Mark Miller

Personal information

I was born in 1969. I grew up with a single mother. I lived in Virginia for the first 9 years of my life. My first experience with a computer was when I was about 7 years old. I visited with a family friend who had built a microcomputer from a kit, and played with it for a couple hours, drawing "turtle graphics".

My mom and I moved out to Colorado in 1979. I discovered programming when I was about 12, on an Atari 400, using Atari BASIC. From there I fell in love with computers and programming. I programmed in BASIC all through public school. By then I was ready for something better.

I went to Colorado State University and got my Bachelor's degree in computer science in 1993. We did most of our programming in Pascal and C. I really came to like politics, philosophy, and languages (natural, and ones you program with). While there I was introduced to Lisp, Icon, Prolog, SML, and Smalltalk. One of my last classes was a graduate level course in compilers I took as an elective.

When I graduated I got out into the work world as soon as I could. I ended up working mostly for small companies. One of my first projects out of the gate was working on a script interpreter. My career gradually morphed into working on traditional client-server IT systems on Unix, which interacted with mainframes and databases, and then later working on the client side on Windows in C++/MFC, and then web applications in C#/.Net.

In the last couple years I've tried to recapture what I found interesting about computing and computer science many years ago. I've reintroduced myself to Lisp, checked out Ruby, and spent some time with Squeak. More recently I've tried to become more well rounded, learning about the history of civilization and its relationship to how we've changed how we thought. I've spent a lot of time pondering Alan Kay's approach to computing. Presently I'm trying to get up to speed on a technical level, to understand more, to get to a point where I can actually contribute something to computing's destiny. I have a feel for what that destiny is, but nothing's concrete. Whatever it is, it's exciting to me.


9 years 6 weeks