My name is Darrin and I live in Pacifica, California (just outside San Francisco.) I am a software developer and digital technology executive. My background is in online technology, particularly software engineering and technical (IT) operations in support of always-on services.
I specialize in building and managing high-performance software development teams that create innovative technologies to solve difficult problems and/or deliver highly engaging online digital entertainment products (such as multiplayer-focused PC, console, and mobile games.) With the advent of cheap cloud computing, a lot of the work I’ve been doing is SaaS focused. Supporting 24×7 global operations means I’m used to overseeing around-the-clock customer service and support teams and always being on-call.
I have worked at several great companies including Simutronics, Electronic Arts, Chocobots Games, Perfect World Entertainment, and Razer (the computer peripherals company, not the scooter company.) I’ve also been a founder or co-founder at a number of companies, such as Mythic Entertainment (acquired by Electronic Arts), Second Star Interactive, and NomNomNom (acquired by Chocobots Games, a subsidiary of RockYou.) Along the way, I learned a lot and expanded my skill set to wear many different hats. At various times in my career I’ve acted as a software engineer, software architect, systems administrator, data center tech, IT tech, customer service agent, community manager, producer, project manager, product manager, HR generalist, people manager, and senior executive (I’ve been a CEO, COO, CTO, and acting CIO.)
In most of my technical roles, I been involved with creating and/or operating massively scalable online platforms (like massively-multiplayer online [MMO] game and mobile services, large-scale enterprise web applications / websites, and “big data” analytics.) I have been fortunate enough to have worked with a lot of amazing technologies and am always excited to discover interesting new tools or technologies. Since internet technologies are always evolving, I generally try to support and extend open-source (FLOSS) tools rather than build closed technologies when possible. This way everyone benefits from the changes or bug fixes we make. For example, at Mythic we developed and maintained our own white box enterprise Linux OS distro and custom kernel for a few years until CentOS came out.
As a software engineer and manager, I don’t believe in a single perfect software development methodology, but I am a fan of agile development practices and try to utilize agile principles where it makes sense. I still utilize traditional methodologies (i.e., waterfall or spiral) where necessary, as they still have their place in certain environments. Often a hybrid approach ends up being the best.
Wherever I am employed, I typically operate in a hybrid capacity as I prefer opportunities where I can blend my technical and business / product skills to solve interesting challenges… plus it provides a wider view of the business. For example, I have been General Manager of a technology-focused business unit at Razer, COO & CTO of a startup game studio at NomNomNom, and CEO of a startup game development studio at Second Star. At Mythic I wore whatever hat was needed at the time, and tried on almost all of them. All this has provided me exposure (and some hands-on experience) with most aspects of running a business, and helps me to make better-informed decisions as an executive.
Outside of the workplace, I am a new father to an amazing little girl and am still learning what it means to be a dad. Her arrival has changed my life in ways I cannot begin to explain. I’ve taken a hiatus from working so I can focus my attention on getting to know my daughter, so I’m currently a stay-at-home dad. Luckily, I have been successful enough in my career that taking an extended break from work is possible.
That is enough about me for now. If you’re interested in learning more about me, my history, or have an interesting project to discuss, please feel free to follow the links here to reach out to me via email or at one of my social networks (all listed at the bottom of the page.) You can also check out my résumé if you’re so inclined, though I don’t guarantee that it will always be up-to-date.
Thanks for visiting!