How To Make a Mess of Things

The other day, I was trying to buy a new phone and sign up for a mobile service plan online. I added a phone to my cart, and then when I selected a payment method, the page disappeared, and I found myself looking at a different page full of phones I didn’t want. “OK,” I said. “Let’s try that again.” Another try, and I got the same result. So I tried again without specifying the payment option.

A Cool App with Real World Value

I don’t often write about my day job here, but I have to say, it’s always nice to see a project you worked on having an impact in the real world. Several years ago, an entrepreneur named Phil Reitenour had a scary run-in with an enraged driver. That gave him an idea. What if someone built a mobile app that could stream live audio and video of an unfolding emergency directly to a security monitoring station?

Writing and Programming

I’ve been a software developer since 1998. I didn’t actually like computers until I started working at Amazon.com back in the days when they sold only books. I got a job in their customer service department after a brief stint of teaching in the Seattle public schools. At the time, Amazon’s customer support was delivered primarily through email. If you had a question, you’d write to orders@amazon.com, and one of the customer reps in Seattle would write back.
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