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David Veldhuizen
Project Director

About David

When I was 10, my parents bought the family an Apple ][ plus computer. It used a state-of-the-art Motorola 8-bit, single-core CPU, had 48k of RAM, and no onboard persistent storage. It booted into a BASIC interpreter, and popular magazines published complete source code that you would type in, debug, and run. They had the foresight to also get a floppy drive and interface card so that we could pirate games with our friends after school. Video memory was a chunk of RAM that you could write to directly, so one of my first machine code programs iterated over that block and XORed the values with 0xFF to invert the colours. More importantly, the computer shipped with manuals that included complete schematics and a guide to the memory-mapped peripherals and processor machine language. Within a year, we had custom interface cards that we'd acid-etched, with wires hanging out of the case connected to motor drivers, lights, and other nonstandard peripherals. These days, my favourite technologies to work with include linux, vim, and bash. I spent two decades programming without an IDE. If you wanted automation, you wrote a bash script, and you liked it. I still freak out when the editor autocompletes quotes or braces for me. I was given a Safe SFX award in the late '90s at Electronic Arts when I reverse-engineered a Java applet that did not, for some reason, trigger the dreaded browser lockup problem after a certain number of sound resources had been played. The secret was to loop a silent sound continuously, so that there was never not SOMETHING playing. One of the best things about working at Jonah is the top-down culture of respect, friendliness, and mutual support. I can disagree with leadership and my input is welcomed and heard, if sometimes not acted on. There’s also an active effort to give competent people more and more responsibility, which makes career progression natural and effectively circumvents boredom. In the context of software consulting, I enjoy the Discovery phase of projects the most. I like learning about our client's business, figuring out in detail what software features they need, and designing a new application that will have real business value for them. It's very satisfying. I am really grateful for Salad Club. In the middle of the workday, I pick up a knife and chop vegetables, or go grill up a steak on the barbeque, and then eat the fresh lunch we've prepared with a group of nice people. It's healthy for the body, mind, and spirit. I don't like to travel to exotic places. A half-dozen times a year or so, I take a road trip to somewhere in the USA to go play a gig with my cover band. And I have a little land deep in the Ontario woods, where I love to hike, canoe, camp, fish, and hunt small game.