Putting together documentation for my Green Card application; I’ve never been good about reserving credit – I don’t have any patents, I’ve never published papers, I don’t have a degree.
So it comes down to contacting people and saying “Hey, you remember me doing this, could you vouch for that?” For instance, I contacted Sanya to ask if she’d repeat what she told me about my DAoC Player Wishlist on paper (when Mark Jacob’s called me to ask me if there was some way Mythic could make it official, how much it would cost, I said it would be free – unfortunately I think the Roxen technology was an obstacle or maybe he was looking for a professional aspect to it that made “free” scary).
So I find myself digging up things I’ve done and being rather self-indulgently impressed: my contribution to establishing the “uk” domain registry (some of which is undocumented to safe me from legal hassles but which some wonderful individuals have offered to verify), my contributions to RIPE-NCC while I was working for Demon in Amsterdam, my part in developing the replacement for InterNIC’s registration management systems which was never realized properly because despite Mark Koster’s attempts to hire me I only had 9 years professional experience with no degree, the voting system I wrote for “Stars In Their Eyes” that could handle millions of votes per hour instead of the tens of thousands per hour that the multi-server multi-million pound system Andersen Consulting came up with at Granada Media/ITV…
Heck I can even claim to be the last person to have met Jon Postel (the day before he passed at a DARPA meeting that I didn’t have security clearance for, which amused him to no end, especially since the guy introducing me, IANA’s David Kessens, was also a foreigner without security clearance ;).
Demon are still running the version of thttpd I rewrote to host tens of thousands of customer websites on a single FreeBSD box… (Although by the time we were done with it, the thttpd author had done a slightly similar rewrite of thttpd, claimed other parts of it were too proprietary, so my changes never public source, although jrg and fanf later on contributed their own versions of the same features back into the 2.0 source).
I might get a recognition from Paul Newson of Microsoft for my contributions to BattleCom/GameVoice/DirectVoice… (I couldn’t find a current email address for Rod Toll – doh! LinkedIn is your friend!)
Then there’s tons of vague stuff – like the fact that Dr Bartle vouching for my interest in multiplayer game development when I was 14; I’ve asked Jon Radoff of Guild Cafe if he can vouch for me being an active developer of automation tools for his BBS system back in the late 80s, I re-wrote the door API in C and 68000 assembler, primarily so my automation tools had an easier time of it but also so that I could plug my MUD language (AMUL) into it (and he was also very keen on developing online games/doors at the time, and tried to hire me once to help him move from MUD games to graphical online games, but I was too attached to my job at Demon at the time).
See, for me the difficulty is I’m trying to justify a Green Card for developing online games, when prior to Playnet my professional background is in business and network systems development. So I have to dig up all this vauge out-of-hours stuff to prove my gaming connection. Maybe I should have listened to Marty/Scott/Damion/Dana/SirBruce and sat on an AGC panel or two.
The thing is – even painting this humble picture of myself, I feel like a braggart. “I’ve done some awesome and occasionally ground breaking stuff” – pfft, shut up, you’re some computer geek from Grimsby who’s first real job was on the fish docks at Grimsby:
Scott – I’ve seen you post on life without a degree, try being an alien without a degree and a self-promotional disability ;)