In these days of social media, it doesn’t seem like there’s much point to a static personal website. Still, I have the server up hosting my professional site, so I might as well say a little bit about myself.
By any reasonable measure, I had an amazingly fortunate childhood. I grew up in Lexington, Massachusetts – an upper middle class suburb of Boston, a large chunk of whose population consisted of Harvard and MIT faculty and successful area entrepreneurs. My dad was one of the latter, although he’s retired now and mostly writes books. He and my mom were wonderful, loving parents and together with my older brother we led what I now appreciate to have been an unusually worry-free life. (Of course at the time all my social mishaps seemed pretty terrible, but that’s life.)
Not surprisingly given its population, Lexington has a top tier public school system. The classes were generally quite good, but what stands out in my memory is my experience in extra-curricular activities. Ever the nerd, I was actively involved in both Science Olympiad and the policy debate team, competing at the national level in both. As college application time drew closer, though, I unsurprisingly gravitated towards the field that ensnared both my dad and my brother: computer science.
Carnegie Mellon University accepted me into the School of Computer Science, where I spent four great years learning how to think (and, much less importantly, how to program). My social life revolved around my fraternity, Sigma Tau Gamma, and to this day many of my closest friends are people I met in Sig Tau. (It’s a shame that fraternities have the reputation that they do, because not all of them are bad – but that’s another story altogether.)
After graduation I accepted a job with Microsoft in the Windows Security team. I had the pleasure of working with some really talented, really passionate people, and learned a lot about the art of building software that lasts for years and runs on a billion computers. Despite all the negative press directed at Microsoft over the years, I look back fondly on my time there: it was the perfect place for a young software engineer to grow.
In August of 2008, after hearing about it for years, I finally made my first trip out to the Nevada desert for the Burning Man festival. Suffice to say, it had a pretty major impact on me. Three months later I decided to quit my job, learn how to sail, buy a boat, and sail around the world. And in September of 2009, Kallisti headed out to sea.
During the trip, I met a girl. In Japan. Despite barely speaking each others’ languages, and despite my still being in the middle of sailing around the world, and despite a variety of other factors, somehow neither of us ever decided to do the sensible thing and break up. In September of 2012 we got married, which is still one of the weirdest (and most wonderful) things that’s ever happened to me.
Since the conclusion of the sailing trip in May of 2011, I’ve been searching for the next big thing. After toying with a start-up idea, I spent a year at Amazon giving the big company thing another shot. While I learned a ton there, perhaps the most salient discovery was that full-time employment at a big company just isn’t for me.
Which brings us to now! My wife and I are living in Seattle with our puppy Popo and kitten Simba, while I help build Keen IO. And if you read all of that, you must be either (a) bored or (b) my mother. Either way, thanks! :)