David Birtwell

Java Web Applications Developer ... and More

A little about David Birtwell

I grew up in the suburbs of Philadelphia and still have a bit of my Philly accent.

I have always enjoyed things that are magical. I started performing magic "tricks" for the public in my early teens and picked it up again as a hobby in my early 30s. I view magic as a performing art, something used to share an experience with others. I think it is this viewpoint that makes me embrace software. With a software application, one can share an experience with others, and present a kind of magical world. This software "magic" might not be as dramatic as pulling a coin out of thin air, but a well-designed software package can be kind of exciting (and magical, if I dare say!).

I have been and will always be a "people person". During the early years of my 20s until around the age of 30, I enjoyed playing bass guitar as a member of various Philly-based rock bands. At the age of 30, I found it was too difficult to balance a full-time job, grad school and have time to practice and perform in a band. It was then I decided to put down my bass.

My first real job was as a proofreader for a company which published medical abstracts. At that job, I later took on the responsibilities as an editorial assistant. At my next job, I continued my proofreading career in an internal advertising agency for an insurance company. Shortly thereafter, I was promoted to the position of Supervisor of the copy versioning and proofreading department, overseeing 6 employees as direct reports. Around this time I discovered the world of computing and decided to get a degree in Computer Sciences and do what was necessary to become a software engineer. I spent the next couple years taking undergraduate computer programming related courses wherever and whenever I could find them until I was ready to start an MS degree in Computer Sciences. When I moved to Massachusetts, I continued my training in software development, obtaining a certificate in C/UNIX programming from the Computer Learning Center in Somerville. I them landed my first real programming gig. From that point, I continued to grow my experience in the software industry.

I find my proofreading and copy background to be useful in my professional software development career, as it helps me to see code deficiencies the same way a proofreader sees a typo or grammatical error in written text. I have also used my editing experience to proof and review some magic trade booklets and books. I furthermore have some of my own routines published in magic trade journals and have some of my ideas published in a couple of books available at most "major booksellers". I use a mixture of my expertise as a software developer, my past job experience, and more to do deliver high-quality code on time and add value to a company's vision.

If you would like to discuss what I can do for you or your company, please contact me.