Hello,

My name is Byron Katz, and I have been in the software development game just about my entire life.

I was using a 300 baud modem with a Commodore 64 in 1986. I wrote a game with my best friend for the Apple //e in 1990 (https://github.com/byronka/find_the_blob). I was playing with FreeBSD and Red Hat Linux, and had classes in Pascal during high school in 1995.

The river of our lives takes circuitous paths, thus I decided I would major in architecture during college - and not the software kind. It was tons of fun seeing my designs become reality in the form of concrete and steel. However, I began to realize that I still held an abiding love for software.

In 2008 an opportunity arose to jump back into that world for a deeper dive. I took it, working as a quality assurance engineer for the National Institutes of Health. Eventually I transitioned into software development - I like making things much better than analyzing them.

My first work in software development was at a small company (at the time) called Thycotic Software. Yes, ridiculous name. But they were a group of wizardly programmers, and I was thrilled to be amongst them.

That was where I had my first, and so far only, real Agile software experience. Subsequent positions often claimed Agile, but none really were. I am able to wax poetic about the benefits, but they are only available to those who are able to wholly claim and control their culture - a rarity when dealing with government or large corporate work.

I find that at this point in my career, I am most interested in doing something deeply meaningful and real. I would like to help create something that has a positive impact on the world, and helps people, something which brings obvious value to end-users particularly.

I don't like irony. I would rather have most of my energy and capability go towards production rather than politicking or make-work.

Some of my greatest achievements:

  • Within 4 months of being a software QA for the first time ever, I was made technical and team lead.
  • I've been nominated for technical manager at recent jobs by my manager and the senior Vice President.
  • I've given numerous interesting presentations on technical subjects for the entire development department at multiple companies.

I have taught myself what was needed in order to be a competent and esteemed software developer. I was responsible for mentoring my fellow developers in some key technologies. I have written applications on Android that have a thousand users. I have been an entrepreneur (I ran a profitable architecture firm). I have worked as a software QA engineer and QA team lead that helped a project meet all its goals. I was one of the primary architects for a $300 million hotel project in San Diego.

I bring to the table a strong work ethic, a passion for craft, and a focus on quality. I am driven by an inner compass towards producing work with longevity, simplicity, and beauty. I have developed soft-skills and a knowledge base that, I hope, lead my colleagues and managers to consider me a commensurate professional.

This has not come cheaply to me. It is the result of continuous years of focus and drive, during and after work hours, in a variety of professional and creative situations. This is decades worth of hard-won professionalism which comes into use every day.

From being one of the lead architects on several large building designs, to owning my own company, to being a self-taught developer. From becoming a QA team lead, to publishing my own applications, and then finally to my present position as Senior Software Engineer at an excellent firm.

I love learning, and it shows in the depth and breadth of what I can demonstrate. Programming languages: C#, Java, SQL, JavaScript, C, Haskell, Forth, Basic, x86 Assembly, Perl, Python, Scheme. Networking. Operating systems. The list just goes on and on. And so does my quest for more.

Teaching myself is not enough. I strive to be the very best, capable of leading by example. I intend to keep going as long as I am able.

All this has left me a rounded, capable, motivated person who takes a long-term view, demands high quality, and properly assesses different kinds of risk.

Contact me at renaissance.nomad (at) google.com