I was born in Boston, Mass in 1952 and my family moved a few months later to a small farm town called Madison, Indiana. After growing up there, I went to Northwestern University where I got a B.A. in physics in 1974.
Realizing that there was not many jobs in physics, I switched to computer science and attended graduate school at the University of Texas. I started with an interest in Artificial Intelligence (AI) but there was little money in that at the time so I ended up working on a related area - formal verification of software.
After I received my Master's in 1979, I joined SRI International (formerly Stanford Research Institute) where I continued my work in program verification in the Computer Science Lab. It was there, with my first experience outside of the university, that I started to learn about office politics. Along with computers, this has become a strong interest of mine. Besides being amusing, keeping an eye on the politics of the office can help avoid getting entangled in messes, and can help you achieve your aims.
The group I worked in was funded mostly by military R&D money and that started to dry up in the mid 80's. I left SRI in 1987 and joined Sun Microsystems in the Programming Technologies group.
My first project at Sun was to modify make to use the network to do compiles in parallel.
My next project was originally called Link Services but ultimately shipped a product called Tooltalk in 1991.
Right after Tooltalk shipped, I joined Project DOE (now called NEO) whose charter was to implement Sun's version of the OMG standard distributed object technology. A research effort had been going on since about 1988 in SunLabs to develop an operating system based on distributed objects. This work resulted in the Spring System.
Our job was to propose this technology to OMG for standardization and to produce a product based on the technology. The first version of this product shipped in October, 1995. Unfortunately, the product was not successful and was canceled by Sun in 1997.
For about a year and a half I worked on internet products for Solaris focusing on products for Internet Service Providers.
My next project was to lead a working group tasked with defining a security strategy for the company.
I then took a six month sabbatical and when I returned I started working on Java client security and strategy.
In 2004 I moved to San Diego and a year later left Sun and joined a small company called Alignent. In 2006 the company ran out of money and was sold. I joined a company called Parity Computing in 2008 which was purchased by Elsevier in 2019.