Hello, my name is Jason Uechi, and this is my site with essays, opinions and such. The standard disclaimer:
These thoughts and opinions are my own, and not that of my employer.
But why 'Gravitymonkey'?
In the distant early days of mobile, before there were smartphones, I designed/built/released one of the very first games for mobile phones, called "Gravity Monkey", where the protagonist (a monkey, of course) had to catch falling bananas. I developed numerous other titles for feature phones, as well as very tiny 3D graphics engine, all for feature phones. It's not really a nickname nor nom de plume, or anything intentional like that.
Currently, I am the Chief Technology Officer at Givewith and I lead the development of our global SaaS platform that brings together brands and nonprofits, uniting a brand’s social responsibility initiatives with effective nonprofit programs during everyday commerce. We're building an awesome team -- so if you're passionate about writing good code, and code that does more than merely "no evil", but actually does good for the world, be sure to reach out.
Previously, I was the Director of Engineering at YP Mobile Labs (which was an acquisition of Sense Networks in 2014), responsible for wrangling dozens of servers running a codebase I wrote to evaluate, buy, then serve ads on mobile applications; and I managed a team of talented engineers that worked to improve that codebase, while optimizing performance for thousands of mobile display campaigns; and, I was also responsible for leading the charge in building next-generation products with big data for marketers of all sizes and budgets. I often served as a speaker and panelist on mobile advertising1, location and privacy.
I also previously worked on product engineering at Zocdoc, managing engineers and engineering managers responsible for making an appointment as easy and efficient as possible for patients. The timeline of my professional work is available on LinkedIn, and a bit of code that I have made public is available via Github.
4 Rather Random Professional Geeky Things You Might Want To Know About Me:
I have, somewhat terrifyingly, amassed more than 20 years of experience in software engineering, digital advertising, mobile technology and product development. Some might generously claim I have been a pioneer in the field of mobile location data (see The New York Times, circa 2004).
Visualization of large/dynamic/geographic data sets is a passion.
It's not like the posts here don't drip with autobiography -- but to give you the TL/DR: I grew up in Hawaii, spent a few years in Massachusetts, but been in the NYC area for quite some time now. My wife and son and I share a house with cats3, birds2,
a few rats4 and a fish1.
6 Random (but still geeky) Things You Might Want To Know About Me:
Cera is a gifted, opinionated, one-eyed, blind, cancer surviving cat, whose 26Hz purr may indeed be the most powerful force in the universe. I have numerous stickers, t-shirts and ceramic pins I have made with her image: ask me for some swag.
Spent the years of my youth learning how to compose music for classical instruments. I have a bachelor's degree from Hampshire College and a masters and doctorate from Columbia University in Music Composition, where I was once a Twentieth-Century composer, with performances in the U.S. and Europe, and commissions for orchestral (see again, NYT, 1995), chamber ensemble and electro-acoustic works.
My krytponite: Butter Bridge 1. Can. Not. Do. It.
When I was six or seven, I saw a sign that said "Grogan's Heros" on TV during a football game. Despite not knowing who Grogan was, nor ever really having seen "Hogan's Heros", I decided that the Patriots would be my favorite team. Also, it seemed inherantly unfair that they had to fly from London to the US to play other teams. This choice of outsider status and misunderstood geography seems to have fueled my life since.
Generally, I'm a pretty nice, albeit goofy, but well adjusted person (citation needed). Then there's the sleep walking.
Making vinyl stickers on my Cricut is a thing I do. And I make doodly, abstract things when I put down the mouse and the guitar. Maybe by the time I edit this again I'll know how to make cool linocut prints.