2115 Bowdoin Street
Palo Alto, California 94306
650 888-9632


J. Donald Tillman

A substantial career in software engineering (from microcode to AI to web technologies), and electrical engineering (digital, analog), with connections to math, physics, business, economics, and audio. Shipped over 100 products.

Expertise in product development and well-crafted design, user experience, and the software development process.

Fluent in: Python, JavaScript, Scala, Java, Lisp, C++, HTML5, XHTML, CSS, XML, etc.

Instrumental, Inc.
Los Altos, California
Senior Software Engineer, 2018

Startup applying machine vision and cloud-based machine learning to analyze defects and improve manufacturing processes.

Consolidated Fuzz
Palo Alto, California
Founder, 2014 to 2017

Startup applying modern user experience concepts to pro audio equipment, with CAD software, interactive JavaScript simulations, and innovative electronics.

Riverbed Technology
San Francisco / 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 serving as the base for multiple product lines. Implemented the UIs for the two 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.

The UI framework includes a package for consistently generating widgets from declarations, with features including input validation, role-based management, retargeting, graceful error handling, AJAX-based tables, and mechanisms for presenting complex arrangements of widgets and user interactions.

Kazeon Systems (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.

Marimba (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.

Netscape Communications (acquired by AOL)
Mountain View, California
Senior Software Engineer, 1996-1998

Development of Netscape Visual JavaScript, an Integrated Development Environment for building dynamic web pages with HTML, JavaScript, form elements, Java Beans, Java Applets, and database access tools. The components are dropped onto a semi-WYSIWYG page editor and connected up with JavaScript code.

Apple, Advanced Technology Group
Cupertino, California
Consultant, 1993-1996

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.

Lucid, Inc. (Stanford AI Lab startup, acquired by LispWorks.)
Menlo Park, California
Computer Scientist, 1989-1992

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)
Maynard, Massachusetts
Electrical Engineer, 1983

Electrical design of the modem for the VT220 video terminal. DSP analysis for a DSP-based modem.

Texas Instruments
Houston, Texas
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.

University of Wisconsin, Space Science and Engineering Center
Madison, Wisconsin
Technician, 1980

Electronic work on ground support equipment for the Hubble Space Telescope.

I. W. Turner, Inc.
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
Madison, 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
Electrical Engineering


US Patent 9,800,357 Modular Platform for Creation and Manipulation of Audio and Musical Signals


36 Startup Company Ideas
Intelligent Traffic Signals
A New Business Model for the Music Industry

Articles with Interactive JavaScript Demos

Root Locus Demo of Real Poles with Feedback
Marvin Minsky's Triadex Muse in JavaScript (To be included in the AI - More than Human exhibition at the Barbican Center, London.)
Pickup Response Demonstration in JavaScript

Audio and Electronic Music Articles:

ARP Instruments entry, Grove Dictionary of Musical Instruments, Oxford Univ Press (2nd ed, 2014)
A Palette of Static Audio Waveforms
Square Wave Variations
Quadrature Trapezoid Voltage Controlled Oscillator
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
A Discrete FET Guitar Preamp
An FET Preamp Cable

(These are referenced by numerous Wikipedia pages. The Guitar Pickup articles have been referenced in the Journal of the Audio Engineering Society. The Doepfer A-110-6 Oscillator is based on my article.)

Album Credits:

The Loud Family, Plants and Birds and Rocks and Things, 1993, synthesizer
The Loud Family, Interbabe Concern, 1996, synthesizer, Mellotron
Tesseract, Tesseract, 1997, guitar, keyboard, production, engineering
BayProg Sampler, 2002, guitar, keyboard, production