Mike

mike@mclements.netmrc

I am an engineer, software architect, team leader and occasional small venture investor. I have worked with startups and small companies as a chief architect or principal engineer, taking innovative ideas based on leading edge technology and developing them into successful products.

Early Days

I began working with computers in 1980 at age 12 when I taught myself how to program my TRS-80. Two years later I copyrighted my first published work, a computer graphics program which included data analysis algorithms of my own design. Fascinated by things that fly, I also designed, built and flew R/C airplanes.

Education

When I arrived at UC Davis I had already gained some computer experience through my hobbyist efforts in high school (pointers, data structures, algorithms, 3-D graphics modeling, I/O protocols). At university I focused on Math, Computer Science and Physics. I participated in the Putnam exam. I developed several algorithms and programs while in college. I also began working for Unisys as a contract programmer during the summer. During the school year I worked about part time on various jobs including tutoring other math students, grunt labor, and was a physical attendant for a quadriplegic who lived in Davis and worked in Sacramento.

Experience

Upon graduation I continued working at Unisys. This work included mathematical modeling, simulations, and real time tactical weather analysis software for the US Navy. This involved extensive travel to locations all over the world, both at shore and at sea. After several years of this work I moved to private industry taking a job at Scopus Technology.

At Scopus I took chief responsibility for the metadata for Scopus’ data driven server, leading a small team of 8-10 people. Soon afterward, Siebel acquired Scopus and I left with several other key Scopus people to form Octane Software.

As Chief Architect of Octane Software I worked with the other founders (primarily Robert Gryphon ) to conceive and architect the product and helped secure venture funding based on our product vision. I then helped build our engineering team and led this team to build the product. EPNY acquired Octane in the summer of 2000 for $3.2 billion, the largest acquisition of a private software company by a public corporation in the history of the industry. I transitioned to Director of Engineering and led the Octane team, coordinating with the EPNY team, to integrate the products within a few months of the acquisition.

I then moved to Actional Corp., as Principal Architect working with their CTO, Dan Foody. We were founding creators of what is now Actional’s flagship product, Looking Glass (later renamed to Actional Server and Agent), the industry leading web services management solution. In March 2006 Actional was acquired by Progress Software, Inc. (NASDAQ: PRGS). PRGS kept Actional intact and made it a new division of their company.

I now work for the Walt Disney Company‘s Engineering group in Seattle. At first I led their ad engineering team. Disney’s internal ad system was one of the biggest on the internet, due to the large scale of ESPN, ABC and their other properties. Here I learned more about scalability, distributed processing, and rearchitected parts of the system with Hadoop to meet growth demands. Later I created and now lead Disney’s corporate data science team, developing big data analytics using Hadoop, Hive, Spark, MLlib, Python, R and other technologies for ABC, ESPN and other Disney business segments.

I’ve worked at Disney longer than I’ve worked anywhere. Thinking back, three reasons come to mind. First, the challenge: there is something new to learn and something big to do every 2-3 years so it never gets boring. Second, Disney is one of the best companies in the world, not just brand recognition but admiration, with over 90 years of history. Third, great people with a wide range talents who are fun to work with. In what other company can you misspell somebody’s email and get a reply from a giraffe keeper? (yes that actually happened to me).

Here is my resume.

Personal

In April 2008 I passed my FAA checkride and earned my pilot’s license. A month later I bought my first airplane, a 1980 Cessna 172-N with the Deltahawk STC, which replaces the engine and essentially converts the “N” model to a “P” model. This airplane seats 4, cruises at 115 knots while burning about 8 gals/hour, with a gross weight of 2400#, a payload of 915#, having 675# remaining when fully fueled (240# / 40 gals). I am an active pilot flying 80-100 hours per year all over the western USA and Canada.

Here are a few Android apps I wrote:
Caterpillar Game
GForce (free)
GForce (full)
ABX Audio
Wally Kitten (free)
Wally Kitten
Writing them was a fun way to learn Android and pursue my interest in math, physics and cars. I chose Android because it is easier to learn and use than iOS. It’s open source, based on Linux, apps written in Java, free to download and use and runs on any computer.

Here is a demo of a Wankel Rotary Engine. It is a simple animated Applet that I wrote.

Here is the classic old game of Artillery.

My old blog is here.

I enjoy good music and I’m an audiophile.

Bicycling is my favorite outdoor activity.

I like machines, especially ones with wheels.

Here is my flute page.

Check out my Motorcycling page.

Mysteries of power, torque and gearing are unraveled in this short technical essay.
If you notice any errors, omissions or just plain confusing or stupid stuff, let me know!

Scuba diving and free diving are other activities that I enjoy.

Here is a template motion I use to successfully fight traffic tickets in California.

Gunsite and Firearms Academy of Seattle teach firearm safety, defense, law enforcement and combat skills, and are two of the best training facilities in the world. I am a graduate of both and regularly take additional training. I am also a certified NRA range safety officer. I also hunted and shot trap, sporting clays and targets at the local sportsmen’s club on Orcas Island.