Palo Alto, California 94306
J. Donald Tillman
A substantial career in software engineering (from microcode to AI to web technologies), plus electrical engineering (digital, analog, audio). User interface, product design, data visualization, control system theory, with connections to math, physics, and business. Shipped a career total of about 100 products.
With a diverse background, I can bring multiple technologies together to solve complex problems.
Los Altos, California
Senior Software Engineer, 2018
Startup applying machine vision and cloud-based machine learning to improve manufacturing processes and raise yield by analyzing anomalies and defects. Backend development in Scala, database support, a utility to bundle AWS requests, unit tests, automated summary reporting and interface with SendGrid, machine vision training, proposed a front-end tool with a visualization of the detailed status of the production line.
Palo Alto, California
Founder, 2014 to 2017
Bootstrapping a startup company. Applying modern user experience concepts to hardware and creating an ergonomic modular platform for professional audio electronics. Developed the business model with multiple mechanisms of exponential growth, spreadsheets for the five-year financial forecast, pitched to investors.
Wrote, filed, and was granted US patent 9,800,357: Modular Platform For Creation and Manipulation of Audio and Musical Signals.
San Francisco and Sunnyvale, California
Technical Staff, User Interface Architect, 2005-2013
Riverbed Steelhead network appliances accelerate the performance of Wide Area Networks by an order of magnitude. Designed and implemented a powerful full-stack UI framework for multiple product lines. The framework consistently generates widgets from declarations, with input validation, role-based management, retargeting, AJAX-based tables, and mechanisms for presenting complex arrangements of widgets and user interactions.
Implemented the user interfaces for the flagship product lines: the Steelhead WAN optimizer and the Central Management Console. These are substantial web setups, about 80 pages each, and helped grow the company revenue to $800 million. Grew a team of 12 engineers, set coding standards, code reviews, tech talks, mentoring, design meetings with other departments, user studies, college recruiting.
(acquired by EMC Corp.)
Mountain View, California
Senior Member of the Technical Staff, 2004-2005
The Kazeon Information Server is an appliance that crawls, analyzes, indexes, and classifies unstructured corporate data for search, compliance, discovery, and data management. The system runs as a cluster for scalability. Designed and implemented the Search and Audit user interface and the Policy Engine with LDAP persistence.
Sigaba / Secure Data in Motion
(acquired by Proofpoint)
San Mateo, California
Principal Member of the Technical Staff, 2002-2004
Designed and developed Sigaba Secure Statements (now Proofpoint Email Encryption), a system to deliver important documents such as invoices, financial statements and medical records securely over email with encryption, signing and authentication. Local ActiveX Control or decryption server.
(acquired by BMC Software)
Mountain View, California
Senior Engineer, 1998-2001
Major contributions to the Marimba Castanet Internet Infrastructure Suite, a system to efficiently distribute a software application over standard internet protocols. Ported Castanet to the Macintosh, to Linux, and to the SCO UnixWare platforms.
(acquired by AOL)
Mountain View, California
Senior Software Engineer, 1996-1998
Software development and system design for SK8, a multimedia object-oriented authoring tool and development environment. Built a Common Lisp interface to Mathematica, and development, benchmarking, and tree-shaking tools.
Ported the Lucid Common Lisp compiler and development environment to Sun SPARCStation, DEC VAX and DECStations, 386/486 PCs, and Hewlett-Packard Precision Architecture. Taught Lisp courses, presented at the 1989 X-Windows conference.
Consulted for Intel's AI group, designing and implementing an expert system to schedule a semiconductor manufacturing facility, maximizing throughput with roughly 20 products, 200 hundred steps in the manufacturing process, 300 machines, and thousands of lots of wafers. Built the factory model, model editor, strategy and tactics editor, interface with manufacturing floor databases, and optimization algorithms.
Cambridge, Massachusetts and Chatsworth, California
Senior Member of the Technical Staff, 1983-1988
Symbolics was founded by researchers from the MIT Artificial Intelligence Lab to commercialize and deliver the most advanced Lisp Machines and development environment. A Lisp Machine is a high performance computer that runs the language Lisp as its native instruction set.
Designed the disk controller for the 3640 Lisp Machine. Designed the Front End Processor / IO Board for the 3620 Lisp Machine (processor, disk and tape controller, Ethernet, serial ports, bus interface logic). Software maintenance, support, programmable logic compilers, simulation software, disk performance tools, diagnostics, microcode, CAD utilities.
Digital Equipment Corporation
(acquired by Hewlett-Packard)
Electrical Engineer, 1983
Electrical design of the modem for the VT220 video terminal. DSP analysis for a DSP-based modem.
Design Engineer, 1981-1983
Electrical design of the video section of the TI931 video terminal. Designed two ICs used in the TI OPTI 940 video terminal and the TI Professional Computer.
Electronic work on ground support equipment for the Hubble Space Telescope.
Port Washington, New York
Electrical Engineer, 1974-1976
Designed the Sequencer, Ring Modulator, and several Waveform Generator products for this small electronic music company. Designed the phase shifter guitar pedal branded as the Ampeg Phazzer.
University of Wisconsin
1980, Graduate study, Electrical and Computer Engineering
1977-1979, B.S., Electrical and Computer Engineering
Specializing in communications, digital signal processing, computer aided design
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Troy, New York
- US 9,800,357: Modular Platform For Creation and Manipulation of Audio and Musical Signals
- The Mechanics of Moore's Law
- 38 Startup Company Ideas
- Intelligent Traffic Signals
- A New Business Model for the Music Industry
- Root Locus Demo of Real Poles with Feedback
- Electric Guitar Pickup Response
Audio and Electronic Music Articles
- A Palette of Static Audio Waveforms
- Square Wave Variations
- Quadrature Trapezoid Voltage Controlled Oscillator
- (The Doepfer A-110-6 Oscillator is based on the circuit in this article.)
- Voltage Controlled Duty Cycle Sawtooth Circuit
- An Interpolating Scanner Circuit
- Moog Synthesizer Patent Reviews
- ARP Synthesizer Patent Reviews
- Mellotron Patent Reviews
- Response Effects of Guitar Pickup Position and Width
- Response Effects of Guitar Pickup Mixing
- (Referenced by the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society.)
- A Discrete FET Guitar Preamp
- An FET Preamp Cable
- ARP Instruments entry, Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Oxford University Press (2nd ed, 2014)
A pdf version of this resume is available here.