A collection of miscellaneous thoughts and whatnots. I started the blog “Opposable Thumbs” (evidence) many years ago before social media was really what it is today, so much of what you see in the archives is reflective of the lack of that outlet. Take it for what it is.
Work and career
I am a Portland, Oregon based engineering leader with a long standing obsession with learning and problem solving. I spend a lot of my time reading and researching, but I’m most happy when I’m able to work collaboratively with a team, applying our collective experience and problem solving strategies to address real challenges. I consider myself very technical, though I spend a lot less time immersed in coding and details of each and every stack we leverage than I used to as an individual contributor or even a first-level manager. I enjoy maintaining a broad view of the software development landscape and lean towards being a generalist, but I have spent the most time focused on backend, distributed, cloud-based systems with an emphasis on automation and DevOps.
I am currently a Senior Engineering Manager at HubSpot, where I manage the Developer Product Group (DPG). We’re responsible for enabling and enhancing the experience of developers who build on HubSpot’s developer platform.
Prior to that, from February of 2014 until June of 2021, I was employed at Nike as a Senior Engineering Manager in the Marketing Technology org, leading a number of teams focused on building out the Nike Communications Platform. Prior to that, I was responsible for leading the development of the Nike Activity Platform. If you’ve used the Nike Run Club or Nike Training Club apps, the systems managing that data were built by the teams I helped lead.
I was also the host of the Nike Tech Talks, a highly successful series of events showcasing world class subject matter experts from across the industry, an internal evangelist for and organizer of our open-source program, and an advocate for building strong and healthy engineering cultures.
And earlier in my career, I worked across everything from small startups to giant enterprises. But you can find all that on my LinkedIn profile.
At various times throughout my career I have been:
- a software engineer, architect, and leader (both tech lead and people manager)
- the founder and organizer of the now defunct PNWScala conference
- a conference speaker at OSCON (2010, 2015) & AWS re:invent 2016
- a user group founder & organizer, including DorkbotPDX, PDXScala, and various others
- a presenter at a variety of user groups, meetups, and corporate events
- a proofreader and reviewer for many technical books
As mentioned above, I currently live in the Portland, Oregon area with my amazing wife and adorable, co-dependent dogs (no, really, they freak out when I leave). I spent much of my life prior to moving here in Austin, Texas, where I spent much of my formative years, developing a deep love for reading, playing music, and spending time with amazing and interesting people whenever possible. Though as an introvert, I also tended to spend a lot of time alone, too.
As I mentioned, I love to read. These days it seems to be mostly audiobooks, but in terms of topics of interest, it runs a wide gamut. As a life long geek, you can probably guess that I read a fair degree of sci-fi and fantasy not to mention the science, tech, and math books I love. But I also enjoy history, linugistics, biographies, leadership and self-development, and a wide variety of other topics. I have more books than I know what to do with and not enough time to read them all. Which is how it should be.
You’ll also find me spending a fair amount of time watching TV and movies.