Welcome to the web home of Alan K. Stebbens.
My passion has always been about making technology work harder and better so people don’t have to. I’ve manifested this passion in many ways: creating or modifying software that helps people, whether as end-users or as software developers; building products that helps users well enough to earn revenue; growing and managing teams of people to create manageable, useful, technology-based solutions. I have a lot of experience in making technology fulfill business goals in a variety of environments and contexts, but especially highly scalable, multi-tier system architectures. I stay current with emerging technologies and software development tools & techniques so as to maintain my value as a contributor and trusted advisor. I value my team members and colleagues as customers to my service, and celebrate all successes as a team.
If I’m not currently committed to solving a technology problem for someone, I’ll be happy to help solve yours.
In fulfilling my passion for making computer systems work better, I have had many roles:
- a Director of Web Operations for AppFolio, which provide web-based solutions for property management and legal firms;
- Senior Director of Business Systems at lynda.com, which provides high-quality online learning;
- CTO of Marketocracy, a fund management company, which provides a web-based service for virtual fund management as a way to discover interesting information as advice to a real fund;
- Technical Product Manager for both 724 Solutions and Openwave Systems, two software vendors that sell mobile and wireline messaging software to the world's largest ISPs, Telco's, and mobile operators;
- Network Manager for UCSB, and Computing Resource Manager for the College of Engineering, UCSB.
As part of the Openwave Systems work, I helped author and negotiate the specifications that enable mobile phones to interoperate with each other and with standard Internet email. This was done by attending 3GPP meetings once a month for almost two years, building relationships and understanding the mobile operators and handset manufacturers goals, and then negotiating technical solutions that allowed everyone to fulfill their business and product requirements while also enabling good user experiences for anyone wanting to share multimedia (pictures, audio, & video) from a mobile phone. I did this same activity within the 3GPP2, OpenMobileAlliance (WAP Forum), and IETF groups. I co-authored an Internet Draft that describes the unique requirements of mobile messaging systems.
I have been a software developer, have worked on a variety of platforms (mainframe, mini, embedded micro), in a variety of environments (academic, government, commercial, financial), using many kinds of programming languages. My favored recent development (and personal) work being in ruby, python, and perl. My favorite all-time programming language is probably PDP-11 Assembler.
One of my memorable programs was a speech synthesizer that enabled vision-challenge users to hear what they were typing. I wrote that in PDP-11 assembler, using a pattern-matching algorithm with three phases of translations: from English to IPA phonemes; from IPA phonemes to Votrax phonemes; from Votrax phonemes to Votrax ASCII codes.
My hobbies include flying airplanes, hiking, playing soccer and tennis, writing software, studying languages occasionally (Japanese, Spanish, & Russian), watching movies, and reading science fiction books.
I have a digital photo collection of some of my travels; these photos are available in the Photo Album, many of them are available only to family & friends.
Feel free to send me email at firstname.lastname@example.org