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|Me at the exploratorium, many moons ago.||Emmanuelle during her college years (she went to college late in life !)|
After the BSc, the last thing I wanted was to actually work for a living, so I went on to do a PhD. The one that sounded interesting was Particle Physics because I got to travel, and, by virtue of that, somehow get paid more than a standard student grant. It seemed too good to be true, so I found myself jetting off to Hamburg and Switzerland. I liked Geneva so much I got myself sent there for a year and stayed for five. I worked on the ALEPH experiment, mainly in the Online (Data Acquisition) group.
After my PhD (ok, I hadn't actually finished but my grant ran out) I got a fellowship at CERN working on the LEP accelerator control system.
During most of this time, I lived in The Chalet, in Prévessin, an abode reknowned for its late night festivities and strange costume parties.
Round the World:
After I left CERN, I took three months off to see some of the world, stopping at San Francisco, Hawaii, Raratonga, New Zealand, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand and India. I liked Thailand so much I stayed an extra week and decided to skip India. From what I heard from other friends I saved my insides from some challenges ;-)
Finally working for a living:
It had to happen. I got a job with an investment bank (Swiss Bank Corporation) in London. Writing trading system software to enable Bond and Option trading and Risk Analysis in near-real-time.
Bought a flat with my newfound wealth, then found a nice French girl to share it with. One guess as to who I'm married to.
The Chicago year:
Swiss Bank sent me to Chicago where they were working on another, different exotic trading system. We had a few challenges with the visas and so we were married at short notice. The honeymoon was spent with Emmanuelle's parents in Megève, and the reception was four months later in Chicago (neutral territory for the French and British in-laws ... you can't dispel hundreds of years of wars overnight). We lived in Lake Forest, near Chicago, for a year, while I worked in downtown Chicago and Emmanuelle went to Art College. We actually liked the unbelievably cold winters, but the summer heat, humidity and mosquitos combined with the lack of tectonic activity (and thus no mountains) led us to head out west, in search of the dot com gold ...
The Silicon Valley years:
We moved out here in 1996 where I joined NeXT to work as a Developer Trainer. Bettina arrived in June, a few weeks early (on her grandfather's birthday), so we had to deal with being parents with no grandparents around to advise ...
Just as I changed roles to the Software Engineering group, we were acquired by
Apple, and my commute got a lot longer
(from ... to ... the times are not at rush hour).
There's more, but the most important are Elena (born on my birthday, a few years later, of course) and Fiona (missed my brother's birthday by three days).
While at Apple I worked in the WebObjects group, as an Engineer, then as a Manager. I then moved into the Java group and currently work on the Mac OS X Java Virtual Machine, along with some dabbling in the Objective-C runtime.
For some strange reason I consider assembly language programming "fun" (PowerPC, at any rate), but I have been known to write in C, Objective-C, C++ and Java when the task required it.
Now I work at Azul Systems, a small (but getting larger ...) startup building a system for "Network Attached Processing" - basically a Java Compute engine. For more and better info see the company website. It has been very pleasant working in a small, capable team again, though the startup hours can be interesting, shall we say.
I recently took up rock climbing (indoor) to keep fit, though am still running as well. I mostly climb at a local gym Twisters, though I have frequented other gyms in the area, notably Planet Granite in Belmont (and Santa Clara) and City Beach. I have also briefly helped out a bit (coaching) at the local ladies rugby club BASH - a great group of ladies.
My other interests include distributed systems and Lejos a Java VM for the LEGO MindStorms robot kit. Oh, and extending the rock climbing wall that I built in our garage when I get the chance.