linked-in-picI’m a software engineer / entrepreneur / strategist who spends most of my time in the Seattle area, San Francisco, and cyberspace..  Currently I’m CTO at O.school, and architect at OPTYVA.  I also develop the diversity-friendly open-source social network platform TapestryMaker, and consult for and advise tech companies interested in diversity and/or software engineering.

Previous work includes

  • Creating the static analysis tools PREfix and PREfast as founder and CTO of venture-funded startup Intrinsa (acquired by Microsoft in 1999) and then at Microsoft Research, where I was part of a team that won the prestigious “President’s Award” for our industry-leading static analysis work
  • Security planning, research, and company-wide culture change with the Microsoft Windows Security Push and XPSP2 task forces
  • Leading the Ad Astra (Analysis and Development of Awesome STRAtegies) project as General Manger for Strategy Development in Microsoft’s Online Services Group
  • Co-founding Qworky, a Seattle-area startup developing an intelligent platform for “meetings that don’t suck”, with Mikal Lewis and Sally Abrolous
  • Running an international 60-person engineering and product management organizations as Senior VP of Products at Accellion

For the last decade, my research focus has been on re-imagining computer science as a social science. Some of the social science approaches I’ve explored include asset-based thinking, narratology, emotional software, cognitive diversity and cognitive volution, intersectionality, standpoint theories and situated knowledge, oppression theory, action research, and hot pink beanbag chairs. Sarah Blankinship and I applied this perspective to computer security in a succession of papers and presentations. Guys talking to guys who talk about guys looks at diversity-oriented business strategies, communication, innovation, and software experience.

“Diversity-friendly software” recombines the software engineering and social science threads of this research.  The 2017 SXSW presentation, with Shireen Mitchell, is the most recent overview, along with a trio of collaborative presentations at the Open Source Bridge conference: Towards Diversity-Friendly Open Source Networks (2014, with Deborah Pierce), Building Diverse Social Networks (2015, with Lynn Cyrin), and Supporting Diversity-Friendly Software (2016, with Tammarrian Rogers).

I’ve also volunteered with several non-profits, including

  • co-chairing the Northwest Entreprenuers’ Network’s First-Look Forum pitch competition (with Rebecca Lovell and Rochelle Whalen)
  • co-chairing the ACM conference on Computers, Freedom, and Privacy in a Network Society, (with Dorothy Glancy and Sigurd Meldal) where we developed a social network users’ bill of rights
  • the National Academies/CSTB software dependability panel Sufficient Evidence?
  • Board member at the Bill of Rights Defense Committee from 2011 to 2014

As a writer, projects have included poetry on E-luminatus; blogging on Liminal States and occasionally elsewhere; and a novel in progress about social networks, g0ddesses.net.

With my activist hat on, I’ve focused on social network activism: working with a broad coalition on Stop Real ID Now; as one of the organizers of Get FISA Right; working with Baratunde Thurston and Tracy Viselli on the Voter Suppression Wiki, and a great team of people on Twitter Vote Report; and starting #p2 (the largest progressive hashtag on Twitter) with Tracy. Cognitive evolution and revolution (from the opening plenary at Politics Online 2009), and Social network activism and the future of civil liberties (originally published on Pam’s House Blend) are good starting places; the Writings on activism page on Liminal States has a lot more links.

You can reach me by email at jon@achangeiscoming.net, or social networks including Twitter, Google+, Diaspora *, FacebookLinkedIn, and a bunch of others that I’ve forgotten the passwords to.


Selected presentations


Diversity-friendly software, with Shireen Mitchell, SXSW 2017.

Supporting Diversity with a New Approach To Software (session description, wiki page, slides), with Tammarrian Rogers, Open Source Bridge 2016

Building Diverse Social Networks (slides, video), with Lynn Cyrin, Open Source Bridge 2015

Towards Diversity-Friendly Social Networks (slides), with Deborah Pierce, Open Source Bridge 2014

Cognitive evolution and revolution (slides, discussion), Politics Online 2009

Dealing with Hate Speech, Flaming, and Trolls (reference list) at Computers, Freedom, and Privacy 2008

Project Fabulous (audio, slides), Microsoft Research Talk, 2005.  Alas, the three talks in my Holistic System of Systems series are Microsoft-internal-only.

Software engineering and Security

What can Diaspora learn about security from Microsoft (blog post), Blue Hat, 2010

Computer Science as a Social Science: Applications to Computer Security, with Sarah Blankinship, Data Devolution, 2006

Graceless Degradation, Measurement, and Other Challenges in Security and Privacy, invited talk, ICSE 2004

Buffer Overruns, RSA 2004

Steering the Pyramids: Tools, Technology, and Process in Engineering at Microsoft,  keynote, ICSM 2002

Analysis is necessary but by no means sufficient (slides), invited talk, ISSTA 2000