Since a young age I was always good with computers. I spent many years of my adolescence tinkering on a personal computer: first TRS-80s at school, and then an IBM PCjr at home. It was a logical progression from building cities with Lego blocks to building programs in BASIC on a computer. At the time, no one understood what I was doing, and I had a difficult time explaining it to my family.
When I was in high school, I kept my interest in computers but also developed an interest in architecture and design. I attended the Career Discoveryprogram at Harvard's Graduate School of Designand found that I would love architecture school. Based on that experience, I enrolled in the College of Architecture at the University of Arizona. I did well academically, always keeping in tune with computer technology by working as computer lab monitor and as a computer salesperson at the university bookstore. I loveddesign. I designed everything from airports to houses to chairs to transportation systems. Each summer while I was at Arizona, I worked for Donald Wexler, AIA, first as an office assistant and later as a junior draftsman. I was able to see first-hand how an architecture office worked. The only computers in that office were used for word processing. As school, I used the computers available to me as tools to help with my tasks but I found then hopelessly rigid and underpowered to replace my simple sketchbook.
When it came time to select a topic for my thesis project, I decided to build Charette a prototype for a pen-based portable architectural design tool based on the architect's sketchbook. The idea was to take the flexibility and informality of a sketchbook and combine it with a computer. Using tools like Fractal Design Sketcher and AutoCAD on a GRiD Convertible computer, I was able to demonstrate a vision of a portable design tool for architects. In my final year of architecture school, I saw two things: there were better building designers in my class than me and that I was better at computers than anyone else in my class. My mentor and thesis professor, Charles Albanese, AIA gave me this wonderful piece of advice: find what you're good at and what you like and become the best at that. From that advice, I decided to go to graduate school to combine my aptitude for computers with my love of architecture.
I found the perfect program: UCLA's School of Arts & Architecturehad a Master's of Architecture program specializing in Computer Aided Design Tool Development. I was accepted to the program and under the guidance of Charles Eastman, Robin Ligget, George Stiny, and Murray Milne, I learned about CAD Software Development. I learned the basics of C and C++ programming as well as how to use programs like WaveFront, SGI Performer, AutoCAD, and Photoshop in the context of architectural design. While at UCLA, I was employed in a work-study program at the UCLA Medical Center Computing Services as a network technician. The CTO of the Medical Center, Dr. Mike McCoy was interested in my research with pen computers from Arizona and I was able to work with him investigating the use of a pen computer as a digital patient record tool for medical professionals. For my graduate thesis project I built a CAD tool for constructing quadrilateral meshes for curtain wall design based on OpenGL and MFC.
Having received my Masters of Architecture Degree, I found a job with Tartus Development, Inc., a consulting firm in San Rafael, California which specializes in building CAD software for the A/E/C industry. I have been with Tartus since January 1995 and have grown to the role of Lead Software Architect. I have worked on various projects, but my main focus has been developing BC Framerfor Boise Cascade Corp., a tool for automating the production of working drawings for floor and roof framing. Throughout my time at Tartus Development, I have investigated and used many technologies including MFC, the Standard C++ Library, OpenGL, Open Inventor, Ricoh DesignBase, AutoCAD, OLE for Design and Modeling, Microsoft XSG, XML, XSLT, BeOS, and Microsoft .Net.
In January of 2003, I started at Mindjet LLC in Larkspur, California as the Software Development Manager, leading a team of software professionals to develop MindManager 2002 for Tablet PC, released in April 2003 and MindManager X5 Pro, released in October 2003. I then moved to the new Business Solutions Group at Mindjet, where I will be working to design and develop new and innovative uses of MindManager X5 Pro. That role evolved into evangelism of the solution platform where I created the popular Mindjet Labs website.
In April 2007, I joined Microsoft as an evangelist for the Communications Sector of the Americas. As part of Microsoft’s Communications Sector evangelism team, I focus on interactive client solutions like WPF, Silverlight, Windows 7, IE9, and Windows Phone 7 for communications and media companies.