general public had ever heard of "www", of course, but In the past few years, I've decided that hand-editing HTML and Perl scripts using vi isn't necessarily the best way to administer a big web site. I did some research and converted the WetLeather.com website over to the Drupal content management system. I wrote some PHP applications for that site and continue to fool around with them. I still spend my free time working with this and the myriad of interesting related technologies, learning new stuff every day.