building well-crafted systems
Code has been a recurring theme in my life. When I started to pay attention to that I realized that this labor of love, which occasionally employed me, would be considered a “craft” in any other field. So I declare myself a craftsmen of building software systems. I love writing software and although its terribly hard work I’ve had a lasting curiosity about how to build good software and an intense desire to improve my knowledge and skills.
I wrote my first program at 15 years old in BASIC on an old Apple IIe. Between then and when I graduated from High School I spent loads of time in Turbo Pascal, DBASE, and VBA (MS Access). Those were great years. I felt then what I feel today about a well-written piece of code - that it is a joyous completeness of beauty. I majored in Computer Science at Brown University. It was an awesome way to experience college - intense problem solving and many a late night in the debugger. I loved the simplicity and elegance of Java (v 1.x!) and the Object Oriented approach to design. Still, I refused to completely drink the Kool-Aid and I would add a flavor of my procedural programming roots to various projects.
The fast-forward version of then to now: I took a leave from Brown to build a startup called TheWorkZone during the Dot-Com boom. After the melt-down, I studied abroad at the University of Edinburgh and completed my CS degree while incubating a distributed computing stock-price prediction startup called MoneyBee. I was subsequently hired by Microsoft and I headed to Seattle. There, I shipped Microsoft Office 2003, 2007 and worked on the Microsoft Office 2010 web-apps. I left Microsoft and founded Winged Foot Capital, a single family office, with my dear friend Ram Ahluwalia. At Winged Foot I managed internal strategies for the alternatives portfolio, built and ran a quantitative equity market-neutral strategy, and had my hand in operations and marketing. Recently, I joined CoMetrics to lead and scale a technology that helps socially-minded businesses harness the power of data to transform their performance and impact.
My mantra about software is that it should be simple, elegant, reliable, and tested. I believe that software exhibiting these traits can be called well-crafted. I strive to build well-crafted systems, and I use practice, experience, intuition, and expert advice to guide my path. I prefer working on very small teams of bright, hardworking people who love and care about what they do. My languages of choice are C# and R. I live in New York with my wonderful wife Lindsay.