Hey there, welcome to my site. My name is Jeff, and I build with code. Since I was a child in Kansas, I have been entranced with the magic of computers. While I was growing up, I wanted to make great games like WarCraft or Wolfenstein; I wanted to make the magic happen.
I love computers and how they have to power to open the mind, but computers have this secondary power: making one feel really stupid in a multitude of ways. "Simple things" take time to encode into the machine because the machines are really dumb (even dumber than we are). Why is it so hard to encode simple things into a dumb machine? It must be due to my own stupidity.
As I grew out of adolescence, I felt largely stupid for a multitude of reasons. I was struggling to code my ideas. I came from the learning center and was learning impaired. I wasn't a particularly good student. I was meh, and I was only able to attend Kansas State because I was grandfathered in via legislation. I didn't take the SATs, and I got very low ACT scores. All I could do was throw down some awful code, but I kept at it and was learning and making a bit of progress here and there.
My strategy for dealing with my stupidity was to study math and build many things.
The initial reason for studying math was because it was hard, but I believed in two things. First, math is the secret sauce to the magic of technology. Second, hard things are worth overcoming. Many long nights were dedicated to just figuring shit out. There grew a symbiotic relationship between my growth as a mathematician and my ability to build things. I would apply math I learned in code, and I used code to help investigate the depths of math.
Building many things was an unintentional side effect of this process as I would cross the novelty aspect of a project and then get bored and move on. For many years, I felt an odd pang of guilt for all the things that I have started yet never finished. You can read about all the things left unfinished on my wall of shame. However, I found that the breadth of coverage has been fortuitous in my career as a cog in the big tech machine.
We can fast forward through a montage of going homeless, co-founding a company, getting married, rebooting my career at Amazon, getting promoted, buying a house and have a mortage like an adult, rebooting my career again at Facebook, getting promoted, paying off my mortage, and I still feel stupid. But, for some strange reason, people listen to me as a leader. Stranger still, people schedule meetings for me to listen to their problems and give them guidance. Crazier than that is that people schedule meetings with me to have a meeting before a meeting because I have the power to (accidentally) fuck up other people's agendas. My life makes no fucking sense at all. Like seriously, it makes no fucking sense.
During the montage of career progress, my wife and I got some goats and hired some good people to help up with the house and goats. Holy shit, I was an employer. Again, my life makes no sense. The goats unlocked my love for animals, and I set forth a goal to seriously help animals by donating to the woodland park zoo. Through a series of donations, my wife and I are now part of the ZooKeeper Society.
Now, I am still trying to make a game since that is why I got into this field, but I keep getting stuck shaving a yak. That is, I see new possibilities for how to make the magic happen faster and better with solid rigor, so I dig deep into infrastructure, languages, tools, and services. I'll be honest, I am a bit sick of my career. I've been sick of it since my first day at Amazon, but I have patience. I plot. I scheme. I am still learning and thinking, and I have crazy ideas.
The big question at the moment in my story is at what point do I say "fuck all fucking this shit, I'm making a game" and then actually commit to making a game?
That's it about me, in short: I write code...