I’m Don Burks, A technical leader based in Vancouver, BC
My name is Don Burks. In one incarnation or another, I have been developing software for the web for over 25 years. I live in Vancouver, BC though I originally grew up in Atlanta, GA. I’m approaching my 50’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.
Professionally speaking, I have worked for organizations as large as Microsoft (MSN) and Amazon in various levels of technical leadership, and as small as two people in a garage working off of milk crates. I served as the Head Instructor of Lighthouse Labs, a software development bootcamp, for five years. I was the Senior Developer for MetroLyrics.Com before they were sold to CBS Interactive. I have acted as a fractional CTO for about a dozen companies, being the co-founder of several. I am the founder and CTO of Plainstage. Currently, you will find me working on everything from project management tools to GenAI experiments.
I am an acclaimed musician, having performed throughout North America, and in Japan. I regularly perform with the Vancouver Pops, with whom I play Principal Horn and occasionally conduct. Additionally, I perform with the Delta Concert Band, the New West Symphony Orchestra, the Mt. Pleasant Brass Ensemble, and the Vancouver Ukrainian Orchestra.
I have published several books, which you can read about (And buy!) on my Books page. Notably, I published my first book in 2008, a fantasy novel entitled Thirteen. In 2018, I published a book on software project planning, entitled Principles of Project Planning. I am working on a new fantasy/steampunk series titled the Knight Owl Tales, and working on a second edition of the project planning book. I have also written numerous posts of technical content not just on this site, but others, as well as written screenplays for both feature and short films.
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.
What I Do
I am a technical leader and active developer
A trained classical musician performing with multiple ensembles
A published author with both fiction and non-fiction titles