About Don Burks

Don Burks My name is Don Burks. I am a Software Development Manager for Amazon. Formerly, I was Technical Lead for Sphere. Until April of 2019, I was Head Instructor for Lighthouse Labs, a software development bootcamp based in Vancouver, BC. In one incarnation or another, I have been developing software for the web for 22 years. I spent numerous years as a professional developer in languages such as Perl, PHP, and Python (that’s several years each) as well as many (15+) years doing standard HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. However, I developed a passion for jQuery about ten years ago, and it grew and became a major part of my toolkit as I matured as a developer. Over time, JavaScript has taken more and more of my focus, and now I am building my skillset in toolkits such as NodeJS, React, Electron, and the like.

I live in Vancouver, BC though I originally grew up in Atlanta, GA. In my late 40’s, I am finding that age and wisdom really are connected. Whether it’s directly or inversely is something I’m still trying to figure out. I liked the idea that instead of years of age, we call them 'levels'. Level 45 sounds so much better, right?

There are other accomplishments of mine that I am willing to share. I am an acclaimed musician, having performed throughout the Southeastern US and now Western Canada both in and with orchestras such as the Vancouver Pops, with whom I play Principal Horn. I have published several books, which you can read about (And buy!) on my Books page. Currently, I am finishing a book titled Mundus Noster, which combines steampunk, faeries, and conspiracy themes. Expect it out in early 2022! After that, I will be working on a book (version of an already-completed screenplay) entitled Amnesia Lane, which is a historical fiction novel set in Chicago in the 1920’s. I have two other fantasy books in the works, as well as the sequel to the aforementioned Thirteen.

I juggle for fun, enjoy movies, am a huge hockey fan(Go Canucks!), love video games (PC & console), and have an enduring hope that one day I will get the opportunity to voluntarily jump out of a perfectly-working airplane. Ideally, there would be a parachute on my back when I did this. (That might be a deal-breaker. Just sayin’.)

I prefer Chrome over Firefox, Linux over Windows, vim over…well, any other editor, and Android over iPhone. I prefer Coke to Pepsi even though I gave up soda in February of 2011. Dark chocolate to milk chocolate, pork to beef, and WASD to arrow-keys.

I remember when the internet was young and the coders were old. I’ve been online, actively, in one form or another since 1984. I remember dialing into an elite BBS using my friend’s blazing 9600 baud modem on a Commodore 64. Yes, really. I was telnet’ing from Emory University in Atlanta, GA to multi-user sites in February 1990, and got my first e-mail account in September of that same year. I’m a dino, in internet years.

If you would like to see a list of my recent speaking engagements, please check out my Speaking page.