job details

October 91 - August 99
Senior Software Engineer
Autodesk Inc.
111 McInnis Parkway
San Rafael, CA 94903

References: You may get the standard corporate confirmation that I was at Autodesk from their main number at 415 507-5000. My last two managers (back through '95) and various others have offered to give me personal references. Telephone numbers are available upon request.

May 99 - August 99 I was on the Command Objects team, whose charter was to modernize AutoCAD's archaic command loop. My particular task was to clean up the rat's nest of code for getting, setting, and maintaining the 400-odd system variables. I developed a class hierarchy and class factory approach that nicely encapsulated the essential tasks of the objects involved with methods that could be overridden to maintain the incredible variety of special cases and behaviors that have been added over the long life of AutoCAD. It was a nice design that I was really enjoying implementing when the project was killed and I was laid off at the end of August.

Jan 95 - May 99 After the initial ship of R13 I got off of the manager track and returned to full-time development. I joined the Dimensioning Team and worked on AutoCAD's dimensioning complex for the next 41/2. This was very interesting and challenging to me. Dimensions are an extremely complex piece of application programming - you must capture industry standard practice, which varies across discipline and locale, as well as idiomatic styles, which vary from company to company. Draftspersons who use the tool every day are very passionate about doing dimensions exactly the way they have always done them, and get quite surly when they cannot!

A particular success for me during this period was the Qleader feature. The Leader command in AutoCAD Release 13-14 was very cumbersome, so in response to wish list requests, I wrote a "Quick Leader" command for the R14 Bonus Tools set. It was so well received and beloved by the user community that it was added to the main product for Release 15 (AutoCAD 2000), one of only two such tools to be included.

July 93 - Jan 95 I was rewarded for my diligence on Release 12 by being made the manager of the Support Team for AutoCAD Release 13. My small (two person) team was responsible for the Install program, Help system, and sample and support files. The first two items were much more hellish than they would be today because AutoCAD was then still a multi-platform product, and the install images had be laid out for floppy disks (35 for DOS and even more for Windows, some localized, some not!). My programming project during this time was the platform-independent help system, whereby we could use WinHelp on Windows and our own home-brewed help on DOS and UNIX, using the WinHelp source as the base file.

July 93 - Jan 95 I was hired by Autodesk to do the Release 12 Bonus CD. For my first 11/2 years I gathered material (mostly image data in various raster, vector, and animation formats, but also scripts, batch files, and various executables). I wrote introductory and transitional text, designed and implemented a navigation format to present all the material under DOS, Windows, and six different UNIX platforms, and generally "wrote, produced, and directed" the entire ball of wax. I even burned the masters towards the end of the cycle, a much more arcane art in 1992 than it is now.

July 91 -- October 91
Consultant to David West
Eikon Systems
989 East Hillsdale Blvd #260
Foster City CA 94404

These folks hired me for my ImPort experience. I wrote them an Aldus-compatible CGM filter to translate CGM into the internal graphics format of their Scrapbook product, since bought by I think, Symantec. At this point in my career I could reasonably bill myself as an industry expert on the CGM file format and 2D graphics formats in general, although I haven't done anything further with it since I joined Autodesk.

June 86 -- July 91
Senior Programmer
Zenographics Inc.
4 Executive Circle #200
Irvine, CA 92714

I was responsible for Zenographics' ImPort family of products. ImPort for Windows got quite a nice review in the January 91 PC Magazine. It was a set of graphics translators coded as Windows DLLs, plus an application to run them. I designed and coded the Windows application and seven of the eight translators from scratch. My expertise in graphics file formats and the fact that I had written an AutoCAD DXF translator were among the reasons I was hired at Autodesk.

Employment Ancient History

For the record, here are my jobs all the way back to college and the dawn of the computing era.

5/83 - 5/86

Independent Consultant
Encinitas, CA

C programming, AutoCAD training and consulting, college teaching

9/81 - 5/83

Senior Programmer
Data Business Vision
San Diego, CA

led a team of four programmers, doing ratfor (C-like FORTRAN dialect) programming, building a business graphics workstation

6/80 - 9/81

Independent Consultant
Washington, DC

contract work for government agencies, consulting for graphic design firms

8/79 - 6/80

Senior Graphics Data Analyst
AUI Datagraphics
Washington, DC

Systems analysis, decision analysis for government agencies

2/75 - 8/79

Graphics Software Branch
Bureau of the Census
Suitland, MD

Charting and typesetting software, written in ALGOL on UNIVAC computers. This software was used at the Bureau for at least the next ten years!

1/72 - 5/74

Teaching Assistant
University of Maryland
College Park, MD

Faculty Research Assistant, Programming Assistant – image processing, compiler building. Taught assembly language, data structures

9/70 - 9/71

Multics programmer
Cambridge Project
Cambridge, MA

programming statistical routines on the MIT Multics system

2/69 - 9/71

Programming assistant
Harvard University
Cambridge, MA

linguistic analysis, programming the Psychology Dept's PDP 9


Computer Training:
  Autodesk Inc. • 1997-1999
  • Object Oriented Design
• Advanced Visual Basic
• Intermediate Excel
• Employee Leadership Training
  College of Marin • 2000-2003
  • Advanced HTML
• Introduction to Networking (MSCE)
• Intermediate Microsoft Access
Fine arts education:
  Palomar College, San Marcos CA • 1981
  • Offset Lithography
  Corcoran Museum of Fine Arts, Wash DC • 1978-1979
  • Design I, II
  George Washington University, Wash DC • 1979-1980
  • Typography I, II
• Drawing I