About Don Burks

Don Burks My name is Don Burks. I am the 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 18 years. I have spent numerous years as a professional developer in Perl and PHP (that’s several years each) as well as many (15+) years doing standard HTML, CSS, and JavaScript. I developed a passion for jQuery about six years ago, and it has grown and become a major part of my toolkit as I have 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 Meteor, NodeJS, React, and the like.

I live in Vancouver, BC though I originally grew up in Atlanta, GA. I am just newly in my 40’s and am finding that age and wisdom really are connected. Whether it’s directly or inversely is something I’m still trying to figure out.

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. I have published a book, Thirteen – Book One of the Crusader’s Tale, as well. Currently, I am 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.

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